You Can't Be Awesome Without Being Mediocre First

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So why now, besides the obvious New Year's resolution motivation?  Because I read this Cracked article and decided that even though I'm not exactly the target audience, there's always more I'm capable of doing.  This passage in particular is what grabbed me (interestingly, it's not the one in which the author says basically "you're not a writer unless you write"):

Don't like the prospect of pouring all of that time into a skill [in the author's case, 20,000 hours "to sand the edges off my sucking"] ? Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the sheer act of practicing will help you come out of your shell -- I got through years of tedious office work because I knew that I was learning a unique skill on the side. People quit because it takes too long to see results, because they can't figure out that the process is the result. [emphasis added]
I quit writing in large part because I was reading lots of people do it so much better and I concluded that I didn't have anything to add.  In particular, I quit writing about Michigan football because MGoBlog is IMO* the ne plus ultra of non-offishul-Journalizm sportswriting, and anything I wrote on the subject would be at best a glissando fart into the wind by comparison.  So why bother?

Because MGoBlog didn't spring fully formed from the mind of proprietor Brian Cook.  It started out with some good stuff, some iffy stuff, and some WTF stuff.  But he kept going, and now it's his day job.  I bet *he's* put 20k hours into it since 2005.  Which means the correct response was not "I'll never be as good as MGoBlog, so I might as well quit," but rather "I might not ever be as good as MGoBlog, but I'll only get better if I keep going.  And along the way, I'll produce other worthwhile stuff."

*[full disclosure - I'm a Michigan football fan.  I'm certainly biased on MGoBlog's awesomeness, but really, check it out if you're a fan of any college football team]

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This page contains a single entry by Chris published on January 2, 2014 12:24 PM.

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