#49: On Writing Everyday
A candid reflection on this priceless skill plus an update to my new project ('My Mind on UX')
My posts about writing has always been one of the most interesting and popular ones on this newsletter. Every time I feel like I’ve covered a lot of it already, I would instantly realize I haven’t even scratched the surface. This sudden renaissance of my own personal commitment to writing feels like a pivotal moment. I don’t know yet where a lot of these ventures are going but I’m keenly aware of the possibilities, of what they could be. Having the support of you, my readers—through feedback—means everything to me. Thank you.
The thing about writing is that it is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can bring out the absolute best thing about you; on the other hand, it can also bring out the worst. The practice of writing daily can be beautiful and ugly at the same time. It is oftentimes wrestling with these two opposing demons. This is why, I think, it remains to be one of the hardest, not to mention daunting, habits to develop.
It’s also an essential element to our best work, in most cases. Wrote a short theory about it on LinkedIn.
No matter if it’s just 10 minutes or 30 or 5 hours, you’ll be forced to sit down momentarily and deal with all of this. You have to think deeply and execute lightly. You have to face an empty canvas and walk away with something. It almost does not matter what that thing is.
I find that when you continuously put yourself in such an uncomfortable state like that, it changes you. It taps isolated corners of your brain, your heart and your body. It opens up your eyes and ears to things you previously have not thought of before, possibly more things you may or may not be prepared to handle. It’s a little bit like Pandora's box. I can think of a few other metaphors for the experience but that is not the point.
Writing everyday is supposed to be hard. There are multiple reasons why you shouldn’t do it, especially if you prefer to live a comfortable and untroubled inner life as it is. It is equal parts pain and pleasure with no certainty other than discomfort for the writer. It can be brutally unforgiving.
In spite of all of it, I can’t think of a more poignant way to celebrate life. I would subject myself to such emotionally and mentally taxing states simply because it’s a necessity, a need and a source of energy. Most importantly, it’s one of the paths to flow state. (If I have to explain why this is important, then we have bigger things to worry about.)
A lot of things are going to get done and there’s always an end state.
Writing does not—for to stop doing so would essentially mean walking away to what our brains could evolve into, one word, one paragraph, one page at a time. In a lot of ways, doing so can also mean walking away from what our lives could turn into.
Of all the skills I’ve learned so far in my life, nothing was quite as profound and as impactful as writing.
I’m as convinced of its role to my future as I was on day one.
A lot of what’s going to happen to me, in a good way, will come from writing. There is no doubt about this. Perhaps, this deserves a separate post.
Until then, no matter how chaotic life may get, I can promise myself one thing:
Make time for writing. - Nikki
Make good art, in general. No excuses. (Thanks, Neil.)
Thank you for reading,
My Mind on UX
A month ago, I started this surprisingly satisfying project out of pure circumstance, boredom and dumb luck. In case you missed it, I documented the entire thought process on my last post:
Now I’d like to bring it out of stealth mode because why not. It’s my version of a UX-focused study guide. I wrote this for a wider group of readers, more on the generalist side of the spectrum but the future updates will be a lot more focused on a few things. Stay tuned for it!
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