Document, Don’t Create

Like most non-creatives, I had a lot of resistance to publishing content online. I felt I didn’t have a body of work ready to publish. But I’ve been encouraged by watching Ali Abdaal’s YouTube videos.

Ali Abdaal recommends the same book to everyone who tells him about their impostor syndrome: Show Your Work, by Austin Kleon. The title comes from doing school assignments where you receive credit for not just the final answer, but for showing how you got there.

“I really like Gary Vaynerchuk’s concept of ‘document, don’t create‘. Document the things you are doing already. Document the things you are already learning. Don’t try to ‘create’ new content.”

Ali Abdaal. YouTube. How to Make Money Online in 2022

In this video, Ali is interviewing the teacher of online writing, David Perell.

“Sell your sawdust. What are the things you’re already doing. How do you take that and turn it into something useful.”

David Perell. YouTube. How to Make Money Online in 2022

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This Blog Is A Form Of Logotherapy

In a book I’m reading about ikigai, the authors have introduced logotherapy. The two ideas are related, being about having a purpose to live for.

It seems relevant to the journey of my great resignation, which is how this blog got started.

The Five Steps of Logotherapy

(1) A person feels empty, frustrated or anxious.

(2) The therapist shows them that what they are feeling is the desire to have a meaningful life.

(3) The patient discovers their life’s purpose (at that particular point in time).

(4) Of their own free will, the patient decides to accept or reject that destiny.

(5) This newfound passion for life helps them overcome obstacles and sorrows.

Once the patient has established their purpose, they can press on with life, breaking the mental chains of the past and overcoming obstacles along the way.

Where Am I In This Process?

(1) I started this journey by quitting a job and a lifestyle that I disliked. The hope was that I’d find a working life that satisfies. I called this hope my great resignation.

(2) I’m trying to replace a work life, with a life-work. That’s why I was reading about ikigai. So I already have the direction of travel.

(3) Step three is my work in process. I know that I want something greater than the great resignation. I’m just not sure how it’s going to work.

Writing is Thinking

I started this blog with the statement “I Am A Writer“. The intention was to push myself to write, even though I didn’t have the ideas clear in my head. Writing would be the act by which I figured things out, because writing is thinking.


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First Past The Post

So, I published my first blog post.

It was short and sweet – just seven words. The purpose was to get over that initial resistance to writing and publishing.

The most important part of starting a creative career, is the starting.

It’s important to hit the ‘publish’ button. To get over that inertia and slay the monster of impostor syndrome.

The first time I published, it was scary; but the second time was exciting! It’s so much better than all that plotting and planning and thinking about what might be.


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