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Two Paths to Being a Writer

Question from a reader -

You have maintained your commitment to being prolific which is made even more exceptional by the fact you are travelling around the world at the same time.

I realise your article on being prolific is about this, but accepting that I'm going to release a lot of crap before I realise something good is a tough wall to knock down. My biggest issue writing anything seems to be that it feel insufficent. Naturally no post I write has the length of Steve Yegge, the persuasiveness of Paul Graham, the content of Unqualified Reservations etc. etc. and while I can consciously accept this, there seems to be some mental block. How do you go "that's sufficient" and release it into the wild?

There's two basic approaches to being successful as a writer. The first, we could call the "Paul Graham / Derek Sivers" approach. This is where you explore a lot of ideas privately, go forward with the best ideas you have, and edit and polish the hell out of everything before you release it into the world. If you do this, and you've got talent as a writer, and you've got important ideas - then you're going to consistently only release masterpieces.

The second way is to just write a hell of a lot and know that a number of the things you write will turn out quite well, but your average quality level will be much lower. We could call this the "write every day no matter what" approach.

Stop Consuming, Start Creating

On Cameron Chardukian

We’ve got another aggressive blog post today. Being somewhat related to yesterday’s topic of developing the courage to see the truth rather than endlessly searching for it, I’d like to talk about creating vs consuming.

It’s an interesting topic. Think about all the people you look up to. Tony Robbins, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, whoever. What do they have in common? They’re producers much more so than consumers.

We idealize people for the things they create, but for some reason we’re afraid to create things ourselves. Why? Consumption is effortless. Websites like Youtube, and Reddit have been designed to be highly stimulating and provide instant gratification. I’m sure all of us have had days wasted watching random videos, or if you’re like me reading dozens of personal development blog posts.

How many days though have you spent 10+ hours producing creative works? Exactly. The longest I’ve ever written was 7 or 8 hours straight and I’m more than half-a-year into this blogging business.

I’m pretty sure most people couldn’t even sit down for the hour or two I write everyday. Why is that? Perhaps they’re just trying to express themselves via the wrong medium. If you’re more comfortable expressing your ideas through music than public speaking then there’s nothing wrong with that.

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