James Broad

22 May 2022

Write every day: early reflections

I’ve started the process of publishing something every day in an effort to get better at writing. I’m treating it like exercise but for the mind.

This topical quote crossed my path today from Paul Graham, vindicating my efforts.

"If you’re thinking without writing, you only think you’re thinking."

— Leslie Lamport

I feel I shouldn’t be writing this as it’s too soon to say if it’s a habit that will stick. I’m using my own method of starting a daily productivity flywheel by scheduling a time to write and starting with an expectation that it could be just 10 minutes set aside.

Uncomfortably productive

The reality has been that I smash past the 10 minutes to over an hour and I’m still never fully happy with the end result. I’m making a difficult decision each time I publish of momentum over perfection which insults the perfectionist in me but satisfies the productivity gods.

What to write about?

It feels uncomfortable finding things to write about but the anxiety is pacified by jotting down ideas when something pops into my head or I read something I’d like to explore further. I’ve been using a Notion account to capture this.

Not natural

I don’t think writing comes easy to me so it does feel like I’m pushing a boulder up a hill from an effort perspective. It could be that I write often when I’m most tired after a long day of work and looking after my kids. I hope this eases up as time goes by.

Opportunity cost

There’s an opportunity cost I’m contending with because of contention for hacking on side-projects, exercising, learning new skills or occasionally, just relaxing.

Skill appreciation

Since picking up writing again, an unexpected benefit is that I’ve started appreciating other people’s writing at a deeper level. I suppose it’s to be expected given you notice someone’s physique more when you start working out or someone’s manicured garden when you start gardening which is incidentally feels mostly invisible and unappreciated before you embark on your own skill or effort based endeavours.

I’d love to know how other people get on with writing habits, especially if there are any pointers for someone just getting going (again). Hit me up on Twitter — @kulor with your thoughts.