Quantity IS Quality
My first grilled cheese sandwich was a disaster. I burnt the bread, used way too much cheese, and the sandwich fell apart when I flipped it in the frying pan.
Years later, after a long road of ruined lunches, I consider myself a grilled cheese aficionado.
The only way to learn and get better was by making mistakes. Lots of mistakes.
It’s like writing. When you first start publishing, your writing will not be amazing. It might not even be good. But as Seth Godin encourages,
“Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.”
The key is to share your work publicly. Those who argue for quality over quantity and only publish a couple posts a year are missing the point. The two are not mutually exclusive. The only way to produce quality content is to produce a lot of it.
Publishing your content is not about pleasing the reader. If you’re too precious about what you publish and wait for the piece to be perfect, that paralysis will keep you from getting better at writing.
The more frequently and consistently you publish, the less precious you will be about what you put out there. It's not that you're setting a low bar for your writing. It's that after you publish you don't have time to stare at your analytics and hope for more engagement because you're too busy writing the next thing.
It also doesn’t mean you should publish something you're not proud of. It means you need to be prepared. You need to consume, observe, take notes, and have conversations about your ideas, so that when you sit in front of the screen the ideas are already there. You’ve already brainstormed and there’s something - anything - you can start writing. As long as your fingers are moving you’re on your way to creating something.
Maybe you’ll write something valuable. Or clarify your thoughts. Or synthesize your ideas. Or make an observation. Or publish your 97th essay.
No matter what you do, you will get better at writing.