200 Crappy Words per Day

Not too long ago, my brother recommended a book to me titled, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by best-selling author and life-advice blogger Mark Manson. In hindsight, the recommendation might have been a slight toward my tendency to become over invested in absolutely everything of non-importance, but I’m thankful for the recommendation regardless because I swallowed that book and got a lot out of it. Besides giving me an overall drive to reframe my way of thinking and to just make my life better in general, he also had a chapter that focused on motivation, which I generally lack.

I take that back.

I am an incredibly motivated person. In fact, I am so motivated I want to do everything. And because I want to do everything, I buy a lot of gear so I can do everything, and I invest a lot of time researching everything, and I come up with grandiose plans and schemes and end points of where I will be and what I will do after I do everything.

The problem is: then I do nothing.

The motivation is all there, but I have the hardest time carrying through with the actual action. This is where Manson’s book comes in.

In this chapter, he discusses how motivation is an endless loop, that goes like this: “Inspiration -> Motivation -> Action -> Inspiration -> Motivation -> Action” and so on. He states that our actions are actually the catalyst for motivation for further actions, and we can essentially hack this loop by reorienting our mindset to lay out the motivation chain to be: “Action -> Inspiration -> Motivation” and basically summarizes that if you lack the motivation to make a change, do something and harness that feeling from the action to motivate yourself further. He calls this the “Do Something Principle”.

Later on in this chapter, he discusses an anecdote about a novelist who had written 70 novels and was asked how he was able to create new works so consistently. The novelist simply stated “200 crappy words per day, that’s it.” Basically, if he could make himself just start writing, the words would come to him.

I’ve recently been thinking about how I started this blog a year ago and haven’t done anything with it. I wrote 3 pretty boring posts and then just let it die while I continued to pay money for it. This is stupid. I paid for the domain name to motivate me to write, and to document my adventures. And then I didn’t do it. Why not? Part of it was being lazy. Part of it was probably being worried people would think I was a mediocre writer who had uncompelling content.

Then I realized something liberating: No one is going to read this stupid blog. And if anyone does, who cares?

So I’m going for 200 crappy words a day, as much as I can, until I don’t anymore. Thank you, Mark Manson, for bridging that arrow between motivation and action for me, at least for now.

Here I go.

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