I had a fear of writing. It wasn’t really a fear of writing, but rather a fear of rejection. What if my post isn’t good enough? What if it isn’t smart enough? What if people disagree with me? What if they hate this post?
Admittedly, I’m no Hemingway or Steinbeck, but that fear of rejection kept me from writing blogs for years. One day I decided to bite the bullet and write my first post. In the beginning, I struggled to find my voice, as all writers do. In time, my writing improved and I started to look for an audience. That’s right; in the early days I didn’t want people to read my posts because I didn’t think they were very good. I was “practicing.”
After a few months, I wrote a piece of which I was genuinely proud. Because my audience was comprised of just a few friends and family members, I decided to reach out to the world. I was finally ready. So, I texted my friends and asked them to share my post. That would expand the number of eyeballs exposed to it and hopefully grow my audience.
I was shocked when I received a reply from a good friend who said he wouldn’t share my post. He didn’t like it and didn’t want to endorse it. Bam! That was a body blow to my self-confidence.
I knew some people would be critical of my writing; I just didn’t think it would come from a close friend. The self-doubt began to creep back in. What if my post isn’t good enough? What if it isn’t smart enough? What if people disagree with me? What if they hate this post?
The next twenty-four hours were filled with contemplation. Should I quit writing or should I carry on? Then I decided: The only way to get better is to put yourself out there. Win some; lose some. Take the lumps. Learn. Grow. Repeat. So, I kept writing and posting.
A few short months later, I received an email from an old friend. I hadn’t spoken to her in years. She wrote to thank me for one of my posts. She said it really resonated with her. It happened to deliver the right message at the right time in her life. And that was all I needed to hear.
Some people are going to hate your best work. And when you expose your work to a larger audience there is an increased likelihood that someone will hate it. There is also a greater probability that it will impact someone in a very positive way.
Too often we waste our time and energy trying to please the wrong people. That’s why marketers identify and focus on a target market. Those are the people you should try to please. They are the people who truly count. They get you. They are your tribe. Haters be damned.
Don’t sacrifice the people who would love your work for the people who don’t get it.
Put yourself out there.
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