Good Should, Bad Should — Beware the Creative Quicksand

There are two kinds of should: Good Should and Bad Should.

One leads you, the other lures you.

Bad Should

Bad Should is creative quicksand. Once you step in it, you know you’re in trouble.

“You should use numbers in your headline.”

“You should personalize your newsletter with Hey [FNAME].”

“You should write at least 1,753 words per article.”

“You should post more to social media everyday at 10:00 AM with an image and no more than 5 golden hashtags.”

The harder you try to get out of Bad Should, the more it drags you in. You keep sinking.

One article after another. One guru, ninja, maven, rockstar, and thought leader after another. Deeper and deeper.

Then “you should” turns into “I should.”

And you realize you should have been listening to Good Should.

Good Should

If you’re a painter, you should paint. Share your work.

If you’re a cook, you should cook. Share your work.

If you’re a coder, you should code. Share your work.

If you’re an engineer, you should engineer. Share your work.

If you’re a teacher, you should teach. Share your work.

If you’re a writer, you should write. Share your work.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you should read this. Then share your work.

If you’re a designer, you should design. Share your work.

Whatever your craft is to you, I believe you should write, teach, and share your work. But not at the expense of your craft.

Your craft comes first.

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