I’ve Started This Experiment Thrice

25 Jul

It is 8 p.m. as I write this.

I’ve been meaning to write this post all day. But, since I’ve had the whole day available (to write), I, apparently, decided to devote it to:

 

  • taking a nap
  • “researching” ideas (ahem, surfing the web)
  • catching up on email

I’ve attempted this make-a-real-go-at-freelancing experiment thrice now. Like any classic yo-yo dieting lifestyle, I’ve tried and then tried again to establish a writing routine/life/gig/career that feels sustainable. There’s no shame in a couple attempts. I call these my “soft starts”, and they provided me with opportunities to discover the gaps, get my ducks in a row, and develop feedback loops that motivate me. It was during the “soft starts” that I procured some work and my first clients. Those soft starts set me up for this go around, which is going to be a smashing success.

I set up a daily spreadsheet and editorial calendar. Leo Baubata discusses feedback loops his post Engineer Life: Set Up Habit Changes So It’s Hard to Fail. Basically, you need to plan for and/or construct feedback loops that solidify your habit. When I have the right stuff on my list, checking things off of it is downright satisfying. If I want writing to take a front seat in my career from here on out, for example, I best make sure writing goals and projects are first and foremost on my daily/weekly/yearly goal lists.

I will stay up as late as need be. There is something about not checking off the boxes in my spreadsheet and editorial calendar will keep me up as late as it takes to accomplish every single item on my writing checklist for today. And, there you have it. Eureka! I’ve found the right feedback loop. Without a solid goal and system to keep me on track, I would be out with friends instead of typing away so that I can add a little check mark to an Excel sheet. My next goal: creating a feedback loop that motivates me to accomplish this before midday.

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