When in doubt, just write anything that comes to mind. I think that is one way to keep the pen moving.
But is that an effective way to write? What about the quality? Don’t you want quality over quantity?
This debate of effectiveness vs efficiency is a valid one. But it can lead to analysis paralysis. But when you “lower your standards” and just start producing (or writing, creating, working, taking action), you get more practice. And that makes you better at what you are doing!
A classic example is this right here: what was once a blank page on my diary is now 60% filled. Makes me feel good. But is this good content? Is this empowering, educational and/or entertaining?
Can you, yes you, derive something useful from this? Perhaps you can ask right now, “what idea or project I haven’t started because I don’t know where to start!? I want to do meaningful work and not waste time!”
Had I not put pen to paper, we wouldn’t have had this opportunity to talk about your project! Had I mulled too much on quality, this article wouldn’t have existed. Quality obviously matters, but it never comes before quantity.
Now you may be thinking, “This article sucks. This is of no use to me.” Quality shawlity aside, that fear is there. I hope you can derive some inspiration from this, and I fear there is a chance that this article may suck. Big time.
So what do I do when I am faced with that fear? The fear that stops me from taking any action!? You know what I’d do? I’d carefully and respectfully look that fear in the eyes and read it poetry:
“If fire is not shy to burn /
If Eagles don’t forget to fly /
The sky never misses a color then /
How can I forget to try.”
And I hardly read poetry, so I will just start taking action. In the case of writing, I will start putting words on paper.
See what I just did there?
I had this abstract “standard” of a quality article in my head. But that “standard” is not a definable one, therefore it is useless. And chances are, if you really can’t define the “standard”, it is your fear talking. To beat that, I just “lowered my standards” and got to work — the very first lines of this article are testament to an idle mind searching for a sentence. Somewhere along the way, the writing started making sense – at least to me. In came Hope.
“Maybe this regurgitation can pass off as an article!?” I said. And as is always the case – always! – with hope, in came the fear, “what if this article is useless? What if you do not like it!?!”
Ernest Hemingway said, “The fist draft of anything is shit,” so the fear of my work being useless is very real!
But fear is the number one killer of hope! That’s why, wherever there is Hope, Fear just pops up with an AK47 and that glint in her eyes! How do you fight that fear!?
With another quotation, of course:
“Behold the turtle.
He makes progress,
Only when he sticks his neck out” – James Bryant.
So yes, I must start moving even if that makes me a turtle. I will find hope soon enough. And with it, the fear of rejection, of failure. Hope says you may like this. Fear says you will hate it.
How do I keep moving, keep taking action in the face of fear? By acknowledging it, by facing it and then calmly, with my head held high and breath held firm, press the Publish button.
Let hope win.
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