If you know me at all, then you will know me as a man who has demonstrated — time and time again — his proclivity for chasing shiny objects at the expense of getting on with the task at hand. I find it excruciatingly difficult to set my mind to anything it doesn’t want to be set to.
And yet, somehow, over the past 101 days, I have managed to write and publish a blog post every single day.
You can read them here.
It started off at The Unique Guitarist — a website I’ve all but abandoned — where I wrote 43 pieces in 43 days. Each one was geared toward some part of the mental aspect of being a musician — specifically a guitarist striving for uniqueness in their work. The longer I kept this up, though, the more I realised that what was coming out of me and onto the page had increasingly little to do with music, and more to do with life itself. At the end, I was just inserting the words “unique guitarist” into posts about life in general in order to force some kind of relevancy to my audience.
I was loving the “I have to post something fresh every single day” aspect; less so the “it has to be about being a unique guitarist” aspect. And so I decided, after 43 days, to pivot away from that and towards just writing under my own name and on my own website — giving myself the permission to write about whatever I wanted. It’s been a blast. Thank you for reading. But 58 days on, and I’m ready for another pivot.
My daily posts are going to get much shorter.
You see, I find myself in a tricky situation. Whilst I am hooked on the daily writing habit — the thing I was hoping I would get hooked on — the problem is that once I get writing, once I get into the flow, I can’t stop myself. This is a problem.
If I give myself the freedom to write for just fifteen minutes, let’s say, then in that time I can craft a little post that I’m quite happy with. It won’t go particularly deep into anything, but it will be satisfying to write and to read.
If, on the other hand, I let myself write for half an hour or longer, however, then something very different happens. My mind senses that it’s been given the opportunity to go deeper and wider than normal, and it responds by thinking up heaps more stuff that might somehow fit into the piece.
I very much want to go deep into the things that I write about. But I can’t do that on a daily post. I end up in this weird halfway house – not writing a short and sweet post that I’m happy with, but also not having the time to make the longer, deeper post actually any good.
I see it in movie terms. A short, sweet daily post is like writing a single scene. And the longer posts are like writing a whole film. Now, let’s say a film contains 60 scenes, and to write one scene takes a day. If you think that writing the whole film is then just matter of writing a scene a day for 60 days, you are going to have a really horrible film. It will take far more than 60 days to write the whole film — and be happy with it — because all the scenes have to not only work in isolation, but as a part of the whole film.
Instead of writing 58 solid scenes, I’ve ended up attempting 58 bad movies, and rushing to a clumsy conclusion when I look at the clock and realise I’ve got to get ready for work.
But, as I said, I’m not quitting. I’m pivoting.
I’ll be continuing to write a — short and sweet — daily post for anyone who wants one. And with the energy left over, I will try and craft the longer pieces I have in my mind. They’ll come in their own sweet time, or not at all.
If you would like to receive the — short and sweet — daily email, you can sign up here. (Don’t worry, Mum, I’ve already signed you up.)
The longer pieces, which will not be often — if they are, I’m rushing, and you should tell me off for that — will be sent to my ordinary email list.
Thanks again for reading. It’s nice to have an audience.