A week ago I felt like I had nothing to write. I knew that it I needed to write something. Anything. It had been close to a week.
So I sat down to write in the morning for a short sprint.
My Tuesday mornings are usually pretty busy so after struggling to get words on a page for about 30 minutes, I had to go to work.
Later that day, I came back to the work I had started in the morning. Nothing that I had written looked inspired. It all felt forced.
But it wasn’t a finished post yet. So I had to keep working on it, even though it seemed like junk. Laboriously, I slogged through even more of it.
I still felt uninspired.
Eventually, I finished something that I thought might be considered a post. I’m not sure if it was because I actually felt like I had finished writing or if it was more because I hit an adequate word count and couldn’t think of anything else to say.
Either way, I hit “publish” on the post.
“That one’ll probably fade away into the nether region of the internet called ‘blog archives,’” I thought to myself in despair.
And to be honest, it already has. I’ll be lucky if the post gets read a few times a week.
But in the midst of all these thoughts of self-doubt, I saw a tweet that made me think.
“A good post that I needed to hear.”
I had completely written my words off, just filler in an already saturated world. And yet they were more than that to at least one other person for at least a particular moment.
We don’t always get the luxury of hearing about the impact of our work. Sometimes it feels like we’re just running in a hamster wheel, toiling to no avail. And yes, that might sometimes actually be the case.
However, we’ll never completely know the impact of our work.
There’s a cliché that’s worth repeating at the risk of sounding trite:
Play to the size of your heart, not the size of your audience.
I know that’s easier said than done, and I realize that sometimes it truly is best to cut our losses and quit something. In the end, you never know what will work until you try it. So keep at it!
When have you been surprised by the impact of your work?