“I don't ever try to make a song better than my last song. I just try to make it different from my last one.” – Fetty Wap, Born Jun. 7, 1990.
This one hit me like a ton of bricks, y'all. Or like a ton of feathers. Heavy either way.
You're probably pretty talented.
You're probably pretty creative, too.
And if you make a thing that you like, and also other people like it, you'll feel obligated to give them more.
But you will have the ERRONEOUS AND TORTUROUS urge to try and outdo yourself. You'll try and be better and bigger and wider and more-er that before.
And MAYBE you are just that fucking dope that you manage to outdo yourself once. No sophomore slump for you. Maybe you are godlike enough to outdo yourself TWICE.
But that plane is gonna crash into the side of the mountain, Icarus.
Take it from a lazy jaded man who finally found success slowly… After burning out several times in a series of intense attempts to impress people with how clever and talented I am. Spoiler alert: I'm just not that much of either.
So, take it from me:
You DO NOT have to outdo yourself.
Be prolific – but just try to be different and interesting. DO NOT worry about being “better”. Because here is the trick…
Being prolific takes care of the improvement all on its own. Over time, practice leads to proficiency.
But if you are wise and try something different with each attempt, you will both IMPROVE as well as cover a lot of NEW GROUND subject-wise.
And variety is key if you're trying to build an audience. And more importantly, variety is vital if you want to keep your existing audience tuned in for the long term.
So in summary – strive to show up often and be different each time. Being better each time will take care of itself.