Julien Smith and I just did a chat conversation with people interested in books and writing. What became interesting to me were how many variations on a theme came back in their responses, questions, and clarifications. In most cases, they were arguing for mediocrity.
In a World Full of People, Only Some Want to Fly
In his recent blog post, Mark W Schaefer made the point that people are being told the equivalent of “be awesome or go home.” And his great point back was that people who just leapt off the abyss in search of some YOLO-like adventure were likely going to splat on the rocks, or more accurately, pull their entire family off the cliff to splat when that big “reach for the awesome” thing didn’t work out. I don’t disagree.
But there’s a difference.
You can do the grunt work and still thrive. You can be responsible and still make the extra effort to make something amazing happen. You can put some chrome on top of the hard grinding iron.
And yet, so few do.
We Didn’t Want to Market. We Wanted to Make Art
I interviewed Sean Bonner and Andrew Kline about their new project releasing music in a very physical way for the band Cross My Heart. It’s like listening to the opposite of a marketing meeting. It’s the opposite of a “me too” blog. It’s someone striving to go out of their way to do something amazing and interesting above and beyond what will be easy to understand. By its very nature, it’ll be difficult to replicate. Half of what they did didn’t exist before they convinced a network of strangers to assemble it.
It’s About a Constant Menu of Choices
I ate poorly yesterday. Those were choices. I ate better today. Much better choices. This post? A choice. What does it do for me? It’s helpful to you and your thinking. It also shares my podcast, in case you’ve not been into that yet (and you might be, but she isn’t yet).
Choices. I can choose to be mundane and that’s crazy. I can choose to make art and do more than just grind. But I also have to choose to grind. Choice.
Do what you have been doing and you’ll get what you’ve been getting. Copy others and you’ll get the cheap and faded aftershadow of what they got.
Fly, and who knows? You will crash. You may get back up.