I’ve stopped sharing everything I write. We’re all told constantly to ‘Promote Your Work’ but at least for now, I disagree for 4 reasons.
1. Hitting ‘Publish’ IS Sharing. But I care less than I used to if people come and see what I’ve published. Just the act of writing helps me work out voice and distills research I’m doing on certain topics into cogent perspectives. If you want to come see it, I’m grateful for that, but promoting work is a distraction from the work itself. Surely there are many “if a tree falls in the forest” arguments to prove me wrong here, but for now I don’t care. Publish and move on.
2. Who Are You Writing For? I try hard to write each post for two people: my future self and one other person I have in mind for that topic. The other person can anyone. Deity or nemesis. I can talk about the person by name or the personality as an archetype. But I believe you can’t target everyone or your writing will suck, and if promoting your work is your going-in position, your brain skews toward targeting everyone. For what it’s worth, this piece is primarily for debate with my future self, and the other person I’m writing for is the Promote Your Work zealot, who I invite to counter my claims.
3. Blogs Should Feel Like Journals. Bloggers aren’t journalists. Journalists are journalists, and in every sector—including the fintech, housing, personal finance sectors I cover—there are plenty of great journalists who will break and investigate news faster. Blogging is less about speed and more about perspective because bloggers are (often) insiders who can offer takes journalists can’t always get to. The art form and constant struggle is being transparent as an insider. Finding this balance is why I’ve been blogging for 10 years. It’s critical to have insider voices that aren’t all watered down. I certainly don’t get this right all the time, but when I focus on sharing over just publishing, my perspectives get watered down. The most compelling writing often sounds like a private journal entry where you’re saying what you really want to say, not what you think someone wants to hear.
4. Sharing Bias Creates Timing Obsession. And ironically, this slows you down. You’re more focused on when to write something than actually writing something. Again, it’s about perspective over timing. If you let the pro journalists worry about timing, you can focus on hitting an angle nobody’s hit yet.
With that, I’ll close by sharing a related read for anyone who’s also interested in this line of thinking.