Just as I was thinking about focusing on developing my blogging efforts and getting back into writing regularly, Tom Barrett kicked off #28daysofwriting to encourage people to write and share more. This is the first post in my attempt to write every day in February and build more of a blogging habit.
Sharing early thoughts is sometimes more valid than waiting till the idea is just how we want it before we share it – such behaviour can only lead to a closed or fixed mindset. – Tom Barrett
In the post that kicks off the 28 days of writing meme, Tom Barrett comments on the value of sharing quickly. I’ve certainly found this of value myself before. As I’ve written about before, blogging and sharing thoughts as they develop can help those thoughts to go further than they would if left alone, and unshared in one’s head. Tending an ideas garden can help with this.
This isn’t a binary though, it isn’t ‘share now or ‘share never’. The best ideas often take a bit of pondering, a bit of consideration, and a bit of work to refine and knock off the rough edges. We can hold things in our head with rough edges and accept them, but these very edges can obscure the idea when presented to other people.
I’ve been writing music for years, and I always struggle to know when it’s ready to share. I’ve shared what I thought were strong ideas before in their early stages, only for people to miss the potential because the production was a little rough. I’d got excited and made the bass too loud, or not bothered to get the energy right with the drums yet because I thought the melody was strong enough to speak for itself.
People value different things in music. What was a demo with a killer melody to me was one with a weak drum groove to someone else. Once refined (the bit I valued left untouched), I’ve been amazed at how ambivalent reactions can turn to enthusiastic ones. More importantly, the enthusiastic ones gave me the feedback I wanted, feedback on the impact of the whole piece. Not the drums, I knew they needed fixing.
You’ve got to take a call on when it’s ready to share, and what will happen once you do. Sometimes the unexpected feedback sends you off somewhere you wouldn’t have gone otherwise, sometimes it can knock your momentum.
You can focus on the feedback you want, or better still ask for feedback on something in particular, but there is something in getting something into the right shape before you share it too. Let’s hope in the next 27 days I can get the balance right.