It's Not the Tools

Do you ever enjoy doing something because you don’t understand it? I think the results from jumping in and trying something are sometimes more enjoyable than planning something out. Lately though, I’ve noticed I’ve become more hesitant about sharing the results.

People consume what I create, and it’s actually kind of terrifying. We want people to see and respond to our “Art,” but the reality of it is overly awkward.

We have control over our projects until we hit the post button. After that, we can’t control the response. Sometimes, we don’t even get a response.

I like to imagine I’m not narcissistic. Picasso would probably enjoy seeing people like his posts on DeviantArt or Instagram. When people started liking my photos and quips online, it was nice knowing people were consuming my content. Now, people are providing feedback and asking me to teach them to do things.

It’s terrifying. We have separation of church and state, and we should have separation of real life and digital life. Just kidding…

Criticism is hard to deal with, but I think what’s even harder is when people want you to help them get started with something. It’s probably because they’ll realize I don’t really know much…

I can’t help you find what you’re looking for

For some people, in order for Z to happen, you need Y and X to happen. We then say, So-and-so did Z, therefore So-and-so can provide X.

I bought an espresso machine, and a lot of people have asked me about it and asked for machine recommendations. Usually I say “I don’t know, there were 2 in my price range, and I tested them at the store.” One person asked for a recommendation and when I told them they should make a list of features they want and see what machines satisfy those features, they said, “I guess I’m not getting an espresso machine.”

If we’re hesitant to do something, we’ll look for excuses not to.

In photography, people want the right camera, the right lens. People who want to paint want the right canvas, paints, and brushes. If you want to be a photographer, take photos. If you want to be a painter, paint.

Invest small, make mistakes, and learn.

Which I guess brings me to the point of this post. I want to try my hand at writing.

In the past few years, I’ve purchased writing books, software, thesauruses, character development guides, and a bunch of other stuff. I signed up at Penflip (most of the stuff I’m working on is in private repos at the moment). I bought notebooks and fancy pens.

I haven’t written a single word.

Now that it’s summer, my plan is to jump in and do it. I’m not going to worry about if it’s good or bad–everyone starts off bad. I won’t aim for a novel though. Just a short story to get my writer blood flowing.

My goal is at the end of each month to share where I’m at. Even if people are like “this is bad,” I want to write a story from beginning to end.

I’ve been told announcing a project means you’re less likely to do it. I bought Scrivener and Storyist in 2008, Ulysses in 2009, iA Writer and ByWord in 2013, and I’ve been paying for updates for all of these since then1… So maybe blogging about it will help hold me accountable and get things started? I’ve had the “tools” for at least 7 years now, so it’s time to stop making excuses and dive in.

Now I need to decide, what am I writing about…? I guess I really don’t know much…

  1. I bought a lot more software, but these are the ones that I’ve started projects in and seem to be actively maintained.