Producing Anyway

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I knew a day like today would come when I set out to blog every day in November. Nine days in a row has felt pretty good so far. So good that I was just telling someone last night that it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be.

Today’s the first hard day.

I have a list of topics and outlines that I’ve already written up, but none of them sound compelling to write about today. This is the third time I have sat down to try to write this today.

So far, Nothing.

But that’s exactly the point, right? To produce anyway, as a professional? I was listening to a podcast this morning with Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin, and Seth was saying that he’s glad surgeons don’t just decide they’re not feeling like doing a surgery today in the middle of a surgery.

They buckle up and produce anyway, because they’re professionals.

So, in a strange and meta way, that’s what I’m doing. I’m producing something valuable anyway by writing about producing anyway. Whether or not I feel like it.

A trick I use to get myself to start writing, even when I have no idea what to write about, is to just start writing my raw self-talk.

Here’s an example:

“Ok Reese.
You gotta write a blog today.
You don’t feel like it, but it doesn’t matter.
You committed to this.
So if you don’t have anything great to write about, why don’t you write about that?
Not bad.
Ok, I’ll write a blog about not knowing what to write about.
Bingo.”

In this odd way, I’m often able to get the juices flowing, regain my tone of voice, and just start.

Just like I wrote about yesterday, often just sitting down and starting is a the best way to get back into the flow.

So what could this look like for you and your craft? Maybe it looks like laying down a simple drum beat and covering the melody of a pop song you heard today. Maybe it looks like editing the same clips you did yesterday in a different way, then deleting it. Maybe it looks like drawing circles and rectangles until your right brain realizes what’s going on.

The gap between zero words and one word is much bigger than the gap between one word and 500.

Joshua Reese