Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Commitment

I'm a little stuck. I know I only post twice per week, but nothing is gelling in my head right now. I debated over the weekend what to write about but nothing really hit me. It's not that I don't have ideas – just take a look at my blog notes list and you'll find all sorts of confusing ideas jotted down. The current list includes such things as 'muscle inhibition', 'why James Herriot would make a good blogger' and 'celebrities getting in shape for movies'.

Typically I have lots of ideas on the go, either written down in my little green notebook that I keep in my bag or on the spreadsheet that controls my life (it is ominously titled 'TO DO' and contains an imposing nine tabs, one of which is called 'Wish List'). My ideas float around inside my head but I'm never sure exactly how they'll turn into posts. It is usually when I am on one of my daily walks to and from the train station that I think, "Aha! That's how I'll write a post about pizza!"

Here's the thing. I think that if I had waited to start blogging until I felt ready – or at least confident that I'd have enough to write about – I never would have started. And if I only posted to this blog when I felt like I had something amazing to say, well, it would be a pretty sparsely populated blog.

Working in publishing has taught me a lot about writing. If journalists waited until they felt they had a great story to write, not much would get done. No, it is precisely the pressure to fill the newspaper on a daily basis that generates so much news. Even when you are phoning around and all your contacts tell you that nothing is going on, there is always something to write about.

It is the discipline of the deadline that generates good work. Not every story is award-winning, but if you aren't out there everyday talking to people, pounding the pavement and writing up the goings on, you certainly will never get the great stories.

It is by committing to publish posts a few times a week that allows me to get posts written, and not the other way around. If you want to make progress in any area of your life, just commit to show up. If you want to start swimming, get in the pool twice a week – even if it's only for 20 minutes each time. And if you want to start meditating, sit for 10 minutes a day. After all, you can have all the talent and intention in the world, but it's impossible to do good work until you're actually doing the work.

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