How I learned to stop worrying and hit publish

J Matthew Pryor

J Matthew Pryor / January 24, 2022

3 min read––– views

I've always said that ideas aren't worth anything, but in some ways, I think that I believed my ideas were*.*

What I mean is that I live a lot inside my own head. On Clifton's strength finder, my top two strengths are futuristic and strategic. The problem with all my contemplating and strategizing was that my ideas weren't worth anything unless shared, discussed, and subjected to criticism. To do that, I needed to write them down and have them read by others.

Writing stuff down wasn't the big problem for me, the confidence to hit publish was where I was failing.

People didn't care anywhere nearly as much as I did.

When I was honest with myself, it was the fear of other people's reactions that stopped me.

Not in the sense that I wasn't confident to talk about specific topics, but that there was a big difference between talking about a subject and publishing my writing on the same subject. When you're talking, it is in real-time and you can't edit (well not much). The written form is too editable, and my need for perfection was defeating my desire to share.

There was no better way to find out how wrong I was than to take on the discomfort of publishing - lots.

Committing to shipping frequently was an antidote to perfectionism

Publishing something every day (well almost) seemed insane when I first read about it.

Having been through it, I can see how cleverly designed it is as a commitment. There was no way to achieve it and seek perfection in every piece - I had to let go.

Atomic elements make up a larger whole via a shorter path

My first reaction to the atomic essay was that it was cheating - 300-500 words aren't meaningful.

What I came to understand was that it allowed me to break my ideas up into small and manageable pieces and then, as the collection grew, to link those atomic ideas together. This has become a really powerful tool for me.

Generating debate is success

A big part of venture is forming and testing hypotheses about how markets will evolve and what solutions and business models might prevail.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the debates that have been generated by people reacting to what I have published. I am not claiming any resounding endorsements or validation of my theories, but almost every comment has taught me something and it's been fun to watch the ripples expand on the pond of social media.

So if you've ever felt you wanted to write more but worried too much about what people would think - just stop worrying and hit publish - you'll be glad you did.