Been getting lots of people asking if I’m going to weigh in on the debate raging in the comments section, over my use of a curse word in the Do the Work! post. Ah…no.
Not because I’m against dissent or people not agreeing with me. Love that and always love a good debate. But I’m looking for debates on the ideas.
Last time I checked, there were about 30 comments below the post: Ten on Do the Work!, the brilliant book, and about 20 discussing my use of a curse word when writing about the book. Something seems wrong with that picture.
I’m a wordsmith. It’s what I do. At my essence, I’m really a copywriter. I write in the hope of causing people to act. So the words I employ are chosen on purpose, never by languor, chance, or coincidence. So you might think I’d delight in the debate to defend my choice of this or any other word. No. Because to do so would be to break the rules I have for my art.
So for those of you interested, here are the rules I follow for my work. Feel free to adopt them or adapt them for your own work:
Don’t defend the work. The work is the work.
Don’t debate the work. The work is the work.
Don’t feed the trolls. Some people come from different agendas and want to attack the motives for the work or the artist who did the work. (Which, to be clear, I didn't think anyone was doing in this situation.) Never get drawn into that, because there is the road to endless distractions.
Do defend and debate the ideas in the work. That’s when things get really interesting.
Do allow people to challenge your beliefs. That’s where the best breakthroughs live.
Don’t allow people to challenge your confidence. You have enough self-doubt already, you don’t need to collect any more. Tell your truth as you know it and let it stand.
Don’t try to please everybody. In fact, do the opposite: try to piss some people off, because if you did, then you’re probably doing something challenging, something fresh and something relevant.
These then are my rules. For me. You set your rules. But they’re for you.