2 Things I Need to Keep in Mind as a Writer

A penny for your thoughts

When I said I talk myself out of it, I meant it. Here’s the thing. I’ve been meaning to start doing this, theoretically, since years ago, realistically, since last week. These past few weeks I’ve come across some amazing writing/work/people, but unfortunately, as Benjamin P. Hardy put it:

For most people, learning has become an escape from doing. Filling your head with useless information is the opposite of hard-won wisdom and understanding, which can only happen via the application of knowledge and re-application based on experience in the real world.

I’m one of those people.

Sometimes you get lucky and end up at that part of the internet, the one filled with wisdom, authenticity, amazing studies and amazing people, so pure, so raw, so genuine that it fills you up with joy and hope. Wrapped up in others’ brilliance, you forget. At least I do.

Elephants don’t forget, but we do. Photo by Simson Petrol.

The brilliance I stumbled upon isn’t mine to claim. 

No matter how amazing the art is, how good the podcast is, how that piece of writing gives you goosebumps every 100 words, how that song has been on repeat for days (and probably will be for weeks), how that guided meditation made you sob (does every time), how that movie spoke *directly* to you and validated your experiences and feelings in a way you hadn’t known was possible before… it’s not yours. You can (and should) feel joy and maybe even pride over others’ art, but you shouldn’t use it as a substitute for your own creations.

Now the other thing… Cal Newport says on his (great) book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World:

This provides another general observation for joining the ranks of winners in our economy: If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive — no matter how skilled or talented you are.

I usually read on my Kindle, and highlight my favorite passages there, but I’ve written that one down. I need to get it tattooed on my forehead as well.

If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive.

Why I find it SO hard to grasp that concept, is beyond me. I think it’s because when you don’t absolutely HAVE TO, as is the case with me and writing for myself/the world and not clients, you can just say I’ll do it later/tomorrow/on the weekend/on my next lifetime.

So,

  1. Create your own art.
  2. Create your art.