The other night I was driving from Vermont down to New Jersey, on the first leg of a long journey to North Carolina for a family vacation. But I had to stop for 20 minutes in a little town called Fort Ann.
I was pausing in Fort Ann (where the cell reception was good) to call into a podcast that had requested an interview.
It was called The Bobcast, hosted by a guy named Bob, and he was doing a 20th-anniversary Sopranos themed show.
Bob and his co-host Tony wanted to talk with me about playing Tracee, the ill-fated pregnant stripper, who got beaten to death after insulting her boyfriend Ralphie.
To my delight, after Bob greeted and introduced me on the show, he immediately started talking about riding his rocket!
Apparently, Bob has been following my social media feed and blog posts and totally resonated with all my talk about regularly creating – about consistently doing your thing and putting it out in the world.
Every week that Bob does his podcast, he’s riding his rocket… whether his energy is high, low, weird or wonderful, Bob does his show. And he’s done over 200 of them! He’s committed.
As I turned off my engine and settled into the parking spot on the side of the road for our conversation, I was filled with such delight that I’d be chatting with a fellow self-identified rocket-rider.
Regular creators are some of my favorite people to hang with.
They always have something fresh to add to the world. Pair that with the humility earned by exposing oneself to the critiques of the public over and over, and you’ve got yourself a tasty cocktail of a truly nuanced human being.
But anyway, let’s launch forward to the point of this post: three steps to regular content creation.
If you’ve committed to creating some kind of content at least once a week, here are three simple steps to push it out.
First, and by far the most important step, is the shitty first draft.
Right now, I am dictating my shitty first draft at 1:04 AM onto my cell phone before falling asleep.
My eyes are drifting closed, my rocket is running on fumes, and I am still choking out this shitty first draft.
Those of you who are not committed to riding your rockets might think that after driving six hours from Vermont and arriving past midnight at your sister’s house, it would be illogical to put on your PJ’s, get in bed, and get to work on a shitty first draft.
You might also notice that your dreams are not coming true.
This is not because you have unattainable goals.
It’s probably just because you don’t sit down and force out a shitty first draft. You want the conditions to be perfect to write. You want the polished final draft.
So when you sit down and start and everything is a shitty mess, you get demoralized. But no more!
Now you know that the shitty first draft is by far the most important part of riding your rocket.
Step two is the revision phase.
You can do this in one fell swoop or little bits and pieces.
Revision is where the real fun happens. Because once you have something to work with, then everything after that is an improvement.
The shittier your first draft the better, because just fixing typos will be satisfying as you start revising.
As you revise, it should feel like combing out your hair (if you have long hair like me). Little by little, you work the tangles out. You keep combing until the right words run smooth.
You will run into little knots – phrases and metaphors that don’t quite feel right, that tug on your attention. So you reword those parts to fit more smoothly into the logic of the piece.
The most important aspect of the revision phase is that you’re actually saying what you set out to say.
This has nothing to do with proper sentence structure, impeccable grammar, or perfect metaphors.
It’s just about you sharing what you feel the burn to share.
At some point, it will feel like you’ve combed all the tangles out and your ideas are coming across smoothly. Then it’s a good idea to rest for a while, and step away from the draft.
Magic happens when you step away from a draft and take a rest, eat a waffle, or pet your chinchilla.
The third step is to post, to publish, to share with the world.
Without the third step, the first two steps are flaccid.
I know I said that the shitty first draft is the hardest step – but many people get extra stuck on the third step: The posting, the sharing, the putting it out there.
Yet, this is the step you truly long for.
Because it is in your nature to want to be seen. To want to contribute. To want to have living, breathing exchanges with the world.
To not post is like walking up to a party with your crush inside, and just as you reach for the doorknob, chicken out and go back home. To not post is to betray your highest potential.
Without the third step, your rocket has never left the ground.
Now it’s 1:23 AM and I think this shitty first draft is good enough for me to go to sleep.
By the time you read it, it’ll be all shined up, but right now it’s positively horrendous – which is the perfect place to start. Ya feel me?
Do you want to learn to show up and create on a regular basis too?
I just announced my Content Creation Course for this September. It includes four online classes and three one-on-one sessions to set you up to soar forward in your cause or business.
Emphasis is given to writing blog posts, newsletters, and online articles/essays.
More information can be found here: Content Creation Course
See ya next week!