Earlier this week I published my twenty-seventh Instructable.
I thought it was an original concept.
I thought it was fun and different.
I thought it would get featured.
I. WAS. WRONG.
I felt rejected and unhappy.
Then I took a look at my most recent failure. Good grief! I was in such a hurry to get it online that I left a typo in the introduction! Well, I fixed the typo and I decided to write myself a little book of reminders to help me deal with the next rejection.
Step 1: Make Sure the Instructable Really IS Polished.
Check for more than just typos or spelling mistakes.
Is everything REALLY as clear as possible?
Step 2: Realize That Other Projects ARE Better Than Yours.
I wrote my first instructable in August, 2017, so I could enter the First Time Authors contest.
I thought my project was good, and original, and fun. I worked extremely hard getting the photos and the instructions uploaded. I felt very happy to have this project featured. But I didn't even place in the contest.
There were lots of other cool projects in that contest.
They were better than mine.
Step 3: Don't Expect to Get Featured for Projects That Are Not Unique.
I started putting my little print-and-mail storybooks online in order to share them with others. Grandma Van's Print-and-mail storybook #3 got featured. Others didn't. While storybooks 2, 4, and 5-26 were each unique compared to one another, they weren't unique enough to get featured.
But I still needed to publish them, because I need to...
Step 4: Remember the REAL Reason for Writing an Instructable.
It IS all about sharing.
Being featured is cool. Being a winner is probably really great (I would not know.)
But the real goal is to share my work with others.
Sharing is good.
I like to share my work with others.
I like to see that my work has been viewed by others.
I like it when people take time to comment.
Step 5: Remember That the Editors Are Looking For: "Content That Is Highly Reproducible and Has That 'wow, Awesome!' Factor."
I still think my basement maze was awesome.
But for someone who does not have an unfinished basement, it is not exactly "highly reproducible."
It was a cool project. It got featured. It got me started.
It just wasn't a winner.
Step 6: Do Some Research.
Yesterday, while feeling especially rejected, I did a google search for "not featured on Instructables." I saved five different articles and they gave me some good pointers.
Step 7: Study the Masters.
Yesterday, I took a closer look at some of the featured projects and contest winners that I have admired in the past. Wow! MarlenaT and ProfessorPi and LanceMakes and MadeByBarb and Kiteman are really good.
(And if YOU are really good and I didn't mention you here...I just haven't discovered you yet.)
Step 8: Eliminate Envy. Accentuate Gratitude.
Yesterday, I noticed that many, many people had more badges, more features, and more wins than luann2425.
Instead of feeling envious, I choose to feel grateful for all the great content out there.
I'm a member of an awesome community.
Thanks, you all!
Step 9: Focus on Quality, Not Quantity.
At the beginning of 2018, I set a goal to publish one print-and-mail book each week.
I was mailing one book each week to my grandchildren, and I thought to myself, "Why not share those books with others who might be looking for print-and-mail storybooks?"
But some of my personalized storybooks didn't really work well on Instructables. I tried to adapt them, or change them, or write them with Instructables in mind instead of my grandchildren.
My grandchildren didn't really CARE if a book was perfect. They just liked getting something in the mail.
For Instructables, however, I should have published fewer, better books.
Step 10: Don't Quit.