Introducing Writing Club
Why write? Well, some of us write to teach lessons. Some do it as a career. Others write to share stories and inspire an audience.
When I started daily blogging some 11 months ago, my why was naively empowering:
I write for exercise.
And I can tell you now, having published a published a public blog post every single day since that morning, that writing has fundamentally changed my life. It has changed the way I think, approach problems, and form ideas.
I am not the best writer, nor do I have the most viewers, so feel free to ignore any and all of this. Finding your why is more important than anything anyone else will tell you.
The two most common questions I receive from people asking about my writing are
- Why do you do it?
- How do you come up with what to write about?
The why is best explained through this analogy.
Imagine you wanted to run a marathon…What would you do?
My answer: Well, first of all, I am not the best runner. So it would be really hard. But I could probably get to marathon shape if I started training every day. I would have to wake up earlier and start running more and more often. It would probably be embarrassing at first — but after a while I would get the hang of it.
Now imagine you wanted to be a professional athlete…What would you do?
My answer: Again, I am not the best athlete. But I think, after 10,000 hours or so, I could become very proficient at whatever sport I wanted to. I would train and practice all the time. Probably have to make some sacrifices, eat a certain way, etc.
Those answers never seem to surprise people.
Obviously, if you want to get in shape, just go to the gym and eat healthy! Right?
So when I asked myself…
How can I become a better thinker? A more refined communicator and problem solver?
My answer was: writing as often as I can.
I show up to the “gym” every morning around the same time. Except the gym is my computer, and my workout is the act of writing. The challenge of taking a concept, a random idea, and putting into words.
Some days it sucks. I don’t want to write. It is hard. Writer’s block. Typos.
I have found that in writing, and in life, no one really cares about your excuses. Your six-pack abs do not care if you need to leave the gym early and go for dinner. Your goal of running a marathon will not let up just because you are craving some fatty dessert.
You just have to go for it. 100%. You have to show up to the writing gym as often as you can to get the best results.
Now here is the hardest part — controlling for quality. We are often embarrassed by putting out content with typos or thoughts that we are not particularly proud of.
I always used to worry about this. Until I realized that when I started out:
- No one was really reading what I was writing, so who cared?
- The exercise was worth the embarrassment.
There is no way for me to quantify that this approach was better. A lot of experts would disagree. Some people put the emphasis on the quality, not the quantity.
I think both sides have merit. Ideally you’d produce high quality and high quantity at the same time (like Casey Neistat did). The challenge is getting to that point where you are able to do that.
At the gym, your trainer will tell you to come start working out, even if you have to start on low weights and reps.
I’d tell you the same goes for writing. Show up to the “metaphorical” gym and start writing, even if you have to “start” with maybe simpler words or ideas.
For me, it’s that easy. That is my entire approach. “Just do it.”
To execute on this consistently — I have needed to cut out all possible excuses that would prevent me from writing. For example, I make it really easy to do formatting. I do not worry about the style. I mainly focus on teh words.
Choosing a topic can be challenging. I hear that excuse a lot. Not knowing what to write about stops a lot of people from showing up from the “writing gym.”
I guess I am lucky because I feel as if I always have something to write about. Either from what I’ve read or heard someone talking about.
But I realize that that is not helpful. So my friend and I made a way for you to cut out that last excuse.
Introducing Writing Club 🖋
We post a new writing prompt every single day. Check out today’s.
The prompts and concepts are straightforward. That way you can take them any direction you want. That way you can stop worrying about the topic — and start focusing on the workout. On turning a mere concept or idea into a story or blog post or article.
Your post does not have to be long. It does not even have to be public. There can even be some typos. Just get to the gym and start exercising your mind!