Getting Shit Done Writing

Learn to tolerate discomfort

Liked Advice on starting projects (and sticking with them) by Mason Currey (Subtle Maneuvers)

Looking back, I think one of my biggest problems as a writer has been a hesitancy to commit to ideas. I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for the “right” idea to come along, when I would have been so much better off just starting on (and sticking with) something, anything.

You could call this perfectionism, I suppose, but I think it’s really about fear. You’re afraid that when you start writing one of these story ideas it’s not going to live up to your ambitions.

So, part of the solution is not being so precious about ideas and accepting that they’re just a starting point. The other part—maybe the bigger part—is learning to tolerate discomfort. Is that, in fact, the most important skill for any writer? It might be. Because so much of the process is just really, really uncomfortable. It requires butting up against your own shortcomings over and over and over.

Honestly learning to live with and work through discomfort is probably one of the most useful skills, period 🤔 Setting boundaries, taking risks, confronting racism, learning from your mistakes, training for sports or practicing for music… My cross-country coach in HS used to remind us all the time of the philosophy of one of his great runners, Richie Boulet: ‘there is no pain.’ I, being neither disciplined to withstand discomfort nor athletically ambitious, took solace in bitching to myself ‘there *is too* pain’ as I ran, which was not a particularly useful way to think 😂

Now, to hold both this and the philosophy of not being mean to yourself to get things done 👍

Mental Health

Forget the end, and just keep going

Bookmarked Opinion: COVID-19 is like running a marathon with no finish line. What does sports science say about how we can win it? by Alex Hutchinson (The Globe and Mail)

In any feat of endurance, humans want to see the goal – and in the pandemic, we’re not there yet, despite the breakthroughs in vaccine research. Staying in the moment might be better for us than fantasizing about a future just beyond reach

It turns out that, if you ask yourself “Can I keep going?” rather than “Can I make it to the finish?” you’re far more likely to answer in the affirmative.

Alex Hutchinson

“The next loop, always the next loop,” French runner Guillaume Calmettes told The Guardian after notching 59 laps in 59 hours to win a similar (but non-virtual) event in 2017. “You’re never overwhelmed by what you have left to run, because you simply don’t know what you have left to run.”

Via Austin Kleon.

Makes me think of Dory’s “just keep swimming,” which I turned into a “just keep spinning” mantra for biking up hills.

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