I Steal From Everyone

When I was first starting out with my blog, I sucked big times. 

Everyday I worked on improving my English, writing, grammar, website design, social media marketing and all the other stuff that is required to run it. All the stuff I had no idea of.

But hey at least I tried.

Ironically, lately I spend way more time removing sentences than actually writing them.

Now, it’s about finding the little pieces which really need to be there in order to convey your message. And remove the confusing crap that makes it hard to do so.

That’s the real challenge now…

And I feel like everyone who starts working on a new “craft” will go through these same three stages:

1) First you copy.

Every great artist steals.

  • I stole complete blog posts ideas and shared them on my blog.
  • I stole quotes and paraphrased them on my Twitter.
  • I stole website designs and used them for my own.
  • I stole headlines and outlines from other famous people I admired.

It sounds so wrong.

But there is no other way to get started when you have nothing to offer or work with on your own.

In the beginning you know NOTHING, (Jon Snow).

Every great artist steals. They choose to do it because it’s the fastest way to learn and become even greater. 

But when you are a shitty artist, you don’t even have that option.

You just steal out of desperation.

2) Then you add.

Now you learned the basics.

You stole and learned from all the other great people out there in hopes of becoming great yourself – at some point.

You took in all the techniques and methods they use. Executed them blindly. And followed them step-by-step. Without questioning them.

That got you somewhere.

Not far, but at least somewhere.

Now it’s time to work with what you have built so far.

You do that by adding your own voice to it. You critique some thoughts and ideas these great people have. You apply it to your own life and see how it doesn’t work. Then you adopt. And write about that experience. You share your view on these things.

Now you see the same problem in a different light.

And you gave it your very own touch.

You added something no-one else could have added.

3) Then you remove.

The last step is the hardest.

You remove all the nonsense you added before.

You chip away all the bullshit you think is important but you now realize is not.

It’s easy to write a 3000 word blog post. It’s extremely difficult to convey the same message and feelings in a 300 word long one. Seth Godin pulls it off every day…

Now you edit, re-write, remove and cut away as long as there is still something to cut away from – without destroying the art in itself.

Suddenly you transformed the raw diamond you stole from someone else into something other people are actually willing to pay for.

Now you are in business.

And it’s all yours.

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