Writing Is Like Getting Naked in Public

Writing and sharing it is analogous to walking around naked in public. You open yourself up to judgment of others and everyone can seemingly see every flaw. However, once you are ok with that it can become liberating. For example, this video of Neil Gaiman talking about his journey as a writer and overcoming the feeling of judgment.

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  • When You Have the Inspiration, Act Right Away

    Inspiration quickly fades and is not enough to sustain a prolonged effort. That’s why you should act immediately when inspiration strikes. For example, when you have the idea for a blog post, jump straight into writing it—waiting causes the inspiration to pass and the likelihood of writing it goes down.

  • Weekly Reflection Clarifies Broad Based Worrying

    At the end of the week I reflect on what went well, what’s not working, and what I learned. The key is to write down an observation and then add specific supporting examples. What I typically find is that I’m drawing conclusions from a small number of instances—or none at all. This is often enough to dispel broad based worrying that accumulates at the end of the week (especially on weeks that haven’t gone well).

  • Typing Fast Is Thinking With Your Hands

    Knowledge work is often limited by time spent thinking versus doing, but typing fast helps you think faster. Ideas don’t usually come out clearly when they go from our brain to paper—they require some iteration and correction. That means some amount of exploration is required and the act of typing can help you think with your hands.

  • Temporary Intellectual Home

    Writing an essay is like living in a temporary intellectual home for awhile. It means you are spending time with the subject, getting to know it’s details, nuance, and depth. It’s the opposite of being an intellectual tourist with a passing understanding.