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Aug 15, 2019 22:01:38

Writing streak: Run it like a marathon, but have friends you cheer on

by @jasonleow | 279 words | 478🔥 | 517💌

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 478🔥
Total posts: 517💌
Total words: 314391 (1257 pages 📄)

Yesterday on The Artist's Way Every Day: A Year of Creative Living, this bunch of beautiful words dropped on my lap:

August 14
So often as artists the blocks that we feel to be ours alone can be dissolved by being shared. We have the opportunity to help one another and when we are willing to take it, great things can come to pass. So much of making art is like running a marathon. We may have to run the race ourselves but it is tremendously helpful to have friends who can cheer us on.

Writing 200 words a day every day, is like running a marathon. We face writer's block more often than we want. Many of us struggle here publicly, reverting to writing random things; writing about how hard it is for us to write 200 words today; writing gibberish just to keep the streak. It's not shameful to do that. If anything, we're sharing our difficulties, which can then "be dissolved [after] being shared". The rest of us writing here know how hard it is, and we all are the "friends who can cheer us on."

Deliberate practice towards mastery requires two parts: showing up and quality practice. An occasional gibberish post still qualifies for half of the deliberate practice equation. Sure, you did a rep in poor form today. Promise to try better tomorrow then. Human performance isn't a linear. It pulses and pauses, with peaks and valleys. Linear is for robots.  

We're imperfect. We have our off days. We are not always at our best. And it's okay. 

Be gibberish-proud. But come back tomorrow and do better.

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    Good post.
    Just to mention, If you have the minutest desire to get better daily, you would always have the urge to ensure you write better.

    On a lighter note, on a particular time I lost my streak, it was because I was waiting for the perfect time to write a very good post. Till i slept off.

    Seun Oyebode avatar Seun Oyebode | Aug 16, 2019 14:38:39
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      @seunoyebode thanks! :) yeah accidents do happen that has nothing to do with deliberate practice

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Aug 16, 2019 22:16:26
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    @jasonleow Showing up every day is the important part. I like the phrase, "Do better." Perhaps that will be my way of cheering on someone who turns in a "gibberish" post.

    Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Aug 15, 2019 07:11:24
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      @brandonwilson yeah I like "do better" too! i'd recently come to realise that showing up is necessary but not sufficient in itself. Deliberate practice (towards any goal one might have here on 200wad, be it writing mastery, or content creation, or thought clarity) requires not just the practice bit (showing up daily), but also the deliberate bit (doing better, reps done in good form). Otherwise, showing up everyday to write gibberish without an intentional effort to do better each time, just ends up being pretty pointless, and streak chasing for its own sake.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Aug 15, 2019 23:17:06
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      @jasonleow I agree although I would make one small distinction: establish the habit of showing up first, then get better afterward.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Aug 15, 2019 11:03:33
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      @brandonwilson oh yes so true, that's the downscaling method to habit formation in atomic habits. Easier to break it down and master the showing up first, then the form.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Aug 16, 2019 11:33:30
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