Today is the final day of Ship 30 for 30.
I thought it fitting to go full circle and revisit the first thing I talked about: cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance is the brain’s dislike of conflicting attitudes, behaviours or points of view. For example, being an animal rights campaigner who loves eating steak.
During the past 30 days, I’ve dabbled in different topics, trying to balance what I want to write about with what people want to hear.
This is the most clear example of cognitive dissonance I can offer.
No matter what you want to write about, if nobody wants to hear it, it’s your problem to solve, not the reader’s.
You cannot say I want to grow my readership, not give the people what they want and then complain that the readers are at fault.
Aesop told the story of a hungry fox, who found a luscious bunch of grapes hanging in a vineyard.
No matter how high it jumped, they were just out of reach. Dejected after its failure, it skulked away.
It remarked “Who wants sour grapes anyway?”
The last 30 days have taught me that as writers, the first step is actually writing, and the second is writing based on signals from your readers.
The only way you will grow as a writer, is to proactively write with your readers in mind.
Readers are the grapes and you are the fox. The grapes are incredibly sweet, but you’ve got to get them first.