All The Excuses I Have (Issue #2)
There are a lot of reasons not to do something.
I have tried many times over the years to start a regular writing habit and I've always given it up. Of course, when I gave it up, I always had something that I called a "reason" but which would be more accurately described as "an excuse."
Founder Summit Wisdom
This week, I am at Founders Summit in Mexico City (shout out to fully vaccinated conferences, rapid tests, and cities where masks aren't politicized 🙏) and caught a great talk from Dru Riley (@DruRly) and Michele Hansen (@mjwhansen) about building the writing habit. Dru writes over at Trends.vc where he writes to over 45,000 entrepreneurs and Michele Hansen who turned her Deploy Empathy newsletter into a book by the same name.
They shared a ton of wisdom with us:
As I earnestly kick-off writing and share my exploration of doing hard things well, I thought the best way to overcome inertia would be to just list all the excuses I can think of not to do it. Take all the quiet (and not so quiet) doubts rattling around in my head and air them out. Shout-out to Nick Zadrozny (@nz_) who came up with this idea and is joining in.
So, without further ado, the list of all the excuses (followed by the reality) I can think of to not write (or, really, do any hard thing like exercise, habit building, or anything that's good for me 😎):
I don't have time ⏰❌
Dude, you scrolled Twitter for like an hour over the course of the day.
*checks screen time widget* 📱👀
Dude, you scrolled Twitter for like two hours over the course of the day! You have time, just figure out how you wanna spend it.
A great idea that came out of Founder Summit is to go on a long walk and record a voice memo. Get the transcript of that voice memo, lightly edit it, and post it! Include the audio too if that's a medium you're passionate about.
I don't know what to write 🤔📝
Then sit down and brainstorm. Create a list. If the list is short, that's fine. If the list is one thing, great! Write that. Just don't force it because that isn't authentic and it'll show.
No one will read it 🙅♂️😒
Who cares? Secretly, you'll be relieved if no one reads it. So is it scary if no one does? Because, even more secretly, you do want people to read it. You want to create something people like and being earnest on the internet is a death sentence.
Ugh, someone *might* read it 😓😩
Lol, yeah, this is potentially much worse because then they might know something about you! It's scary to be seen! But remember, you're writing to to build community, to find people who this resonates with, so yeah man, someone's gonna have to read it for that to happen.
Everyone will hate it 🦨💀
Maybe! Probably not though, statistically, right? Maybe just most people will hate it, which is scary and likely bad, but I guess that's feedback. If that happens, you should probably update your world view and grow.
I have to optimize the tech stack first 🔨💻
Oh yes, we love to tinker don't we. In the last six months I have tried out:
Back to Revue (where we are today; welcome)
What a waste of time. But, I learned (again) not to spend too much time setting something up for 50,000 readers on day one. Just start writing and sharing in the easiest way possible. Remove the distractions and go.
Revue posts directly to Twitter and puts the newsletter in your bio? Fantastic, roll with it. If you ever get 50,000 readers you can pivot then.
Don't waste time on peripheral tinkering activities and pretend it's progress. Words typed posted are the only metric that matters right now.
It looks like shit 🔎💩
Ah, yes, Tinkering 2.0 we shall call it. This is just the next layer of wasting time. Hire a designer later. Right now: Type, type, type.
Inspiration never strikes when I time block 📅💥
OneNote, Notion, Evernote, Apple Notes, a voice memo, a little notebook, a napkin, the back of your hand. These are all places to jot down ideas & context whenever they strike. Come back to them during the time block and write about the one you're most excited about that day. Let the momentum build.
I don't believe (in) myself 🤔👨🚀
Now we're getting honest. When I don't believe myself it means that I haven't spent enough time thinking. Some of the writing blocks should just be thinking. Take a single topic and go walk, block out distraction and question yourself, or meditate for 15 minutes on it. Then, research and write.
I don't believe in myself. Hey, doubt is normal. It means you're probably being honest. Write about that. Be open and transparent. People will get it.
My experience isn't unique ✨💖
Everyone's experience is unique. Focus on sharing that part. It'll resonate for some and not for others. That's a good thing - those people will come hang out and everyone else will keep moving!
My perspective isn't useful 🚀💥
Maybe! Maybe not. Let your audience decide, if they show up. Write toward what those people resonate with and what fires you up. That's where the honesty comes from and each of
This shit is kinda pretentious, isn't it? 👃🆙
No, actually, it doesn't have to be at all. Pretension is a shield that people put up to protect themselves. Recognize that, be kind about it, but go a different way.
I feel acutely the dual pretensions of the aerospace and startup spaces. At Launch Co. we exist in both spaces. So, there's an opportunity to dismantle that. Be transparent and be real. Demystify the process to invite more people along. I won't write to the established aero / startup crowd because I'm not building what I left behind. Instead, I'll be courageous and explore.
Who are you to even do this? 🧙♂️😒
Nobody! And that's what's great about the internet. This shit is free and whatever you create is just getting posted on LinkedIn and Twitter, which are also free places to find the people you resonate with.
Drop the ego that maximizes you, as well as the ego that minimizes you. Play and have fun!
Lol, damn, I'm honestly just super scared. 🙃
Fantastic! That means you're onto something. And that's the point. It's not really about building a readership (though, you know, it would be cool if it happened) it's about taking your experience and honing it, examining it, and making sense of it.
At the end of the day if all of us wrote more online and examined ourselves, we'd be better equipped to wholly move forward.
So, yeah, there's a lot of reasons not to do something. There are endless reasons not to do something hard, new, or otherwise scary. But it only takes one reason to do something. Find that reason and run with it.