Starting to write? Write for one person

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For anyone aspiring to live their days producing creative work, the early days can be demoralising with fewer fans and even less validation. It can seem like screaming into the void, knowing that somewhere out there is your tribe, but receiving no signal that they know you exist.

It is easy for the outsider-looking-in to preach that persistence and consistency will bear fruit sooner or later. To my ears, that just sounds like saying if you build it, they will come, and we all know how fraught with danger a claim that is.

A simple solution to bridge the gap between starting production of creative work to it receiving some traction is to reframe who we are producing for. When I write something, my motivations are my own, I think that writing about the topic will be either fun, interesting, or useful for me in some way. Given the the networked structure of the internet, and the law of large numbers, there are bound to be thousands of others that think in the same way I do.

There are, however, no guarantees that any of them would see my writing though. Instead, what I have begun to do is ask people around me what they are interested in learning about in the areas I am interested in e.g. learning in public and thoughtful living and indie-hacking. I use their prompts as inspiration for what to write. That way, I can guarantee I am adding value into their lives, and I am able to get some feedback, it is a win-win.

The same potential for the network effect and law of large numbers to kick in still applies, this way, this gifting approach to content creation guarantees the validation and feedback that can encourage the new creative to keep going.

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