| 1090 words

Alright, here we go. I am sitting down at my computer right now. I have about two hours until bedtime, but I hope to complete this within one. Regardless, I do not intend to stop typing until I hit my goal of 1000 words.

One thing that I'll try to get over at the beginning of this is the fear of writing something bad or unpolished. I think that fear, if anything, is my main limit stopping me from writing more, creating more, and publishing more. It makes sense, when you have very few of something, you want to make sure each one is the best it can be. That's similar to the reproductive strategy used by humans, as opposed to the one used by insects that just spam out eggs without invested 18 years into raising each individual child.

That's kind of a funny analogy, but let's roll with it. Forget about the human strategy, it's time to start mosquito-maxxing. You know what, I just resisted the urge to go back and delete that whole metaphor. It's a little bit weird and I otherwise would but remember I'm trying to put down my unedited thoughts here: maybe I'm a little bit weird too. This is good - it's like exposure therapy. Intentionally writing stuff that I kind of feel like deleting to convince the voice in my head that not being perfect is ok.

Dooby dooby doo. Criss cross apple sauce. Chugga chugga choo choo. That's right: pure unfiltered nonsense. And I am deleting none of it. Take that voice in my head! Is any of this beneficial or productive at all for my readers? Well I don't know (probably not though) and I don't care. In this moment, I am only trying to conquer myself, and I am winning.

Whoo, I legitimately feel better. Looser. Kind of like doing a good stretch before working out. Maybe I need to do that more - low stakes nonsense to stretch the old creative muscles. It reminds me of the kind of improv exercises an actor might do before doing a big emotional scene.

When I was in 8th grade, we had a poster near my math class. It said something about the brain being like a muscle - if you use it, it gets stronger! I always thought it was a little cheesy but I don't think that makes it any less true. What stands out to me now is how much everything else kind of works like a muscle too.

Emotions can work like muscles: if you feel deeply, with every fiber of your being. and do this often, then I think that makes you a more emotional person. More in touch with your feelings and able to express yourself and understand others. That's kind of what the improv exercises can help with - putting yourself in random moments of strong emotion.

Willpower is like a muscle. As you work on setting limits for yourself, and become expert at following them, then exercising willpower becomes second nature. At least for me, I quite enjoy routine and having a productive routine makes it easier to be productive.

Creativity is of course like a muscle. The greatest, most transcendental creative works around us are made by masters who dedicated their lives to excelling in their craft. Without their consistent practice, we might never have been gifted with some of their creations.

I think this comparison can often just be used in a moralizing way to convince people to work harder or practice more. In my opinion a lot of these things can function like muscles in other ways too. If you don't stretch or loosen up your creativity or emotions, they'll be tight and hard to use. If you push your willpower too hard, it'll take longer to recover. If you push it even harder than that, it might sprain and be nonfunctional for a while.

When working out, you also learn that targeting only single muscles by themselves isn't always the best strategy. From my limited understand, compound exercises that work multiple muscles are generally healthier and build more resilient strength than isolation exercises. Plus, there are small stabilizer muscles involved in many exercises that won't be worked out in, for example, a leg press that isolates just your quads but are still important for everyday activities like running and jumping.

Can we extend the muscle analogy to include these ideas? Hmmmm...

I do think that "real world" ways to work on your traits and skills are better than contrived examples. Pixar movies might effectively make you cry and feel emotions, but it won't be humanizing or powerful as really having those experiences yourself. Seeing your child be born or witnessing a one in a kind beautiful sunset. Similarly with my writing - I think writing things with the intention of publishing, and then actually publishing, is much better practice than going to workshops and writing and discarding a hundred first drafts.

Ok, introspection time. What non obvious traits do I have that I'd like to build on. My creativity of course, not just with writing but with all sorts of different types of things. My motivation too - after building skills my main limit is how willing I am to use them. This one is interesting; sometimes I get in a lazy rut for a day or two, and what kicks me out of it is watching or reading the right thing. I think really, what it is is seeing something grand and inspiring that puts me back into gear.

That's very interesting. So far most of my inspiration has come from the internet since I spend most of my time alone, but this makes me realize I should find inspiring people and spend more time around them. This will probably naturally have tons of benefits, one of them being to give me an abundance of inspiration and therefore motivation. Maybe some kind of class full of people who are committed to learning?

Wow. I admit, I was skeptical about this idea. However, it's only been 30 minutes and I'm finished this word vomit and it contains an interesting insight I realized about myself. I didn't think that just writing as I thought would be as useful as it was but I'm very pleased with how well it's worked.

Alright, 1 down, 999 to go.