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Writing Regularly

July 26, 2020

I've stopped writing regularly. I've published a couple of articles about personal knowledge management and stopped. I've broken the habit. I'm trying to get back to it now, but at the time I felt that there is nothing else to say about the topic.

The inner critic

My readers aren't interested in anything outside of my usual topics: product attempts, freelancing, or personal knowledge management.

This line of thinking gives more power to the inner critic I have to fight with every article I write. Every time I publish, I hear this voice inside my head that makes me start questioning things.

My writing is not good enough, and no one will read it. It doesn't matter. It's not interesting or useful.

And that's what pushes me to publish.

The flinch

I've learned about the "flinch" a while back, from a book of the same name by Julien Smith. This experience reminds me of it. He explains it with an example of novice boxers. When they start training, they close their eyes before every punch in the face. To win at boxing, they need to fight this reflex.

The voice of this inner critic is my flinch, and I fight it by publishing regardless. It is one of the most reliable indicators that I'm leaving my comfort zone. It's disguised as a voice of reason. It's telling me that what I'm doing is crazy. Why bother? Don't risk it. It makes no sense.

The same thing happens before I turn the cold water in the shower. Or before I start a hard conversation, send an uncomfortable email, or start giving a meetup talk.

This voice is like flight control telling me where I have growth opportunities. I then decide whether I should go after that opportunity or not.

The same thing happens when I publish an article and send the newsletter. It makes me fight the flinch, and it confronts this fear. It makes me become better at it.

And that's why I'll keep on writing.

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