By Anupum Pant
Let’s cut the chase right to where the juice is. But before starting, I must warn you that these may be extremely random points, and might sound like self-help mumbo jumbo. But all of it comes from the most honest part of me. This way or the other, you’ll definitely take something away by the end of it. Like I said yesterday, here are my experiences.
It is tough
One post a day doesn’t sound intimidating when you first vow to do it. But when you actually do it, you find that it’s not easy. It’s not just the writing that’s tough. Putting up something on here requires hours of surfing on the web, researching and finding interesting things. Even if it is just a video that I’d like to put up, I have to dig it out. Because publishing something that I myself don’t genuinely find interesting is not something I can do. And then there are days when you have so many other important things in life to deal with, like say, midterms and term papers. Other times, you have to travel to a place where you’d have no internet access for a week. So you sit for hours to schedule seven posts before you leave for an exciting trip. Not for someone else, all of it to keep up the promise you made to yourself. If you are starting and you think you’ll manage, think again before making a commitment. Because once you dip your toe failing is never an option.
The days when you have 17,000 people coming to your website to read a post are good days. The best days probably. But there are also days when you realize no one really cares about what you write. There are just people searching random stuff on the internet and landing on your website. It’s lonely. And then there are the trolls, who instead of appreciating the effort would find it easier to criticize your silly grammar, or the way you write like a “5-year-old”. You know that these trolls shouldn’t affect you, but they do. It hurts. On the positive side, going through this repeatedly, I think you learn to be immune to their acid. That’s probably one great life skill to learn by laying your guts out in the open. It’s easy to breakdown from external things like these. So, if you want to start, not just a blog, start because you want to. Not for the audience. If you don’t, the drive has too many reasons to die out.
Different times of the day
This might be a personal thing. But, then this very thought has crossed my mind in relation with so many other things, and it turns out everybody is not very different. Most people go through the same. So it might apply to you too. Initially you fix a time of the day when you write and you just can’t seem to write at any other time of the day. It’s very difficult. So choosing a time of the day when you do this is extremely important. A time of the day when you’ll definitely be available to write for the rest of your life.
Another thing is, the time gets fixed and so does your state of mind. Nothing besides science comes to my mind when I sit down at that time to write. So, if I wish to write a post full of wisdom like this one, I find it easier to do what I’ve always been doing and do that instead. To write something like this I’d have to force myself to write at some other time of the day. So, it’s also important to remain fluid with the time you fix, to cover a diverse range of topics.
Gives immense satisfaction
One day, doing a little (not really) every day you do not realize what you’ve really created. And the day you look back at the archives, you see the monster you created. That give you an immense amount of satisfaction. A great sense of achievement. Just to experience that feeling of joy on the 500th day, it is worth an effort to do a single shitty thing everyday for more than 500 days. A sentence a day. Or maybe just take a selfie everyday. Without fail.
The person who started Atari, Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza-Time Theaters chain, Nolan Bushnell once said.
“Everyone who has ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the
person who gets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it that makes a difference.”
There’s something about a bathroom. If you spend enough time there, not singing or listening to music, a million ideas cross your head. And sometimes its like an avalanche. I have trouble remembering them all. But like Nolan Bushnell suggests, the wise actually do something about those ideas. You’ll ask me what?
Well, the least you could do is write them down. Also, throughout the day be aware and keep noting them down. If you do it on a phone, keeping too many category of files is difficult. Just make a note for a month and keep adding the most random things from your head to the list. People call it the spark file.
Remember to read it at the end of every month. And then you’ll see magic. All of the half-baked ideas, start mixing with one another and you connect random dots to create a beautiful picture. Also it’s normal to see 95% crappy ideas at the end of the month.
Having sources before you even start a blog
To continue, when you do make a list like that one. Also keep adding to it the ideas you’d want to write about on your blog. If you are going to do a post every day, you better have an idea ready by the time you sit to write. Because when you start thinking of ideas just before you have a pressure to complete the post of the day, the ideas don’t come. Ideas come to a calm mind.
I keep reading through out the day and maintain a list of blogs, pages etc which feed me the most interesting things that are relevant to my blog. These are my go to places most of the time. Also, I maintain a buffer list of thousands of ideas for blog posts at every point. Right now I easily have thousand ideas in my notes. But that duty of keeping a buffer list of topics/ideas is one thing you have to do to keep your own promise to yourself.
Not obsessing over stats
The day I started, I started looking at the stats like an addict. I saw a visitor come in and jumped up with joy and then I wanted more. And more. I remember clearly, when I started I wanted no more than 250 visitors a day. That was my dream. I couldn’t think beyond that. Now that I never get less than 500 a day, I want more. And that is where I realized that and decided to stop obsessing over my statistics. I’ve stopped looking at the number of visitors I get.
Because the day you get less, it disappoints you. And even if you say you do it for yourself, you start inducing external factors that drive you to do it. It’s dangerous.
I’m a fact machine – Practice makes perfect
To become an idea machine, all you have to do is come up with 10 ideas a day – it’s true! And it’s a best seller on Amazon these days. The idea of that book originated from one of the people I love listening to everyday, and the husband of Claudia Altucher (the author), James Altucher. Enough with the book. The point is, to be a master, or a machine (if you may call it that), it’s important that you work up that muscle every day. Even a tiny bit of it is enough. I unknowingly, much before Claudia started writing her book, I had started doing it.
Today, if any not around me talks about some fact even vaguely related with the “science” term, almost every single time, I immediately recall having written something more interesting related to the same thing. And I’m able to advertise awesci in the conversation. It’s an other thing that no one goes and looks up the website.
If this post sounds out of the place, then well you might start a petition to make me go back on this new section I started here, called wisdom (for now). Once we have 5000 people opposing this section, I’d start caring about it. Till then, I’ll keep going with the flow.