A Writerly Confession on Integrity & Attention
*This.* This is exactly what I needed to hear. I have avoided sharing my writing for years because I've hated the brandbloginstagram model of self-promotion, and you've validated my resistance at just the right time. Let us keep creating, platform be damned.
'Fame is never the friend of a creative soul." Love that line...so much truth to consider.
“You don’t have to be special or interesting or anything. You can just be you, and that can be enough or not or whatever you want it to be. In a world where everyone is trying to be something other than themselves, it is a wonderful thing to realize you already are what you need to be.”
Wow. This whole post was brilliant ✨
“ In a world where everyone is trying to be something other than themselves, it is a wonderful thing to realize you already are what you need to be. ”
THIS is the Jeff Goins writing that I fell in love with years ago. Welcome back. Please write more.
I think the positive angle is if you are trying to get a message out that you believe will help people, this is where attention enters the situation, so if you stay true to the desire to speak to a certain group of people for a specific purpose then publishing to reach them is full circle for the art. There is a space between letting something just sit in your own computer/journal and putting it "out there" - the out there part also requires courage, and the out there part has been maligned by algorithms and fame obsession. I'm very happy with my Substack (although not really the platform as I don't like the icky feeling of using my art to raise VC money). But regarding the audience its not big, but there are a good collection of people who meaningfully engage with my topics on healing/philosophy, and those people are almost like extending my friend network. I wonder what the magic number is where this becomes abused. Is it the point at which you can no longer communicate with each individual respondent?
"Fame is never the friend of a creative soul." ALL OF THAT. I'm not famous by any means, but I have felt how it is for my soul when I feel seen because of my output or performance and it's unsustainable - but also not soul BUILDING. It only serves to feed a monster that is unquenchable.
This is one of the most honest pieces of writing ✍🏼 I’ve ever read... Maybe the real question for each of us in whatever endeavor we choose, is why?
Why did you write this article. Why write a book? Why take a wonder walk? Why invest the time to take a course on __________? Why make art? Why go into the woods as an experiment? Why watch a sunrise 🌄 or sunset 🌅?
Why smile? Why express gratitude to someone for a small act of kindness? Why yes? Why no?
I have a friend who writes on this platform. She recently overcame a huge obstacle. Triple negative breast cancer. She converses with those who will listen through her muses @3musesmerge
I have another friend who writes about life and work and creating for the sake of it, the joy of it... His work shows up in Sunday Letters, Larry is a thinker, a writer, he writes to make sense of his own thoughts and to ask questions.
Personally, I discovered art on December 1st, 2021 after watching this TEDx. It was life changing for me. Art brings me Joy!
I’m now making Earth Art regularly. I never would have imagined myself doing what I’m doing know and thinking about how to share my gift with the world... If it takes off and turns into something phenomenal, great! If it doesn’t, I will still keep making Art because it’s feeding my soul. It’s nurturing what’s trying to emerge.
Writing ✍🏼 has the potential to nurture our souls. So does reading, and making art, and working, and, and, and...
What if we made a commitment to only pursue what lights us up? What if we gave ourselves permission to explore, to experiment, to ask, to look, to try, to enjoy the sound of our feet walking away from what no longer serves us?
What if we were willing to acknowledge that sunk costs will never be recovered and maybe they shouldn’t be?
What if our whole life up until now has been wrong (whatever that is), but because we were willing to explore, we could forgo the fate of Ivan Illyich?
Bobby Kountz, TheEarthHeARTist
I’ve been reading your work for a long time and thank you earnestly for this piece. I’ve never had a “platform” and felt shame for being so late to the game. I actually joined Substack when I saw you move over here. I’m compelled to write & yet I struggle because I don’t want a traditional published book, launch, etc. I just want to write and feel like it’s a contribution. Steph
I find writing sorts the loose thoughts in my head. Some thoughts have been rolling around in there for years. My hope is that others would value what I value but I am too afraid to find out. So I don't publish and I don't have a platform. Maybe a platform means you have struck a cord that resonates with others and they appreciate it.
Epic post! This is one for the ages! Thanks for opening up, being honest, and sharing some truths that more people need to hear (which means you might become famous... again ;)
But now I know it's not because you were trying to. You are right, everyone is good enough as they are. Just create for the love of creation. If a bunch of people happen to see it, so be it. Thanks Jeff.
I think that what you, and a whole lot of other folks are experiencing is called wisdom. But here’s the thing about wisdom, you can’t experience wisdom without having experiences. In other words, you would not have come to the conclusions you currently are, had you not strived for the success that you once wanted and learned that while it fed your ego, and pocket, it did not feed your soul. Welcome to the path of the wise ones.
this is beautiful and a great reminder on the authenticity of the soul --no need for outside validation. writing to express is more than enough. resonating with your thoughts.
There’s a splendid scene in the Nicholas Cage movie “Pig” where Cage (a formerly famous chef named Robin) is speaking to a protege of his in a swanky Portland restaurant. “None of this is real,” Robin says. Of the patrons Robin says, “They’re not real. And you’re not real, because you haven’t shown them.” Robin asks the protege “Weren’t you dreaming of opening an English pub?” and the protege says, “No one wants that here.” And Robin asks, “What was that dish you always dreamed of making?” and without missing a beat the protege rattles off the name of a traditional English breakfast. It’s the central scene in the movie because it underscores the importance of staying true yourself rather than following the algorithms and narcissistic appetites of society. Shakespeare will stand the test of time long after we forget what Kardashian wore to the last Met gala.
Jeff, I've followed you since before your first book success. I greatly appreciate what you've learned and the way you have capsulized it in this post. May your path be truly Blessed.
"But instead, I wrote this." Ahhhh... such a refreshingly honest piece of writing. One that my soul needed today just as I was thinking, "I should really work on my copywriting IG account," and my insides shriveled a little bit. I know it's not the way for me, but it's so hard to not get pulled in, even if it's going the opposite direction I want to go. Thanks for writing this.
True. I feel like wanting to be famous/recognised for your art along with the pressure of regularly creating and putting out quality work takes away the joy of creating. I love to write and paint but only when I truly want to. Whenever I write or paint when I think I "have" to, I hate it.