Starting The Creative Craft

It’s amazing how much time I wasted before I started to create some content. Eventually, I did come around to dropping all my fancy ideas for a website and committed to sitting down every day to write.

Get Started To Get Ready

When you’re starting your craft, the most important thing is to do the craft. Anything that takes you away is going to be sub-optimal, even if it’s something the gurus tell you to do.

David Perell. YouTube clip.

It’s a bit like going to the gym when you’re not used to exercise. The hardest part is to create the habit and remove the friction of going. So, at first, even though it’s not best practice, go every day. Then update to best practice once the habit has been established.

As well as writing every day for a fixed duration, I also set a publishing schedule. This felt really tough at first, but I’m getting used to it. I’m also ironing out the little process inefficiencies and learning what I can do best at different times in the day.

Create First, Then Scope

Writing before I was ready also helped overcome my doubts about what topics should be included or excluded from this blog. By reading up on what I was writing about, I discovered logotherapy. And, since writing is thinking, I’m now blogging to myself as I explore my journey of becoming a solo content creator.

We just have to show our work. Gary Vaynerchuk tells us to document the process itself, rather than trying so hard to be a creator.

Quantity Leads, Quality Follows

Ali Abdaal talks about how quantity is the path to quality, and can be more effective than focusing on quality from the start.

This insight counters the resistance of perfectionism. It gives us permission to go ahead and publish before we feel fully ready, while also satisfying the perfectionist urge by promising that this is the fastest route to quality.

My publishing schedule works to force this process along. Ali says: “I think that getting good is often just about putting in the reps, while also having a little bit of a mind on marginal improvement over time.”


Writing is Thinking

One of the reasons I write is to clarify my own thinking.

When you write something for others, you discover all the gaps in your ideas. The process of writing reveals them and makes you organise your thoughts. You also see when you need to get more information, or check something you think you know.

“It was only when I actually wrote a blog post and wrote publicly and published on my blog … that helped me solidify and clarify my own thinking.”

— Ali Abdaal – YouTube clip

“When the ideas in your mind are clouded, so are the words on the page in front of you. Re-writing is re-thinking. It’s the single best way to sharpen your ideas.”

Why You Should Write – a blog post by David Perell

“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.” — David McCollough

David Perell – Twitter


Identity Fuels Action

My first blog post was called “I Am A Writer”.

Seth Godin says …

“Identity fuels action, and action creates habits, and habits are part of a practice, and a practice is the single best way to get to where you seek to go”.

Godin, Seth. The Practice (p. 30). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

According to Ernie J. Zelinski, researchers have found that the difference between creative and uncreative people is that creative people think they are creative.

I find that it works. After announcing to myself that I’m a writer, I’ve started taking the daily actions that make it true.


Show Me Your Bad Writing

“Show me your bad writing” says Seth Godin.

Seth is talking about writers’ block. He says it doesn’t exist. What we get stuck on is self-judgement. A fear of how our writing will be received by others. So procrastination sets in.

The solution is to do your bad writing (if seeing it that way is what it takes). Then, says Seth, if you do enough bad writing, it will turn into good writing. Or you’ll discover that it’s not what you’re supposed to be doing.

So here it is.


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.