Too Much Noise Creates Chaos
When there are so many people shouting for your attention, how do you know which voice to listen to?
Growing up, my family used to play a card game called PIT. This game is meant to mimic the stock exchange. Players trade cards of commodities like wheat, oil, and corn. The goal is to collect a complete set of one commodity to win each round. To trade card, players have to yell the number of cards they’re getting rid of. “Three! Three! Three!” in hopes that they can get rid of what they don’t want while at the same time, listening for the right number of cards from someone else.
With twelve people shouting at the same time, it gets pretty raucous and exhausting. If you aren’t a part of the game, it can be a confusing and ear-splitting amount of noise.
When you’re actively playing you learn to tune out what you don’t want to hear, the shouts of the other players trying to get your attention, and sometimes distract you so you don’t get the trade you need.
Seeking writing advice online can end up with as much of a cacophony of noise. So how do you know who to listen to?
Give me Wikipedia over the Overwhelm of Ads
To say there are a lot of resources and experts online is an understatement. The rabbit-hole of research that comes with Wikipedia is nothing to the plethora of the number of ads popping up on my social media feeds, and Facebook groups, and podcasts with advice.
Every one of them offers something valuable.
The sheer number of them, and thinking you need to listen to all of them, is what makes it overwhelming. And when you’re overwhelmed, you procrastinate, which means your writing gets set aside.
You spend so much time listening to all of them, that your writing gets set aside.
A Guide to Determine Who Your Experts Are
There are three easy steps to end the tsunami of advice.
Step 1 – Actively decide to limit your sources of expertise. This may seem obvious, but it is a lot harder to do. Making such a decision alone, should relieve some of the overwhelm.Because you don’t have to listen to everyone. It should also free up writing time.
How many experts should you have? As many as you feel comfortable with. I have anywhere between three and five for writing, another three to five regarding coaching and business building. Sometimes I have more, sometimes I have less.
Step 2 – Once you’ve deeded to reduce your sources, think about who you go back to time and again. Whose advice most resonates with you? Make a concerted effort to not add any one new, unless you’re seeking advice in a different area.
When I look to expand my business, or write in a different genre, I will seek out additional experts.
And that isn’t to say you shouldn’t try out others. Maybe something catches your attention and you find it better than one of your current sources of expertise. That’s great. Trade them out. It is a part of your growth as a writer.
Which leads to
Step 3 – Trust yourself. In the sea of advice, you know what is best for you and your writing. Being challenged is a good thing. Trying new things opens new doors and exciting adventures. Trust yourself to know which challenges and new adventures are worth pursuing. If they don’t resonate, set them aside.
Limiting your number of sources for expertise removes the guilt of believing you need to try everything. It prevents you from falling down the rabbit-hole of advice, and frees up your writing tine.
If you are still reading, I am honored to be one of your trusted sources of expertise I would also love to hear who else you go to for advice! Leave a comment below.
Until next time . . .