As creators of content, we can sometimes feel like we don’t have anything new to add to the conversation because everything has already been said, and that people will get tired of hearing the same old thing over and over again.
And as readers, we do sometimes feel like we hear the same things over and over again, and that we’d just like something new, thankyouverymuch.
But just last week, I mentioned how strange it is that we can hear good advice so many times without taking it, then find that the message finally clicks one day. I think we should focus on that “click” moment, knowing that saying what feels true and right to us in the moment may give someone a needed push, and knowing that reading carefully and thoughtfully can bring us a much-needed realization.
I also think there are ways that, as both readers and writers, we can navigate the seemingly full (content) waters to either share what someone else needs or find what we need without feeling like it’s all been said before.
As a Writer
Don’t just create because you have a deadline or you’ve promised to post five times a week. Create because there’s something in you that has to get out.
If you believe something, say it often.
Even if you feel like you’re repeating the same message over and over again, keep doing it. New people will find you, old people will have a “click” moment, and you’ll continue to learn and grow as you find new ways to convey what you believe.
Focus on helping one person.
If your message helps even one person, it’s worth it. Remember, you can’t make anyone (or everyone!) believe—but you can keep trying to reach those who will.
Don’t be afraid to let go.
If your beliefs change, if your message tightens and you find some elements are no longer relevant, or if writing about something just doesn’t feel right any longer, let it go. If your heart’s not in it, no one else’s will be either.
As a Reader
Consume less but read more carefully.
Take more time to read the things that feel right to you and skip the things that don’t add value to your life. Read carefully and thoughtfully rather than zipping through your RSS feed or Twitter lists while you’re waiting in line (guilty).
See things with new eyes.
Don’t discount something just because you’ve heard it a million times. If it’s advice you don’t need, consider the source—do you still need to be following this person? If it’s advice you haven’t followed yet but want to, ask yourself why—what’s holding you back?
Listen to people you trust.
Consume content from those whose voice, perspective, or experiences feel relevant to you. Unfollow those you don’t connect with. Make more room in your life for the thoughts and ideas you really need to hear.
Don’t be afraid to let go.
When content is no longer relevant to you, let it go. Your needs will shift over time, and that’s a good thing. If your RSS feed is full of people you just want to keep an eye on, make a list of those people elsewhere. You can set aside a bit of time once or twice a month to make the rounds without having to endlessly filter through those voices to find the content you want to read regularly.