Because I write daily, people often ask me how it’s possible. How do I write something worthwhile every day? How do I stay motivated?
The answer to both questions is simple and the same: I don’t.
Let’s tackle quality first.
It’s not possible for every article I write to resonate. Not with everyone, not every time. I write every day because doing so is an exercise in thinking critically. As I put words on the page, the gears in my head are whirring, attempting to create some meaning or insight. It’s not always great in the end, but more often than not, the exercise does its job and gives me (and you) something worth thinking about.
My hope is that, over the days, weeks, months, and years, many of the posts I write will touch people in a way that matters. And maybe, just maybe, a few of the pieces will shift something profound in the minds of readers that will cause them to make a massive change in their lives.
Now let’s talk about motivation.
I’m not motivated to write every day. In fact, about half the time I feel apathetic toward the idea of opening my browser window and doing the difficult, emotional labor of bringing something meaningful onto the page. Some days it’s a breeze, and other times it’s a real slog.
But I do it anyway.
I do it because it’s my job. I committed to doing it. It’s non-negotiable. It has to happen. There’s zero wiggle room. I’ve written while terribly hungover and while extremely sick.
The only reprieve I get is that I get to decide what’s good enough. I can write two sentences if I feel like it’s enough to convey something useful. My last post barely broke 100 words. So long as the post is up, and something I can stand behind, it goes on my scorecard.
And I think there’s a valuable lesson in this for your work.
When was the last time you committed to something and let yourself off the hook part way through? When was the last time you pushed a deadline? My bet is fairly recently.
That’s okay. We all do that.
But what would happen if you took one thing, something that could have a major impact on your life, work, or relationships, and you turned it into a ritual; something you did because you had to, regardless of quality or motivation?
What would happen if you committed to making your partner dinner every weeknight? What would happen if you committed to wake up at the same time every day, regardless of daily output or the time you went to sleep? What would happen if you committed to make a genuine connection to a person in your field of work every single day?
I’m guessing that over the next six months, a few things would happen. First, you’d get a lot better at that thing. Second, the other person(s) in the equation would certainly notice. And third, maybe whatever it was would stop feeling optional. Then you could take on a new ritual.