Making it Matter—P3

6 steps to creating something that matters:

Create for yourself: When something matter deeply, it’s hard not to talk about. The artists that make a difference (the ones who create things that last) do their best because they care. They write the song, but don’t produce it until they’ve rewritten and sung it over and over and over, to catch the tones, the pitch, the melodies and harmonies, to perfect the riffs and all the minute details that make a good song great.

At the end of the day, the first (and really only) person who needs to like your piece is you. If you’re creating for meaning (not to get rich quick), you are the one who makes the decisions, who puts the finishing touches on it, who creates it as the master (even if you want to get rich quick, this is recommended). If you don’t like it, even if the entire world does, you’ll have the nagging voice in the back of your heart telling you it could have been better.

Writing is used for all kinds of things; catharsis, communication, and entertainment are the big three. Writing for catharsis is almost entirely for self. Writing for communication is two-fold, both for your good and for others, and writing for entertainment is mostly for the audience. When you’re writing for catharsis, you’re not thinking about the reader—in many cases, it’s likely it won’t be read by anyone besides yourself.

What if all of the writing we did was catharsis style: honest, open, genuine. Rather than trying to be something or impress someone, it is just simple communication of ideas that mean something to you. Then, if your life work fell into the ocean tomorrow and all the ink washed off, though it would be a terrible pain and travesty, you would still have written. And that is the goal (also, be sure to back up or copy your writing, just in case of force majeure).

*Note: This would seem to disagree with the previous point about writing to your audience, but it’s really just capturing two different stages; write for yourself first and foremost, always. But, after you’ve established writing something that’s your passion, then consider who you’re writing to, so that they can also benefit from your work.

 

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