I’m fascinated with the boring processes hiding behind creative genius.
In other words, what is mistaken for “unbelievable talent” is usually just weeks and months and years and decades of grinding to get better.
In “Comedian,” Jerry Seinfeld talks about his early days trying to hone his comedic craft, and shared a story that hit me like a sack of hammers. This is gold, Jerry, GOLD!
When I was starting out, I used to sit down and write a couple times a week. And then one day I was watching these construction workers go back to work and I was watching them kind of trudging down the street.
And it was like a revelation to me, and I realized “These guys don’t want to go back to work after lunch, but they’re going.” ‘Cause that’s their job. And I think if they can exhibit that level of dedication for that job, I should be able to do the same.
Just trudge your ass in.Jerry Seinfeld, “Comedian”
In order to get my own writing career off the ground, I stuck to a process of publishing two long-form articles every week, without fail. For 7+ years, I would publish an article on Monday and an article on Thursdays.
When I wrote a book, I had to write 500 crappy words every single day.
And then for the past few years, I convinced myself I could only write when I had something truly important to say.
As I’m now getting back to what got me here, the answer is easy:
Don’t write when you have an idea. Write to find an idea.
Trudge your ass in.