Wordsmithing is “art.”

We could stipulate that this statement is moot.

We could stipulate that, like a painting or a sculpture, writing is art.

We could also stipulate that while some of us don’t “know” art, we can probably recognize quality.

But what comprises quality? That, I surmise, is in the eye of the reader.

“One man’s garbage is another man’s gold.”

I have taken my fair share of heat for some of the things I’ve written. Sometimes, the insults go beyond jabs at my thoughts and extend to belittling assumptions on my personal character and debase my friends and family.

In an attempt to try to stir the pot, some people will go to great lengths.

Yet, when you write what you really feel, you are inviting criticism; “Bring It On” is my attitude. I will write what I believe is quality and will leave the reader to make their judgement.

Telling it like it is

In the world in which we live, having an opinion isn’t popular, particularly when it goes against the majority or steps on the toes of political correctness. This has manifested in a flotsam of ‘feel-good’ content that often isn’t worth the kilobytes it consumes.

When you write what you really feel, you are inviting criticism.

Exposing what one truly thinks requires courage. Courage, and the ability to express your truth, may be the answer to creating content that truly reflects quality.

Going off formula

Without a doubt, there are ways to write popular posts. However, simply because they are popular doesn’t mean they aren’t crap … and, probably, we are all guilty of falling into the ‘hey, I’m a hit’ snare.

Maybe it’s newsjacking the hottest story, giving obvious tips about business, or some calculated friendly social idealism. All of it is ‘feel-good’ content and, in a world gone social, we want to spread that love. Yet, I suggest that much of it is disingenuous and gamified.

I feel I proved this; when I launched a list-post site with my friend Sean McGinnis, the traffic exploded. To which by simply turning anything into a list, you can make even the most mundane content more interesting.

Left wanting more

Deep down, the absence of quality leaves the reader wanting more and the writer a mere sell-out. But I get it … the formula works.

Nickelback built a robust, profitable career on 5 power chords with dozens of chart topping hits that all sound exactly the same.

Pursuit of happiness is different for all; for some, popularity and money trump everything. The Starving Artist who creates the highest quality product on the planet that no one reads, watches or listens to, will still soon starve.

And on their death bed they can reflect that they never sold out … where is the glory in that?

They created quality that went unrecognized and unappreciated. It wasn’t popular.

What is popular does not necessarily reflect quality. A true artist takes the risk of expressing their truth.

Risking it all on truth

So bravo to all of you that write the real sh!t and have the courage to share it.

Thanks for putting yourself out there, entertaining the masses or the niche in which you serve.

Take pride in that what you say may not always be popular since it takes a courageous heart to preserve your soul in your art.

Perhaps in the end, you will receive real appreciation for the work you have done rather than a passing wave from a faceless crowd looking for the next ‘big thing’.