Jack Conte on “Working to Publish”

Jack Conte on “Working to Publish”

A few days ago I came across Work to Publish. It’s a video from Jack Conte, who is half of the musical duo Pomplamoose and co-founder of Patreon. He is super-cheerful and enthusiastic, and I’d been following him for years because his energy is really close to the kind of feeling I want to strive for in my work: engaging, welcoming, novel, and happily quirky.

The link to the video is below, but briefly Conte’s insight is that finishing a project is fraught with anxiety. One would think that finishing a creative work would bring a sense of relief and accomplishment, but it actually doesn’t! That’s because finishing a creative work doesn’t really have a sense of finality in the way that, say, a sports match does. Conte calls it a “vocabulary problem”, because the work of being a creator isn’t to finish works as much as it is to PUBLISH. It’s a great video; check it out below!

Anyway, I found this very relevant because I’ve been stuck in a blogging hole for years, frustrated with the amount of boring work it would take to elevate my website from the hodge-podge mounds of unorganized content into the shining pinnacle of insight I imagined it could be. I hadn’t realized that this was a perfectionist attitude, as it seemed to make sense that delivering greater value with more concise writing would be naturally better. This is what the successful bloggers do, right? After watching the video, I realized that maybe I had it wrong: as a creator, I seem to be happier being in the moment of sharing than anything else. In other words: publishing as soon as possible is what might work for me.

So, instead of feeling shame at not making the kind of refined works that I had envisioned, I think it might be okay to revert to my old approach of writing and sharing more frequently. There will be the opportunity to create refined works, after I share more signal out into the universe. I’m starting with a target of 300 words per blog post and minimal review, which is how I started back in 2005.

I’m curious to see how it goes! :-)


  1. Prashil 4 weeks ago

    Truly enjoy reading your articles, keep publishing. Thank you.

    • Author
      Dave Seah 4 weeks ago

      Thanks Prashil! <3

  2. Katy 4 weeks ago

    MVP – Minimum Viable Product. Get it out there in raw form and then get feedback to refine. Rather than spending our time trying to build perfection for an audience that has varying definitions of the word (or work).

    • Author
      Dave Seah 4 weeks ago

      Good reminder! I’ve been thinking about what my MVP actually is; will followup with another blog post. Thanks for the nudge! :-)

A message from Dave:

I believe we all benefit when we respectfully share our perspectives on common experiences. My house rules are "please be respectful of divergent views" and "enjoy the flow of ideas!"

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