It’s one thing to tell people you need to write epic shit to stand out. “Great,” you might be saying, “now that I know I need to write epic shit to attract raving fans, hell do I do that?”
Let’s see if I can put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.
Now that I’ve told you you need to write epic shit, let’s see if I can show you how. Not just by example (which I hope I’ve been doing lately), but by teaching you some ways to write mind-blowing, life-changing stuff that will help you build a huge following online.
Lesson #1: Fear makes you tame and ordinary.
You’ve heard it before. Fear is what really keeps you from succeeding, not ability or dedication. Yadda yadda. I’m not going to give you another lecture on fear and success here.
Instead, let’s talk about how you can use fear to develop epic ideas.
I’ve noticed something about nearly every successful thing I’ve done, and this especially applies to writing. Everything I write or create that becomes popular, or elevates me to a new level has been a little scary to release to the world.
As an example, the 18 months manifesto I wrote scared me to publish. I was worried about what people would think. “Look what an asshole that guy is, writing about how much money he makes,” I thought people might say. Or, “big deal, 18 months to build a blog-based business. So-and-so did it in 6 months.” Those thoughts scared me, which actually meant I was working on the right thing.
I’ve learned that whenever a particular project gives me those uncomfortable butterflies, it’s usually the right thing to do. Whenever I’m worried about what someone will think, I’m probably letting fear keep me from doing something epic. The manifesto has been read by over 11,000 people. Take that, fear.
This is the lesson and challenge I have for you:
Whatever you’re afraid to write right now, whatever you think you need to say but haven’t for fear of being judged, go write that scary thing right now.
I’m not saying you have to become fearless to create epic shit. Far from it. I’m saying you have to look fear in the eye, realize that fear is hiding some of your richest potential material, punch fear in the face and take whatever it was hiding from you and put that in your writing.
When you write about this scary thing, you don’t have to talk about how scared you were to write it. You can do that, and sometimes vulnerability is a good thing, but you don’t have to. Sometimes it’s good not to let your readers see everything that goes on behind the curtain.
Remember, you’re a leader. Choose the times when you should reveal your vulnerabilities and remain confident the rest of the time.
How to Let Fear Be Your Guide
If you read the last few paragraphs and something scary immediately came to mind, then bingo! You’ve identified something potentially epic to write about.
If you didn’t immediately think of something, let’s go through a couple of quick exercises to figure out what you’re really scared of.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What have you been holding back from your readers, because if they found out they’d think you were an impostor?
- What has someone else said online recently that you’ve strongly disagreed with, but decided against writing about?
- What subjects do you try to keep out of your writing, because you don’t want to “mix groups?” For example, different groups of people know you differently. Your friends know you differently from your colleagues, and your colleagues know you differently from your online followers. What are you keeping from one group that another one knows about you?
- What are you not writing about because you’re afraid of what your mom or spouse or family will think?
- What have you written about recently to try and “fit in” with a certain group of people? Is that how you really felt, or did you write it just to be accepted?
There have been times when I’ve had something in the back of my mind for months, that I knew I needed to do or write about, but that I suppressed as I went about my regular business.
Maybe you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes the things we avoid most are the things we most need to do.
A month ago I finally admitted something I had been avoiding for months. I knew that something was missing in my writing here. I preach strong differentiation but often succumbed to writing what I thought would be popular, not what I knew was unique, honest and thought-provoking.
I was afraid of going against the grain and calling out all the typical bullshit advice out there. Once I finally committed to writing epic shit and telling you why Think Traffic is different (and more effective than) all the generic blogging / social media blogs out there, I knew it was the right thing to do. I’ve been on an inspiration high ever since.
What are you scared to write about right now? What have you been avoiding doing because of what people might think? What can you write about that will come from the heart because you’re not just trying to fit in anymore?
Start by admitting it in the comments here, then go write that thing. Link to this post if you feel like it so people can see how this works in practice. Come back and tell us about your results.
Now go write some epic shit. Let fear be your guide.
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photo by flatworldsedge