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On staying motivated.

lvrbrtsn profile image Levi ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ ・1 min read

So 4 days into this writing every day challenge I don't want to write. And funny enough earlier today I had a student ask me how she could better motivate herself to code. Well, here I am taking the same advice I gave her which is:

Just do it.

Nike I will take my millions by pay pal... pal.

But for real, I told her every day she needs to at least sit down and open her text editor

That is it, she doesn't have to do anything more. But she has to do at least that.

That is all I ever do, I told myself I don't have to write this post today, I can call it quits and stop this challenge today but I can't do so without sitting down at some point, opening dev.to, clicking new post, and that's it. After I do that I can quit.

Here is the dirty little trick. You are hacking your brain a bit, because after you go through the motions of starting inertia takes over. Its easier for you to keep doing what you are already doing then to come up with something new. You have tipped the domino, and chances are the rest will fall.

This is not always the case, sometime the third domino says "fuck the police" and falls sideways. However in my experience, 99% of the time I end up doing it. So long answer short.

Just start it.

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lvrbrtsn profile

Levi ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ

@lvrbrtsn

I help people teach themselves JavaScript @thinkful & @trybloc. Working on my courses. I’m nice at ping pong 🏓

Discussion

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I kinda have a beef with this kind of challenges.

There is a difference between writing and writing and publishing at the same time.

When, for example, authors like Ray Bradbury wrote that they wrote at least thousand words a day they didn't publish their work right away. They wrote drafts and had the time to edit and correct their work. Which caused them to produce work of a better quality.

I guess it depends on the purpose. If the purpose only to get into the habit of writing then the challenge is acceptable. On the other hand when the purpose is to write good articles then writing and publishing every day becomes quite a challenge. In my opinion it becomes unnecessary challenge. You can write every day but publish once a week.

So, what else is there to consider?

And you have to ask?

You don't know?

The other thing to consider is style. How is style important to you?

Style is indispensable when it comes to having an imprinting impact on the reader.

Here's I think I have a tip in case someone wants to improve their style and that is to use a simple "what if" technique:
What if I inject more adjective into my article?
What if I inject more action into my article?
What if I use metaphors?
What if I use literary devices?
What if I turn this sentence into a question?
What if I turn this sentence into a statement?

And now I thought of another practice to develop style. Whenever you stumble upon a poorly written article in terms of style that has good ideas you can try to rewrite improving upon the style.

 

I’m doing this to get into the habit of publishing/shipping daily. I don’t have any ambitions to improve my writing by posting daily, if anything it might get lazier lol

 

In that case, the challenge is good.

Yep! If any of the ideas get a decent amount of views I’ll probably expand on them in future posts.

 

I have a rule to work at least 30 minutes a day on my project. Every day. Even if I am tired, sick, on vacation, at least I will do something: plan, communicate, open editor and fix some small thing.
It is very easy to stay motivated this way. It just happens that you do it. And then you do more.

 

Weird how well it works!