You bought the new notebook, snagged a new pen, and listened to a motivational podcast. You’re ready to do the work!
But two things happen as you start:
1 – You freeze. The thoughts in your head never make it to the tip of the pen. Your brain trips up on its wiring of ideas. Warning!
2 – You get going but know that what’s splurging on paper is crap. You’re producing sheets of melting ice. The writing is ugly, an explosion of everything at once. Such cacophony melts your heart, deadens your spirit.
The urge to quit and give in to the resistance is what smothers dreams. Goal-setting often backlashes when you set the bar too high.
What if instead of focusing on the goal, you concentrated on the system?
Systems are more powerful than fears because discipline always overrides motivation.
The real work happens when you sit your ass down at the desk for half an hour and write hundreds of words regardless of the outcome. After all, the more you make, the more you have to play with.
Writes James Clear in “The case for having no goals in your life:”
“Goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.”James Clear
It takes a long time to strike the chord you seek. The rest of the time you’re practicing with the intent to nail it down. All writing is in the edit.
Even poor sentences give you fresh ideas and force you into new territories. Other times it is one edit that makes all the difference.
The muse only works in your favor if you’re willing to be consistent and put in the work. “Remember our rule of thumb,” writes Steven Pressfield in The War of Art, “The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
The rest — the Moleskine notebook, the perfect pen, the dreamy goal — are excuses that trip you up.