Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.
–Stephen King, On Writing
It’s a LIKE-centered culture, isn’t it? The number of hearts, thumbs, and increasing line graphs can drive you crazy sometimes. I know it does for me. I haven’t perfected it yet, but lately I’ve been trying really hard not to care so much about the number of LIKES I receive or the how many people are reading posts like this one. In trying not to care, I’ve also been thinking a lot about why the numbers matter so much to me. And one of my many conclusions has been this: I’m creating/writing from an empty heart.
You see, an empty heart needs to be filled or seeks to be filled with the attention and praise of others. An empty heart finds fulfillment when someone hits that heart icon or that thumb icon. An empty heart longs to be filled with positive comments and praises for the piece of work. And when you create from this heart that always longs to be filled, your work suffers. Your work goes from something you love to create and that you started creating because you wanted an excellent product to work that is shoddy and lifeless because you wanted to garner LIKES. So when you produce something from an empty heart, you actually achieve the opposite of what you are seeking because no one wants to read or buy work that is created for the LIKES. And people are usually pretty good about seeing through that.
Creating from an empty heart produces a lifeless piece of work that may garner a few likes and positive comments but it will not last.
But creating from a FULL HEART? Now that’s a different story. Creating from a full heart is all about trying to create the best work that you can. It is about being confident in who you are and what you are called to do. A full heart is one that cares about others but not in trying to garner their likes rather in caring about how you can better serve those who have bought your product. It’s about putting your best foot forward and seeing where it takes you.
So move against the grain. Stop it with the LIKES. Going into hiding and create the best work you can. Master your craft. Produce something of worth that comes from a heart that is confident and wants to produce the best for the sake of others.
Then the LIKES will come and they will be genuine.