Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy Social Media

What matters isn’t always popular

If you’ve ever published anything on the web you know what it’s like when all you hear are crickets. No likes, no comments, no reshares.

You think your content sucks because no one’s acknowledging you. But it’s a misconception to sell your work short, especially if it’s your labor of love.

There are 2.1 billion+ people on the Internet. If you’re writing, acting, or sharing your music someone’s going to connect with you. They may be a fan, a teacher, or someone you admire within your scenius. But you’re never going to appeal to everyone.

“The less reassurance we can give you the more important the work is.”

Seth Godin

All social media is based on reassurance. That’s why most Instagram content looks the same. If you want to guarantee success, you’ll share photos of beaches, dogs, selfies, and food.

“We were raised to do things that work.”

Seth Godin

But why not challenge sameness by trying something new? Go for some tension. Err on the side of being vulnerable if it means you get to make the stuff that makes you happy.

Unlike politics, creativity asks that you own up to being edgy, different. People that make change stand up and take responsibility for causing a ruckus.

“The internet could save your life because it’ll keep you from a lifetime of being told what to do.”

Seth Godin

Choose yourself. The rest follows.

All quotes above are from Seth Godin’s most recent presentation. Watch it below.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy

Losing our edge


Being weird used to be lonely. But then the Internet happened.

The web connected the vinyl collectors, the sneakerheads, and the want-to-be Romance novelists. Niches came together, competed, collaborated, cheered each other on while a select few took their micro, macro until their weird became the new standard.

“Success blurs. It rounds off the rough edges.”

John Peel

We’re not all weird. We’re not all normal. But some of us are curious and forward-thinking. We search for what’s next before it even hits the trend spotters’ radar. We dig deep in the underground to avoid the peril of sameness.

The closer we get to normal, the closer we are to losing our edge.

Always a good reread: We’re Are All Weird

Categories
Arts Creativity Productivity & Work Quotes Writing

Seth Godin on writer’s block

Writer’s block is a myth created by people who are afraid to do the work.

There are various reasons writers let the blank page get the best of their emotions.

  • Trying to be too perfect
  • Procrastinating en route to excuses that usually include the word “But….”
  • Unwilling to fail or write poor sentences first
  • Living up to someone else’s expectations
  • Being afraid to share their work

Writer’s block appears to be the work of evil. It wants us to quit and hide in shame instead of “dancing with the amygdala” as Seth Godin pleads on the very subject in his new podcast: ‘No such thing (as writer’s block).’ Stream it after the jump.

gif via rewire.org & big hero 6

In reality, no one gets talker’s block just as a plumber never gets plumber’s block or a teacher gets teaching block. Such stuckness is a work of fiction.

Pro tip: The habit of blogging every day helps me defeat writer’s block. The more you write, the more you have to play with. Start your blogging journey and set up your website for FREE on WordPress right here.

Forget inspiration and do the work

If we choose to be professional, we choose to show up consistently and dance with the fear. We develop habits that allow us to unlock what Steven Pressfield calls the resistance in his book The War of Art, compelling the muse to work with us rather than against us.

This is what Seth Godin says on facing the resistance:

“The resistance never goes away. The more important the work is, the louder it gets. The harder you try to make it go away, the harder and more clever it gets in response. The work is doing it when you don’t feel like it. Doing it when it’s not easy.”

Seth Godin

Fear leads to inertia which leads to regret. The lizard brain wants us to run away and never come back.

What if instead of giving up, we started writing by doing it poorly, persisting through the maze of bad ideas. Only when we have something to work with can go back we tweak it.

Perfection is futile — writers rarely nail in a good sentence in the first draft. Rough drafts are expectedly shitty. All writing is in the edit, anyway.

“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”

Charles Bukowski 

If we write regularly, we’ll get better at avoiding the pain of getting stuck. Habits are everything. But if we do get blocked? Again, keep writing with no regard for perfection.

Said novelist John McPhee: “The funny thing is that you get to a certain point and you can’t quit. Because I always worried: If you quit, you’ll quit again. The only way out was to go forward, to learn your way and write your way out of it.”

In short, heed this writing advice: Don’t whine, don’t complain, get busy and make things. Speed-write, set an imaginary deadline, write by hand — do whatever it takes to get something down. And if we’re still stuck — go for walk while listening to Seth’s podcast below:

Categories
Books

Art is an attitude

Art is an attitude

“Art is an attitude. Seizing new ground, making connections between people or ideas, working without a map — these are works of art, and if you do them, you are an artist, regardless of whether you wear a smock, use a computer, or work with others all day long.”

Seth Godin, Icarus Deception

art via @nikitaliskov

Categories
Books Quotes

‘Never quit something with great long-term potential’

Cover for Seth Godin's The Dip Book

Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment.

Seth Godin, The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) 
Categories
Quotes Social Media

“Build it and they will come” only works in the movies.

“Build it and they will come” only works in the movies. Social Media is “build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.”

Seth Godin
Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

No one is normal

No one is normal

The environment that we live in intends to become a part of our mind. But there’s always a mismatch between who we know we are and what others expect us to be.

Human beings are intricate. No one individual is alike. Mimetic thinking makes us feel worse, not better in the long-run.

Conforming is like trying to stuff positive thinking down our throats — it just doesn’t work. Nor does medicating us out of our creative urges.

seth godin we are all weird book cover

“It’s human nature to be weird, but also human to be lonely. This conflict between fitting in and standing out is at the core of who we are.” 

Seth Godin, We are all Weird (Amazon)

What does work is the freedom of expression and the celebration of uniqueness. Sure, we are binder by rules and law, but when it comes to taste, we should feel free to do whatever we want.

The internet proves that normal is boring. It is the so-called weird at the edges that are forming niches and making stuff happen.

PS. The ‘No one is normal’ tote bag comes courtesy of The School of Life gift shop. You can also snag more stuff on their Amazon page.  

Categories
Productivity & Work

From idea to “I did it!”: Seth Godin’s ShipIt Journal

Seth Godin updated his ShipIt journal in collaboration with Moo.

The Shipit Journal works for a simple reason: It’s difficult to write things down. Difficult to break a project into small pieces and take ownership over each one. Mostly, it’s difficult to announce to yourself and to your team that you’re actually on the hook to do great work.

I’m delighted to let you know that the journal is back, but it a much more beautiful format. Created in conjunction with my namesake moo.com, you can find it right here.

It’s a blank book, but one with words in it. Designed to have you add the rest of the words, to write in it, to commit, to share, to ultimately make a ruckus.

Because ‘later is not the way you will ship.’ Do the work.

Note: You can find still find Seth’s original ShipIt Journal Five Pack on Amazon.

Categories
Business Productivity & Work Uncategorized

‘Don’t read the words. It’s bad enough that people use Powerpoint as a sort of teleprompter.’

Animation Presentation GIF by David Urbinati-source.gif

If you use Powerpoint, a few principles and tips to keep in mind when using type on a slide:

Don’t read the words. It’s bad enough that people use Powerpoint as a sort of teleprompter. Much worse that you don’t trust the audience enough to read what you wrote. If you want them to read the precise words, stand quietly until they do. If you want to paraphrase the words, that can work.

Big font, few words. And use pictures. Your narrative is the message.

Words on slides by Seth Godin

Categories
Books Productivity & Work Quotes

We are ‘brilliant only in tiny bursts’

linchpin

“The law of linchpin leverage: The more value you create in your job, the fewer clock minutes of labor you actually spend creating that value. In other words, most of the time, you’re not being brilliant. Most of the time, you do stuff that ordinary people could do.

A brilliant author or businesswoman or senator or software engineer is brilliant only in tiny bursts. The rest of the time, they’re doing work that most any trained person could do.

It might take a lot of tinkering or low-level work or domain knowledge for that brilliance to be evoked, but from the outside, it appears that the art is created in a moment, not in tiny increments.”

Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

It often appears that discoveries come out of the blue when in fact, they are the result of consistently doing the work. In other words, big results are the upshot of small things with focus and with care. There is no such thing as overnight success.

Keep dripping.