Jerry Seinfeld has talked about how he marks an X on a calendar every day that he writes jokes. The goal is to not break the chain of X’s.
In my own experience with daily practices I’ve learned to not underestimate the power of the unbroken chain to give you momentum.
But sometimes that creates a tension with where my brain or body is at. Some days are just hard. You’re tired. Your brain is foggy. Your thoughts aren’t coming together.
When it comes to blogging, how do you get over that hurdle of feeling like your publishing crap just to maintain the streak?
For me, it comes down to 3 principles:
(1) Why I Started:
I often remind myself that one of the reasons I started blogging daily was as a ritual to practice getting over perfectionism. Yes, I aim to serve and provide value. AND if I don’t publish, there’s no value. So it’s a vehicle for me to practice “good enough.”
(2) What’s My Part:
I also like to remind myself that I don’t get to judge whether a post is “good.” That’s for the reader. My part is to write and ship, to share the experiences and insights that feel worthy of sharing.
Experience has taught me that I never know what’s going to resonate with readers. It’s not my job to make that decision for you before you have a chance to read it.
Related to this, if it’s really, objectively, not good and doesn’t resonate, and if I decide it’s an important topic, I can always write about it again from a different angle. Or the same angle. Most people won’t know.
(3) What’s the Minimum:
I always love a good baseball metaphor. In baseball, the obvious end-goal is to score runs. But the first goal is to get on base. It doesn’t matter how a player gets on base or scores. Sometimes you get a base-clearing home run, sometimes you run out a well-placed bunt, and sometimes you’re patient enough to get a walk. Enough walks in a row will score a run.
At the end of the season, most people don’t remember the specifics of how all the runs were scored.
Not every blog post needs to be a home run.
Remember that you’re just trying to get on base. Aim for a bunt.
And if you still think it’s crap, revisit principles (1) and (2).