I’ve written thousands of pages of messaging for clients, fighting for what I think will be best for them and finding a place where we’re both happy in a reasonable amount of time.

Writing messaging for my own thing is so much harder, precisely because it’s less constrained.

A great irony is that a common refrain from Creative Professionals Who Give A Shit™ is “if the client would only let me do what I think is right here, it would go so much better for them,” or put another way: “Give me a sword, I’ll win this war for you.”

In fact, constraints are the single most liberating factor of any creative endeavor. A client to make happy before a deadline is a perfect constraint. This may be why many people like me have so much trouble creating our own work but can be absolutely prolific for customers.

Today I’m consistently producing words/stuff for myself, just for its own sake. It’s working.

Now there’s an important bunch of writing to do “for work,” only “the customer” is me, more or less. This feels hard.

While it feels like I could just add a constraint like a deadline (which I have) or a promise to someone else (which I have made), the problem is that the constraints need to be “real” and not purely coercive.

The curiosity prompt: How might I do this for its own sake?