What I'm learning about content creation, part 2


Journaling is behind-the-scene content creation. That was last week. This week is about publishing what you create.

Publishing is hitting send. It’s submitting a paper or manuscript. It’s delivering a message.

And we are all publishers, by the way. The picture you share on Instagram. The words you carefully choose to go with your Insta-story. That Facebook post. How you craft your message. The story you use before you get into your three points. The group presentation. The weekly newsletter or the email to the team. 

In case we’re new friends: I’ve written a book published with a traditional publishing house. I co-authored a book with a friend and together we used proceeds to help build a home for trafficked girls in Africa. I took a compilation of blogposts happening in real time and organized them into an e-book for a church planting organization. Most of my publishing is in written content, but many of my friends create content for video and use pictures to tell stories. 

The truth is we all have something to say. 

The lie is that it’s for everyone to hear. 

The lie, when wrapped around the truth, keeps us from even using our voice and our gifts because we think that not many people care to hear it, to read it or we try to say it in a way that will resonate with everyone, only that it resonates with no one.

But what is it we have to say?

Wise words are filtered words run through the mind once more, certain they are true and helpful. 

For even one person to read what you have written, to hear what you have spoken, can that be enough? Not if we’re keeping up with the person on our feed who has thousands of likes within 60 seconds of posting. 

Here is our assignment for creating content:

  • Use Wise Words: Listen to God’s voice and do what He says. 

    • We throw our words and thoughts out into the internet abyss with hopes they will boomerang back with clarity and cheers from the crowd. Is that what you want to publish? I suggest a better idea. Put those words and thoughts down in the secret or share face to face with a mentor, friend, or small group. Remember what wise words are – filtered words run through the mind once more, certain they are true and helpful. Your assignment is not to keep up with others, but to listen to His voice and do what He says.

  • Create from a Pure Place: Know your voice. If it sounds like someone else you know, check again. As unique as our fingerprints, so are our voices. 

    • If we fill our thoughts with what everyone else is creating and writing, it will warp our thoughts and crowd out the really good and creative stuff God has for us to share. In my story, God downloaded Love Where You Live in the mini-van onto post-it notes. I didn’t get it from someone else. But I had to turn off other voices because I knew I was getting some really good stuff from time with the Father and I wanted to write from a pure place. 

  • Offer your Truest Self: Know your audience. Who’s listening to you, reading what you write, drawn to your story? That’s who you’re creating content for. Not everyone.

    • Your work won’t be read by everyone, so don’t write it for everyone. Create content from the truest part of who you are. Fake and fast doesn’t sell well. Even if it takes time to hone your message, serve your audience with excellence. We remember great content because it was delivered with excellence from a place of truth and thoughtfulness. This requires editing, sharpening, deleting, throwing it away, trying again. Our audiences are patient and kind and would rather have your truest self than your rushed self. 

Can’t think of what to publish? That’s okay. It happens to every single creative. Stop. Turn whatever it is off that is distracting you. Go for a walk. Try again. Be fresh. And fresh comes from space, not crowds.

When we see each other out and about on social media or in conversations, let’s cheer each other on in what we’ve published, believing we’re submitting wise words from a pure place of our truest selves. 

Here’s my story:

I finished my manuscript in December. It wasn’t due until February. After the holidays and into the new year, I committed to read the manuscript aloud to God. Besides, the quiet autumn writing of the manuscript had just been me and God anyways. So before I put it into the wonderful hands of my editor and team, I read it aloud as an offering to the Author. This was the purest place of the book. God was with me in the writing which was so reflective of Him being with me in the journey to share the stories and invite all of you along. In reading it aloud to Him, I got to thank God for the wise words that were all His to begin with. Reading this work to God, discomfort would arise if there was anything that was not of my truest self. And He was right there to direct me and nudge me to authenticity.

I want this to be my practice in all I give to you, my friend. That it has first been given to the Author of my life.