Bother because you need to

Writing a blog post, recording a podcast, speaking to an audience, delivering something creative — these things take effort. And not only because writing something burns calories (I’m guessing it’s no more than the amount you burn while you sleep). But because it takes a lot of effort to say No.

To say No to notifications.

To say No to checking to see if the world is on fire (spoiler alert: it kind of is).

To say No to all the incoming requests for your time.

Is it selfish to say, “no — all this external stuff isn’t as important as writing the first chapter of my book”? — Probably depends on what the book is for. But if the book you’re writing is going to change readers minds about something, if it’s going to improve their lives, make them smarter, healthier, possibly sexier — then get as selfish as you want.

The temporary selfishness required to create something remarkable leads to your name being immortalized as selfless. I call this selfless self-expression. Selfless self-expression practically requires you to be as selfish with your time as you want. To create something because you need to, not because the world needs it. The world doesn’t need another podcast. The world doesn’t need another cookbook or how-to video. There’s millions of those already.

So why make anything? If everything already exists, why bother? If there’s a gazillion podcasts, books and blogs and how-to-knit-a-sweater videos — why bother?

Because if you don’t bother, you’ll end up kicking yourself for never having bothered to press record, click Publish, or – at the very least – send that postcard to grandma.

You should bother because you need to. You should bother because it’s keeping you up at night. You should bother because your future self will thank you for it. Your past self will thank you for it, too. “Thanks for finally bothering to make something. Now all that time you didn’t spend making it actually means something.”

Ultimately, you should bother because if you don’t, I’ll continue bothering you about starting until you finally do.

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