The All Night Listening Post has been going for almost two years. In that time, there have been challenges that have arisen that I've had no idea how to deal with. There have been situations where I've lost out or undervalued my time. Concepts have been stolen, content has been imitated, invoices have gone unpaid and there have been times I've almost quit. In fact, if it wasn't for the good people I have around me I probably would have.
I started the blog as a place to share my passion for good things and the people that make them. I feel like I've achieved that. I never expected it to take over my life but it did. Recently there's been an all consuming drive to improve it, to be better, to not waiver. To start taking it seriously.
I've drafted a personal manifesto to keep me on track. It might change over time, in fact I hope it will. It's something to refer to when the wheels come off and burn. Something to hold on to and to believe in. Something to stand for. After all, If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
1. NO CONTENT IS BETTER THAN BAD CONTENT
This might be the best advice I can give. Honestly. I'd rather turn out one incredible post a month than three in a week that are essentially about nothing.
2. GOOD WORK COSTS GOOD MONEY
Don't work for free. It'll kill you in the end. Value yourself and your time or no one else will.
3. STAY THE COURSE. GO THE DISTANCE.
No matter what. Stay true and stay real and never give up. Ask for help when you need it.
4. LOST IS A GOOD PLACE TO BE.
Getting cut off in no man's land is an incredible motivator. When you're lost you have no other choice but to find your way out. You'll be stronger for it. See point 5.
5. FAILURE IS THE MOST PRODUCTIVE OUTCOME.
When you succeed you end up where you wanted to be. When you fail, you get there better, faster and stronger the next time you try. You will always learn more about yourself in defeat than in victory.
6. TAKE CRITICISM. GIVE FEEDBACK. BE HONEST.
It's hard to grow in an echo chamber. Put your work out there and ask people you trust what they really think. Do the same for them. Grow together.
7. DO WHAT YOU SAY. ALWAYS.
Actions speak louder than words but never mistake motion for action.
8. PLANS ARE GREAT BUT THINGS CHANGE.
There's always going to be a river crossing. Be flexible and be adaptable and you'll be fine.
9. WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW. WRITE THE TRUTH.
Don't write ten words when five will do. Don't use words that don't mean anything. Write from the heart and from experience. Leave it alone. Read Hemingway. All of it. Write it again.
10. NEVER GET OUT OF THE BOAT UNLESS YOU'RE GOING ALL THE WAY.
Commit to the charge but only if you're committed to the the cause.
That's it. It's hand written and pinned up on the board above my desk and I look it it every day. I wrote it for myself but I shared it in the hope that someone else might get something from it. If you do or if you have your own manifesto, I'd love to hear about it.