As I mentioned last week, I have been a fan of Seth Godin for a long time. His book The Purple Cow literally changed my life and helped to drive my motivations. And his blog continues to astound me almost every day and a few weeks back he wrote a blog post called Cracking the Pottery.
In it, he started by saying this:
For every post that makes it to this blog, I write at least three, sometimes more.
That means that on a regular basis, I delete some of my favorite (almost good) writing.
It turns out that this is an incredibly useful exercise. I know that there’s going to be a post, every morning, right here. What I don’t know, what I’m never sure of, is which post.
That in itself helps me to realize how far I have to go in this whole writing thing. It is not just doing the work that counts toward something but doing smart work that ultimately leads us somewhere. You can write for 5 hours a day and still miss connections because it wasn’t focused writing. It was writing that could be checked off the list but not writing that inspired.
But then he said something that hit me even more. He said that we must get to the point where we can delete “that idea when it’s just not what it could be.” We need to be able to let go and take the best idea. Take the idea that drives and motivates us to be the best that we can be and the one that helps us inspire the most.
So let it go. I hope you didn’t sing the song as I did the first time I typed this.