The Power Of Brevity: how giving myself grace as a writer liberated my creativity
Every article I write doesn’t need to be over 1,000 words. It doesn’t need to talk about the nuances of some of my most traumatic experiences, deliver graduate level statistical analysis, or teach people how to cure cancer.
Every piece of content that I create and share with the world doesn’t have to be something that I spent years formulating, revising, and losing sleep over.
There is power in brevity.
There is power in blunt truth-telling.
There is power in using language to articulate thoughts concisely.
There is power in your message, no matter how long you take to express it.
I’ve been impacted by 200-page books and 280-character tweets. I’ve learned from five minute conversations in office lobbies and two hour lectures in college auditoriums. The length of the interaction was just one factor that determined the impact of the message being conveyed.
Despite this understanding, I have a long history of failing to give myself grace as a writer. I fell into a self-imposed trap of trying to make every article I published the written equivalent a full length feature film, even though some of my favorite tv shows have episodes that are only 20 minutes long, not including commercials.
Recently, I made an important commitment that forced me to reevaluate this mentality.
About two months ago, I decided that I would publish one article per week. Every single week. I felt like my entrepreneurial path had put me in a space where I was largely wasting my greatest talent - my ability to convey emotion, process life, and give people a window into my thought process through writing. Sure, I had some fun writing ridiculous Instagram captions, but that wasn’t enough.
"There is power in your message, no matter how long you take to express it."
I wear a lot of hats as an entrepreneur. I’ve been operating as my own business strategist, creative director, proofreader, booking agent, and more for years. The behind the scenes work is incredibly taxing at times. Being self-sufficient has enabled me to see incredible career progression, but at times it can take away time I’d love to spend becoming the best writer possible.
Being a jack of all trades made sense in the short term, but I’ve always been drawn to becoming a master of one, and subsequently using that one skill in a variety of different mediums. It’s a precarious balance. Writing is not an immediately profitable endeavor. There are ways to profit from the power of your words, of course - such as using your writing as a gateway to sell a service or product, becoming a published author, or getting paid to write for an established publication.
That being said, those options are far from easy or quick. As with all vocations that pique our creative subconscious, writing is a field that many would love to focus on, full time. As I write this article today, I’ve been job-free for exactly 18 months. I’ve spent much of this 18 month period focusing on practical, short term solutions.
As I’ve found my footing financially, I’ve had more space to think about where I see myself in 10, 20, or 30 years. I can’t imagine writing not being a part of the picture at any point in my life. This led me to recommitting to growing my gift, whether it was immediately profitable or not.
It’s one of the best choices I’ve made. It taught me a lot about how to operate more efficiently while still providing my audience with valuable perspective and insight. I had to get my ego in check and implement realistic expectations about how much time I could invest in my new weekly ritual.
I had to research different types of content organization. I had to implement a more varied approach to my writing. I had to find efficient and effective ways to honor my weekly writing commitment, provide value to my audience, and sharpen my skills without burning out in the process.
Every article I write won’t be 1,000 words. Every article won’t keep me up late at night. I’ve disassociated myself from a belief system sees no value in achievements that come without excessive sacrifice.
I’ll promise you this. Every article will always come from the heart. Every article will always be written with good intent. Every article will be written with you in mind.
"I’ve disassociated myself from a belief system that sees no value in achievements that come without excessive sacrifice."
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