I was sitting outside with my feet soaking in the kiddie pool. Water is flying everywhere. Infectious laughter bounces around the yard. In the middle of it all, my brain offers up a blog post idea.
I chew on it for a moment and realize that it’s a shot out of the blue. It’ll take work but it’s a keeper. I pull out my trusty moleskin and jot down a few notes.
Later that night I type out the post. Satisfied, I click the “Save as A Draft” button. I congratulate myself another game changing post is holstered and ready to go.
Little do I know that I have just put my destiny “on hold”.
Wait! What The Heck Happened?
From the beginning, WordPress has offered entrepreneurs, writers, and artists the chance to put their art “on hold.” Worse, they inadvertently created a way to “practice shipping” without really doing anything significant.
The culprit is the “Save Draft” button.
The “Save Draft” button comforts the writer by saying.
“Good job you are ready to publish, just let this post marinate a while longer before you commit”.
This insidious reassuarance feels right. But it’s just another crippling tool blocking your path to greatness.
What the devilish “Save as Draft” button really whispers…
“You are not good enough yet. How about we pretend you are accomplishing something and wait until tomorrow?”
In the meantime, you pile up posts in your draft box even while your blog suffers from inconsistent quality.
Look, Drafting is Not Shipping
I’ve been mulling over Seth Godin’s latest flurry of manifestos around “Shipping”. Seth is frantically pushing and poking the world to get our art into the public domain. He wants us to start getting real feedback. He’s placing bets on your ability to change the world.
Some of us get it. Others, myself included, are being pulled kicking and screaming to greatness. I want to go a bit slower. I want to examine, plan, and discuss a little longer. In short, I’m terrified to ship.
Instead, I “Save Draft”.
Are you doing the same?
If so, I challenge you to do something profound.
Pull up your draft posts, start from the top and start scheduling them for publication.
If they aren’t finished then finish them. If you aren’t happy with the quality then improve them.
If they are just bullet pointed ideas then flesh them out, finish, and publish.
At the bottom of your draft folder is the success you are looking for, keep digging and publishing until you find it.
Here’s the hard part…
Never put your blog’s success on hold. Ban congratulatory praise for draft posts from your vocabulary. Also be on the look out for “Resistance”.
The Little Voice in Your Head
Steven Pressfield in his book “The War of Art” pulls out a can of whoop-ass on Resistance. Resistance is the little voice that prevents you from achieving greatness. It creates delay, encourages procrastination, and hangs out on Friday nights with the Save as Draft button.
Resistance is the SOB that is stealing your destiny from you one “draft” post at a time.
Right now, Resistance is telling you that I’m full of crap. It’s also called in reinforcements to give you convenient rationalizations for not publishing:
- I use the draft folder for ideas not posts
- Draft posts haven’t been proofread
- Draft posts will get published I just have to figure out when
- And so on…
The good news is that if you are hearing Resistance’s tirade then you are doing the right thing. Recognize that this voice you are hearing is the seductive song luring your ship to the rocks. The only way to beat this destructive force is to publish.
Don’t Try This; Do This.
You probably said at some point during this post – “I’ll give that a try”. Don’t humor yourself or me.
Do this. It will dramatically chance the success trajectory of your blog. Now tell me what Resistance is saying to keep you from Publishing.