This sentence is from Jeff Goins. I’ve read it in his posts on his (very fantastic) blog several times. It’s his call to action and—it’s quite clear—part of his worldview.
Jeff, I have great respect for you. I love your blog. But every time I read this, it trips me up a little bit.
Does the world need my words?
I really don’t think it does.
The world is overloaded with words, and all kinds of content. We are attacked with information overload every day. There is far too much noise out there.
As a marketing and PR writer (who then goes home and writes fiction and a blog), I have to take responsibility for some of that. I contribute to this noise every day.
So why do I keep doing it? It’s like a compulsion. A need. Trust me, writing this blog means much more to me than it does to anyone who reads it. Yup, it’s a very self-centered endeavor.
Which is why I just can’t get behind the idea that my words are for the world.
I do think that everyone has something worth saying. We all have our stories, and they mean something. But not to everyone. They’re not all meant for the world. Some of them don’t have to be documented. Not every story has greater meaning to the world. Not all stories are art. Some are meant for friends, or a small group, or a single moment. (Bonus: Denise Urena on why not everyone is an artist.)
Am I cynical? Am I elitist? Yeah, I guess I am.
But I think it’s important to remember all this. Because it also keeps you humble. If you’re going to put your work out there, remember that you don’t deserve anyone’s attention—you have to earn it.
If you’re going to add to the noise in this very, very noisy world, make sure you have something to say.
What do you think? Does the world need our words?