Wednesday 15th March 2017
Execution is everything
On day 3 of my forced sickness and I feel like the cold I’ve been suffering either lined up miraculously well, or that slowing things down for a few days brought it to the fore.
I’ve actually made a lot of progress on the health front today. I experimented with a lot of foods to see which ones made me ill. The last couple of days doing nothing gave me an even playing field and so I can say with some conviction that milk and artificial sweeteners upset my stomach. When I’m feeling OK, the effects are not too bad but when I’m not feeling 100% they escalate my problems. Going for non-diet soda doesn’t have as drastic effect. Just as well I don’t drink a lot of soda normally.
It doesn’t mean I need to cut them out entirely, it just means that I need to be aware I might need to cut back if my stomach starts flaring up.
As a result, whilst I started these 3 days wondering if there was any benefit to it, I’ve ended it with a much stronger understanding.
In short, the caffeine I’m consuming to get the book done comes in the form of diet-energy drinks which, whilst I only drink 1 or 2 a day, is giving me a constant flare ups. Couple this with the milk based products I’ve been craving of late and it seems it’s causing the problem to exacerbate.
I’d planned for today to be a productive day, a day when I actually got a lot of things done, but the above experiment meant my morning was spent deliberately trying to aggravate my stomach. And then in the afternoon when I wasn’t feeling 100% (this cold doesn’t help) I just watched loads of Youtube videos on social media promotion.
The problem is, that whilst it’s fine to watch these things when I’m not feeling well, I’d probably do the same if I was feeling 100%. I will occasionally find myself going down an internet rabbit hole, following link after link to end up somewhere totally unexpected on the internet. I could start by reading about some bit of technology but then through a series of links suddenly find myself reading about some ancient raiding ship.
I often don’t mind this when it happens as to be honest, I’ve found some gems of research doing this. But the social media rabbit hole I went down today was a little different. A lot of it was validation of what I already know, just executed by a number of different people in their own style.
The problem is that I know now that I’ve encountered the same content by 3 different people all saying exactly the same thing, the time for research and rabbit holes is over. Now’s the time to execute and do a bad job in order to learn how to do it properly.
Getting started is always hard. We want detailed step-by-step instructions or someone to hold our hand. In truth though, sometimes you just need to execute and work with your results. Actually, not sometimes, most of the time.
It was interesting being on a social media livestream yesterday and seeing the name of someone whose cook books I own in the audience asking questions. But you know social media, I thought. You’ve got 1.7million followers on Instagram and yet you’re still checking into this livestream because you don’t feel you have all the answers.
On one hand, it’s a validation for me that I’m following quality information rather than chasing snake oil, but on the other hand it should have been a wake up that we’re all trying to figure this stuff out.
And the only way to do that is in execution.
You can read a book about writing. You can watch every youtube video, ask questions of authors and read online interviews. But at the end of the day there comes a day when you need to execute. You need to get up and start writing for yourself knowing full-well that it’s going to be poor quality to start with.
That’s one of the reasons I started The Climb when I did, before I get a deal. That way, when (because it WILL happen. Lol) I get one and people wonder who this young upstart is with his flashy future novel, they’ll come and find established content.
If I waited until a deal and then started The Climb, it would have seemed clumsy and a bit awkward. I feel after 50+ issues, I’m a little more comfortable with the content I’m putting out.
That’s the theory, anyway.
But my point is, sitting around and thinking about things isn’t going to make them happen. At some point you have to get up off your arse and actually do.
Which is why I’m a little frustrated with all my Youtube watching today. I’d much rather have been executing.
It wasn’t all a loss though. I finally finished my article for Fantasy Faction and sent that in. I also squeezed in some writing time on the novel and finished off the chapter. I swapped two people’s roles when I shouldn’t have done but I think I can rescue it. Even if it needs a rewrite I don’t think it’ll be too hard to fix. But still, I was a bit annoyed with myself. I plan this stuff for a reason.
Even though I wasn’t in the office today, I went to training, driving nearly 2 hours to get there, and even longer (thanks roadworks!) to get home. It was worth it though. My sword & buckler students are really progressing and starting to really think for themselves rather than just follow a load of drills. Again, this links back to the idea of execution. I had a load of them come up afterwards and thank me for the lesson, even though, as we joke, I just read from a book.
I’m back at the day job tomorrow, and I’m not too sad about that. Now I know what is aggravating my stomach, I can hopefully begin to take measures to lessen it. And hopefully I can now focus on executing a load of my writing tasks instead of procrastinating by continuing to research past the point of usefulness.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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