I've known Joe Procopio since, well, last century when we both started bouncing around the Triangle start-up universe. He's a force of nature when it comes to starting, retooling and running enterprises -- and he's a bad-ass writer, too. Which is why I asked him if I could repost this ExitEvent.com post on what to do when you feel like you've lost your writing mojo. It happens to all of us, especially those of us who produce loads of content regularly. Read. Rinse. Repeat.

Pivoting Surgically

An Unannounced ExitEvent Shakeup, Exactly Where It Was Needed


I'm going to level with you. I scrapped today's ExitEvent article, which happened to be a very easy article about a startup thing that's coming up that I'm actually quite a fan of. I know the thing and its creator really well, and we just had coffee the other day, so I had a lot to say. It would have been informative and, if I did my job, you might have even laughed your ass off at some point.

I sat down to write it and I just wanted to blow my brains out.

Figuratively, not literally. This isn't one of those articles.

It took me all day to figure out the issue, and then I finally got it, late last night.

I'm not happy.

Let me clarify that down to the nth so as not to mess up the point. I'm super happy in general. Slap happy, crazy happy, whatever you want to call it. Happy is my thing.

I'm happy with ExitEvent. In fact, I'm super-excited straight-up pumped about ExitEvent. It's going exactly where I want it to go, helping who I want it to help, and it's not costing me a whole bunch of time or money to get it done.

I'm happy with ExitEvent News, which is the collection of articles we spin out daily, one of which you're reading right now. I'm happy with how much of an impact we make, the writing team (especially happy with that), and the feedback from readers. I'm ecstatic when we get, which we often do, feedback from the people we write about, and they tell us it was the best thing that was ever written about them. That's the best part. That only comes from passion.

I'm not happy about my contribution to the writing side.

I admit it, I've been stale. I've gotten too derivative, expected too little of my audience, taken zero risks, and just generally become an information provider rather than a writer. And as a result, my writing has not been awesome. And I hate that. And it makes me not want to write.

It's not writers block, there has been plenty to write about, and it's been smashing stuff. But frankly, the last I don't know how many of my articles could have been written better. Much better.

So I'm writing this. I'm putting my process out in public with no preparation and no filter, the way I was doing articles when I started ExitEvent News a few months ago. And I realized that this is much better.

Then I realized that I've seen this before. Many times over. And the solution is simple. I knew ExitEvent wasn't working. But instead of calling meetings or trying to get consensus on what wasn't working or experimenting like maybe adding a new feature, I took some time, dove in, thought about it, found the problem (me) and solved it (fixed my stupid writing).

Nothing else will change, because nothing else needs to. Pivot. Full speed ahead.