My twitter stream has been full of powerful advice lately. It’s in fact amazing how many smart and hard-working people there are on Twitter, let alone the world. It’s almost as if the competition to be seen and heard, which I guess is what we all want in some way or other, is overwhelming. But when you should rejoice in knowing that there are many brilliant people out there, that the planet is full of them, instead you feel deflated. A voice in your head goes: “Why should anyone listen to me? What do I have to offer?”
The world gets smaller and smaller and more connected, but sometimes that doesn’t make you feel bigger – it makes you realize the massive size of everything – the breathtaking number of people struggling and hustling to be the next big thing, the next big author, social media expert, inspiration, musician, or let’s use an even bigger word: phenomenon. The mindset is: you haven’t heard of me, but you will. It’s the voice of the WANT.
I’m fascinated by this constant WANTING and it’s something I think is a factor in all of my books in one way or the other. Probably because I struggle with this, how much I can want and how hard I should work for it and how much I should relax, enjoy life and take it easy. When you work hard for something you want gratification and you tend to want it rather quickly.
The key, writer Jeff Goins say, is to embrace the wait and really try to enjoy and savour the moments “in between”. He’s written a book about it (The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between the Now and the Next Big Thing) that seems very interesting and it’s definitely on my to-read-list.
It’s all about patience though, isn’t it? As soon as you’re bored these days you go on your mobile and hope to see a funny comment on Facebook, someone liking your latest Instagram or Pinterest pic, or an interesting link on Twitter. And if social media is not your thing, there are countless apps and games to keep you entertained and “un-bored”.
I’m not sure if this is what Goins talks about in The In-Between, but maybe it’s good to be bored sometimes? Maybe it’s good to just wait and think and be? Maybe it’s good to allow things to take time?
I thought about this a lot after reading this excellent post called Write Less, Say More on blogging. When you write a post it’s easy to feel the need to click publish as soon as you’re ready (or think you’re ready). The big, inviting publish button whispers: “Click me!” because you know you just can’t wait to get likes, shares and other forms of instant gratification. But if you hold the power of patience, you could let your writing rest and breathe and if you did that, the next day you’d probably see things slightly differently. You’d rethink and rewrite and in so doing improve the post and maybe also learn something extra in the process. This could end up transforming it into something that really gives you gratification. It could maybe even make it into something that really moves someone, that really lasts.
And if no-one ever reads or sees it, maybe that’s okay too? Maybe you wrote that post just for you?