I write every day. You wouldn’t know by reading my blog, though.
This is because 99% of my writing never makes it online. I delete it or file it away, often never reading it again.
This used to bother me because content is a valuable asset. My unwillingness to hit “publish” means wasted effort. That was my old thought-process.
Not anymore. Something changed. A story I read years ago starting making more sense than ever before.
Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, writes about meeting his hero, Peter Drucker.
Sometimes after toiling in a quagmire for dozens (or hundreds) of hours I throw the whole effort into the wastebasket and start with a blank page.
When I sheepishly shared this wastebasket strategy with the great management writer Peter Drucker, he made me feel much better when he exclaimed, “Ah, that is immense progress!” (Jim Collins on the Writing Process)
At the start of this post, I mentioned how 99% of my words go unseen. The other 1% reach millions of people each day.
You can read them alongside status updates on Facebook and new photos on Instagram. And on the App Store and Google Play.
The reach alone isn’t what matters. That’s a vanity metric.
What matters most is that my words resonate with audiences, and they have the power to make ads go viral, conversion rates double, and online sales triple.
Had it not been for my own “wastebasket strategy,” my writing might not be a weapon in my growth arsenal.
Immense progress, indeed.