What's your definition of bad?

• 3 min read

Today, I wanted to write straight from the heart: raw and unedited.


I had a writing feedback session today, and it was a great learning experience. It was a beautiful tie into my exploration into the growth mindset last week.

I asked for feedback on my Kendrick Lamar piece (below). And I got some great feedback regarding it. The negative feedback boiled down to this: in its current form… it doesn’t really work.

When I was a kid, my natural response would have been to default to a fixed mindset. I would have immediately felt bad. Felt like I would never be a good writer. I would have ignored all the good feedback and focused on the negatives.

These days, I’m learning to be the opposite. I love honest, harsh feedback. With a growth mindset, today’s tough feedback will make me a better writer tomorrow.

Now, I get disheartened after hearing feedback, but I can eventually recognize it for what it is.

Boy Crying Interview GIF

Well uh, at least most of the time (I’m only like the little boy in the gif 25% of the time now). Obviously I’m still practicing. A growth mindset is much easier in theory than in it is in practice.

And as I practice, I find different manifestations of my old fixed mindset ways.

Over email, some of you pointed out that my painting last week wasn’t ugly. But to me, it felt ugly. It was visceral. Now I realize that statement confused other people.

I am my own harshest critic. Sometimes, I’m afraid that the good work I’ve done in the past is a fluke. I want to believe that writing is like riding a bicycle. You learn it once and you’ll never forget it. But I’m not sure it is. What if it’s like a muscle and I’m not working hard enough?

So, I looked back at some of my old medium posts.

Some of them were so bad that it was funny! It was like some other person wrote them.

It was useful to look back and see how my definition of bad has changed. My bad writing right now is a lot better than my bad writing from even a few years ago.

You should try it! By looking at your old definition of bad, you’ll learn something.

If the definition hasn’t changed, that just means you need to be disappointed more.

And if it has, that means you’re well on track, my friend.

Special Thanks to:

Scott Krouse (website and twitter), Ergest Xheblati (website), and Jen Vermet (twitter) for their feedback.


This Kendrick Lamar piece is not what I envisioned it to be. And it’s hard to hit publish because I only want you to read the best.

But when I started this newsletter, I promised myself that good or bad, I’ll publish. And so, I must publish. That’s the discipline.

Here it is:

How to make your work look sexy

You’re watching me learn to write. In realtime.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get better with every letter. Living proof that everything is a skill. And that growth mindset is real.


I re-started my twitter!

Here are my inaugural tweets.

As you can tell, I’ve been laser-focused on this growth mindset stuff.

So to conclude, I wanted to cleanse your palette.

I’ve only re-started twitter a day and already jumped into a black hole of amazing content.

Here’s something I found that was amazing (wait for it).

Thanks for reading. Any feedback and thoughts are more than welcome.

If I’m not drowning in the Twitterverse, I’ll see you next week.


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