Don’t Write for Applause #socialsaturday


Wordsmithing is “Art”.

We could stipulate that this statement is moot.

We could stipulate that, like a painting or a sculpture, writing is art.

We could also stipulate that while some of us don’t ‘know’ art, we can probably recognize quality. But what comprises quality? That, I surmise, is in the eye of the reader.

“One man’s garbage is another man’s gold”

I have taken my fair share of heat for some of the things I’ve written. Sometimes, the insults go beyond jabs at my thoughts and extend to belittling assumptions on my personal character and debase my friends and family.

In an attempt to try to stir the pot, some people will go to great lengths.

Yet, when you write what you really feel, you are inviting criticism; ‘Bring It On’ is my attitude. I will write what I believe is quality and will leave the reader to make their judgement.

Telling it like it is

In the world in which we live, having an opinion isn’t popular, particularly when it goes against the majority or steps on the toes of political correctness. This has manifested in a flotsam of ‘feel-good’ content that often isn’t worth the kilobytes it consumes.

When you write what you really feel, you are inviting criticism

Exposing what one truly thinks requires courage. Courage, and the ability to express your truth, may be the answer to creating content that truly reflects quality.

Going Off Formula

Without a doubt, there are ways to write popular posts. However, simply because they are popular doesn’t mean they aren’t crap … and, probably, we are all guilty of falling into the ‘hey, I’m a hit’ snare.

Maybe it’s newsjacking the hottest story, giving obvious tips about business, or some calculated friendly social idealism. All of it is ‘feel-good’ content and, in a world gone social, we want to spread that love. Yet, I suggest that much of it is disingenuous and gamified.

I feel I proved this; when I launched a list-post site with my friend Sean McGinnis, the traffic exploded. To which by simply turning anything into a list, you can make even the most mundane content more interesting.

Left Wanting More

Deep down, the absence of quality leaves the reader wanting more and the writer a mere sell-out. But I get it … the formula works.

Nickelback built a robust, profitable career on 5 power chords with dozens of chart topping hits that all sound exactly the same.

Pursuit of happiness is different for all; for some, popularity and money trump everything. The Starving Artist who creates the highest quality product on the planet that no one reads, watches or listens to, will still soon starve.

And on their death bed they can reflect that they never sold out … where is the glory in that?

They created quality that went unrecognized and unappreciated. It wasn’t popular.

What is popular does not necessarily reflect quality. A true artist takes the risk of expressing their truth.

Risking it all on Truth

So bravo to all of you that write the real sh!t and have the courage to share it.

Thanks for putting yourself out there, entertaining the masses or the niche in which you serve.

Take pride in that what you say may not always be popular since it takes a courageous heart to preserve your soul in your art.

Perhaps in the end, you will receive real appreciation for the work you have done rather than a passing wave from a faceless crowd looking for the next ‘big thing’.

Image credit: alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo

Daniel Newman is the Co-Founder of 12 Most. Proudly, Daniel is married to his wonderful wife Lisa and has two beautiful daughters Hailey and Avery. Dan is also an Adjunct Professor of Business as North Central College in Naperville, Illinois where he teaches courses in Strategy, Management, and International Marketing. With a passion for helping emerging companies, Daniel sits on the Board of as well as An avid golfer, a fitness fanatic, and a classically trained pianist; Daniel loves life, his family, and helping others.

  • If you speak your mind people who fear to speak their mind, or unclear individuals, are happy to fight ya ;) Be firm. Create a following by establishing contrast among your audience. Great post here Dan.

  • Maria Garcia

    Good job!, I’m with you, sometimes my big mouth has gotten me in a lot of mess, but it is what it is it’s call being genuine, brave and honest. I really admire those of you who put your work out there, because of lack of time I don’t get to comment on some powerful contents I read, however you will be surprise how great of a contribution you guys make. I want to thank YOU personally for the great contribution!
    Best regards and keep up the good job from a scale of one to ten your st the top

  • Great post, Dan! I was just thinking of this today: Shawn and I did not establish Switch and Shift, you and the rest of our League do not help us build it, our whole community does not return to it day after day, often bringing their friends*, to help someone pass their time until they move on to the next distraction in their day. If we don’t inspire ACTION, and help drive the transition from the Industrial Age to the Age of Social, then… what’s the point? And no one ever spurred change by being meek, or seeking popularity, or trying to flatter the crowd.

    Bravo, my friend. Keep writing the real Sh!t ;)

    *Thank you for bringing your friends, folks! That’s how a true movement takes wings.

  • Dan,
    Love your writing… really appreciated what you wrote here and found it quite thought provoking. Been lingering here at S&S for some time and i like how some are abandoning the “comfort zone” in writing from the hip and from the mind at the same time. @JudyMartin:disqus

  • Pingback: Content, Quality, Writing as Art and Selling Out - Millennial CEO | Millennial CEO()

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