I accomplished a year-long goal of reading three-books a month (37 total). It was the first time that I had created a goal covering an entire year.
This year (2019) I wanted to write, to create instead of consume, twice a month for the whole year.
24 articles. Hit the “Ready to publish?” 24 times.
One piece put out in the public every two weeks or so.
I failed pretty fast.
writing on medium in 2018. It wasn’t very consistent but I had started something. Going into 2019 I wanted to make writing the coveted H-word:
Last year was the only year that I had set a year-long goal so this was merely my second time practicing the idea. If I read last year, why not write this year?
Considering many writers on Medium write a new piece every day I thought this was a manageable goal.
I wrote three articles in January. Two of them were listicles which is a pretty lame excuse for an article but I still did it. I had to start somewhere even if it felt lame.
February received one article, as did March. April got a break, and May earned two articles
June, July, August, and most of September were all article free.
So now I’m behind by 14 articles (I have only written 10 this year). There’s only 13 weeks left in 2019, including this one.
If I still want to hit my goal,
I can’t write twice a month anymore. I do still want to hit my goal, which means I need to write once a week.
Once a week.
That’s a big shift. It’s double my original goal.
But I want the challenge because it’s uncomfortable.
Writing an idea, a thought, and putting out into public is uncomfortable enough. Why not try it 24 times? Why not try it 14 times in 13 weeks?
Why not hug a cactus?
Over the course of the year my role at work has steadily expanded (I’m the marketing guy for a dental office). I tried asking my boss about the possibility of expanding the marketing team in the near future as I was trying to cover all the bases by myself and it was getting a little hectic.
His blunt response was that most of my problems could be solved simply by being more organized and managing my time better.
I was taken aback at first, but after thinking about it I realized I could stand to be a little bit more organized.
After embracing the uncomfortable sting of his challenge, I set out to better organize my work and plan out my time better each day, week and month.
Turns out, he was right. But if he hadn’t given me a cactus to hug I wouldn’t be where I am now.
If you want to do anything or go anywhere in life, it’s going to require some cactus hugging.
is my proof-reader before I let articles go live. She’s not really my target market in terms of what I write about, but this does allow her to be even more objective when she’s giving feedback.
After reading this post she said, “Mm, I think you need to add more to this.”
“Well I know that it’s bad but I still need to hit publish. That’s kind of what the article is about towards the end: it’s uncomfortable to put out imperfect work but you have to embrace it.”
*wife thinks about that excuse of an answer*
“Right, but I still think you need to add more to this.”
She handed me the cactus more gently than my boss did. But it was still a cactus nonetheless.
Why not hug a cactus?
says there’s no such thing as writer’s block, because there’s no such thing as talker’s block.
He says that writer’s block is just another way of saying that you’re afraid of people seeing your bad writing.
But you have to be bad before you’re good. We all do. Why should you (or I) get a free pass?
That’s how you learn and how you grow. There’s no way around it. Either way, you should still hit publish. That’s what I’m going to do.
So go hug a cactus.
And then keep going.