I just spent the last three hours attempting to edit a piece I wrote two days ago. The piece concerned itself with why iOS users have such a hard time buying expensive applications. I tried to talk about value, quality, craftsmanship and history. Those are four of my favourite topics.
But the piece sucked. Well, it didn’t suck, per se, but it was sporadic and inconsistent. Maybe sporadic and inconsistent equate to “suck”. A better phrase would be “It was crap.”
I realized that I could potentially write an entire book about those four topics. A thousand word post would not do those topics justice. Not only would my point of view be paper-thin, I would damage whatever self-conception I had created by publishing such a randomized piece.
After spending six hours on a piece I ended up throwing in the trash, I had to come to terms with my inefficient actions. Not only had I wasted time, my confidence was dealt a negative blow.
There was a positive realization about my intuition, however. My gut feeling from the start told me that the piece sucked. I had a little angel on my right shoulder urging me to stop what I was writing and view the topic from a different set of shoes. Meanwhile, the little devil on my left shoulder urged me to continue the frivolous debacle.
I’m actually surprised as to how often that little angel has been right. I am an advocate of dedicating time to researching a purchase or a potential action. Usually third-party consultation paints a good picture about the potential implications of whatever it is you’re trying to do. But I want to do an experiment and find out how often my gut feeling ends up telling me what those third-parties advise. Some gut feelings are better than others and the more informed your original gut feeling, the better chance that gut feeling is correct. Whatever the intuitive skills I possess, it might be an interesting experiment to do sometime.
That little devil, on the other hand, was constantly pleading to hold onto my crappy piece of writing. Maybe the little devil was trying to protect my pride. Maybe it has a poor conception of proper writing to begin with. Whichever the case, that little devil constantly made excuses to create a little “reality distortion field” while I wrote. I remember thinking to myself “I can still make this worth reading” or “Yes, that’s a great idea!” when, in reality, it was not worth reading and the ideas were crap. Even little devils deal in positivity sometimes.
And sometimes that little devil is actually right. There are numerous success stories of entrepreneurs who kept true to their original vision and ended up seeing the fruits of their labour. I wish my article and my persistence were even remotely successful. My gut feeling told me that that wasn’t a reality. My gut feeling saved me from a travesty.
Instead, I decided to write this piece outlining my experience with two little angels on my shoulders and how I chose to deal with my previous piece of crap. This has been a nice fresh slate that has helped me regain the slightest amount of confidence necessary to keep going.
I have one more thing to do, however. Through this writing process, I decided not to completely destroy my prior piece of work. It could be that little devil on my shoulder urging me to come back to it one day. Maybe it’s a story like those discovered on “Hoarders”; I’m afraid of losing what I’ve already created, what I’ve already accumulated. I think, in order to completely turn my back on the crap, I have to shred that piece of work.
Hey. If it sucks, it sucks. What’s the point in ever trying to make something of it?
“Just the potential of the piece being really good at some point in time,” says the little devil.
If only he was right.