It’s a lot of work, as I’m coming to realize. And I’m not even sure when I actually decided to have this goal. Suddenly I was just writing and realized that I needed to keep the streak going. Once I stop the streak- once I miss a single day- I know what happens next: I never pick it up again.
Yesterday’s post, The Information Ecosystem of Litter Boxes, was really hard. I was actually trying to say something and, while I’m not sure I ever really achieved it, I got as close as I could. I could tell it wasn’t quite done, so I almost didn’t publish it. A little voice inside started bargaining with me: You’ve written a lot- isn’t that enough? This post needs more time, so don’t feel bad if you don’t finish it in one day. Look, you’ve written 1000 words on it so far. Isn’t that better? Isn’t 1000 words a better goal? Just say you hit the goal and call it a night.
Why not 1000 words? That’s a good goal. Lot’s of great careers have started with a goal of hitting 1000 words a day. But the thing was: that wasn’t really my goal. Because writing just a lot of words isn’t actually my biggest problem. In fact, throwing down 1000 words is the easy part for me. It’s the editing, the refining, the cleaning up, and most of all, the publishing that I really struggle with. It’s the insecurity to look at something and say: I know it’s not perfect, but if I don’t put it out there now, I never will.
A senior developer will often write less code than a junior developer, less code than they themselves would’ve written just a few years earlier in their career. Writing more stuff is a great goal for anyone just getting started or anyone writing one big thing. For me, though, I need to learn how to write less, or at least write more intentionally. But mostly I’m learning how to share, to move past the vulnerability and just click publish.
So I didn’t change my goal, I stayed up a little late and I eventually clicked publish. And then today, it happened all over again. I told myself that I could take a little break, because yesterday’s post felt so hard. But now it’s getting late at night and I’m actually being honest with myself, forcing my hands to type out another blog post and click publish, because that was the point of the goal. And I either do it today or I don’t ever do it again.