Sometimes you just have to hit PUBLISH

How often have you written something so epically brilliant – so incredible, only to save it on your desktop, file it away, throw it in the garbage, and tell yourself “No one would actually want to read this crap”!

I’m right there with you – I have dozens of articles and posts written that have never seen the light of day. You are your biggest critic – and as a writer, you’ll constantly tell yourself that your own work stinks.

You may be right, or you may be entirely too hard on yourself.

Enter blogging – a medium that didn’t exist until my lifetime, and overall a beautiful thing, especially for writers and thinkers. Why? Because it provides a platform for all of us to speak our mind, become a part of the media, create opportunities, and build our own brands.

And here’s the thing – blogging isn’t about perfection, it isn’t about AP Style and citing resources and being “right”. It’s about engaging in conversation, sparking that conversation, and rolling with the punches.

If you’re afraid of being wrong, if you’re afraid of putting your opinions out there, and if you’re afraid to learn from others – blogging may not be for you.

But if you’ve got an open mind – and are humble enough to admit imperfection – start a blog, start talking, and don’t be afraid to publish your ideas to the world.

This is the biggest obstacle new bloggers are faced with – thinking that either A) their stuff isn’t good enough or B) their afraid of putting an opinion out there that everyone may not agree with.

My point? So what if you’re wrong? So what if someone comes by and has a different opinion or passionately disagrees with you? As long as it’s done civilly and constructively, that kind of debate and discussion is how we all become more enlightened individuals.

In a world where personal branding continues to push itself toward to fore-front – don’t be afraid of tarnishing your own personal brand with a blog post that may not change the world – instead – embrace that your personal brand is shaped through your experiences, and as a writer, the only way to be successful is if you go at it your own way, even if that means throwing up a few stinkers from time to time.

And who knows, that blog post sitting in your “drafts’ folder, those chicken scratches in your notebook? Might just be the next brilliant idea that DOES change the world.


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39 Responses
  • Greg Reply

    Matt, You make a really good point that what your posts are “shaped through your experiences.” Many bloggers talk about the same thing, but the really good ones (i.e., the ones you continue reading) have processed that “same thing” through their experiences. This might be what some refer to as unique voice. As for the citing, I agree that you’re not writing a college paper, but the underlying principles of checking the accuracy of your evidence and crediting things you got from others still apply. The latter is just a way of showing how your thinking is built from and connected to others. You just reminded me that blogging is a different genre and that “one size” doesn’t fit all when it comes to writing. Thanks.

  • Laurie Steiner Reply

    So true, Matt. With blogging, it’s perfectly normal to figure things out along the way. It’s a journey and it’s all about finding your voice.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Cheers to that! The beauty of blogging is the journey. I guess the same could be said about life in general :)

  • Brett Kunsch Reply

    Throw up the stinkers. It’s the only way to get to the good stuff.

    I was told that the two things that always get in the way is our need for control and approval. When we let go of our need to control the reactions of others and our constant seeking of others’ approval, we’re more apt to hit publish. And strangely enough, people are more apt to read!

    Off to go mine my C drive for some content.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      You’ve got to weed through the “bad” to get to the good…simply by writing and putting yourself out there, you’re doing something right. The best writing (at least for me) usually comes when I’m writing something else – getting off on a tangent and exploring a new topic can be (and is) a beautiful thing.

  • Jenn Sutherland Reply

    Love this post, Matt. Yep, that “drafts” folder gets a fair amount of business with half finished, unpolished work. But every once in awhile, I do go back and dig one out, add a new thought or two and hit that publish button. I love blogging, but I’ve got a lot of other things I love that I also enjoy spending time on, so blogging has taken a little bit of a back seat lately. I’ve come to relax my own standards for what I’m publishing, and I’m actually happier with the more loosely written results. I’m also not spending gobs of time cross-promoting my site elsewhere anymore, but after a couple years of blogging I’ve got a small online community, and the site is growing more through word of mouth than it did through promoting myself on other content aggregation sites and discussion boards.

  • @NashvilleBen Reply

    good points. and good encouragement for those just starting out.

    “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” -Joseph Chilton Pearce

    • TheCoolestCool Reply

      Great post Matt and solid quote Ben. I never heard that quote before but it really hit home…

      Matt, I don’t comment often but I really enjoy your content – keep it coming man!

      • Matt Cheuvront Reply

        Thanks guys! Love the quote, Ben. Having your thoughts and opinions challenged and discussed is the only way to learn and grow. Blogging can provide a great platform for personal and professional growth. Cheers!

  • Brad Marley Reply

    Love this post, Matt.

    I can’t tell you how many half-written posts I have in my drafts folder because I either don’t have the guts to publish them, or I think they are just plain crappy.

    Maybe it will be taken the wrong way, or people just won’t disagree with you, but it might lead to something better down the road.

    Bottom line: Try not to self-censor yourself.

  • jeunesse Reply

    So true…I fight with this idea all the time. That I’m not ‘unique’ enough to share my opinion. Which is ironic, as we’re all unique, aren’t we?!

  • Akhila Reply

    I love this post. There have been so many times when I was scared to blog about something but when I worked up my courage to actually post it, the results have been very rewarding!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      It’s usually the ones that you think, “This post stinks” that ends up getting the most feedback and discussion. We shouldn’t be afraid to “shoot from the hip” and go with our gut. If someone calls you out? Well, that’s where some real discussion can take place!

  • Betty Jean Bell Reply

    Dude. Yes!
    Personally, I’ve been spending a great deal of time interviewing folks and trying to get the recordings out there. I have been leaning that direction because of the way I pine and edit and go over and over my blog posts before pressing “publish.” But lately, I’ve decided to take a new, more personal approach. Write like I’m writing to a friend and just put it out there.

    There’s can be a lot of fear about being honest and open about one’s self in black and white… and on the INTERNET! A place where your public displays can go bigger and farther than we have any control over. That is really a good thing – but when it comes to learning to be comfortable with who we are and share that with the world… Well, it takes courage and some getting used to.

    Great post! It’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about today. Matt… you rule. Hope Proof is rocking your socks off!

  • Moon Hussain Reply

    Ah, this is a good one and I can relate. Some of my best content was sitting there, just sitting there and forgotten! And some comes spilling out of me hours before publishing it.

    If you want to be a blogger, “get over it”. Be ready to be critiqued but most of the time, people will appreciate it. You’ll learn as you go.

  • Damien Robinson Reply

    Enjoyed the post, Matt! Shared with my other writer/blogger friends out there in the world. This article is definitely worth some social sharing!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks for sharing, Damien! Hope you’ll stick around my neck of the woods!

  • Increase RSS Reply

    I like your thesis theme modification

  • MA Brotherton Reply

    Without a doubt the first thing I felt like I had to overcome was not worrying about how good something was. I gave myself an update schedule so that no matter what I was forced to publish something, even if it wasn’t perfect.

  • bronze casting Reply

    so many notebooks there are .after a couple years of blogging I’ve got a small online community, and the site is growing more through word of mouth than it did through promoting myself on other content aggregation sites and discussion boards.

  • Karl "City" Sylvester Reply

    Matt, I’m going to passionately disagree to your opinions in this post. lol.

    Actually, this topic was on my mind a few weeks ago, and I’m glad I got to hear your thoughts on it.

    I think the being you, showing raw authenticity, and destroying the “professional” facade is what most bloggers are terrified of. Like you said it’s definitely ok to be wrong, but it’s never ok to be uninteresting and bland.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Being YOU is the only way to be, right? And being able to show the real you through your blog and writing is what people want – it’s what people connect with – and it’s what leads to building those real-life connections. Cheers!

  • Lindsey Reply

    I agree with you. I started blogging 5 years ago and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. My writing didn’t blossom until I started blogging….it is a HUGE benefit.!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Blogging has been a HUGE benefit to me – I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t decided to fire this blog up and start sharing some thoughts. I’ve forever in debt to the community I’ve built here. Thanks for stopping by…

  • Anonymous Reply

    Sometimes, all it takes is going back into that folder & re-reading with a fresh perspective, and then pulling out the key piece that needed to be emphasized, or adding the key piece that was missing. Sometimes, if you’re not in the right frame of mind, everything you write will come out as crap. That doesn’t mean you’re a crappy writer – it just means you need to drink more coffee. ;)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Yes – stepping away and re-thinking something you wrote a while back does wonders. Speaking of, I think I have about 50 saved drafts that I should take a look at…here ‘goes nothing…

  • Usama Reply

    Fear of failure lets us crumble in darkness whereas facing failure and moving on, that’s the spirit of a courageous person. Thanks for the post.
    “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” Les Brown

  • copper fittings Reply

    Adorable! Really perfect moment,That looks really good and yesss, I agree that would be good with some applesauce!Thank you for sharing this to us! It sounds like an amazing & beautiful race (kinda wish I’d run it, too). Glad the weather held for you.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Spam comments keep getting weirder and weirder…

  • Lani Reply

    Aloha Matt, so true we need to let go and express ourselves, even if there are mistakes. That is how we learn thru mistakes and then it becomes valuable information that everyone can enjoy and appreciate. Well maybe not everyone, but some. Glad I came by and thanks for sharing! Lanikee.com :)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks for coming by, Lani. Glad this post hit home for you!

  • Amber Wendover Reply

    I have no idea how I came across your blog – but some how I found this blog and this entry and I couldn’t agree with you more. Well, I agree with you so much so that after I read this before commenting I looked at my blog posts – there are 50 drafts. Why in the world haven’t I just published them? And this comment, well, I almost didn’t publish because of course I thought “Its not good enough – not witty, catchy – just boring”. Oh well, I’ll submit anyway. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Well I’m glad you stumbled across my neck of the woods, Amber (hope you’ll come back again). Best of luck in getting some of those drafts published – it’s something I’ve been working on going through myself. Cheers!

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