The Internet is an Amazing Accountability Partner
The Power of an Empty Room.
I’m the kind of person that doesn’t finish things. Whether it’s finishing a project, releasing a YouTube video or catching up on a TV show I have been watching, I have a bad habit of pushing it off until I don’t remember that there was ever something to do in the first place.
But I got thinking the other day… being this bad at finishing things, how have I managed to animate every day for the last two and a half years?
I’m convinced that the most important factor was that I posted them on the internet.
By posting the animations on the internet what I did was create a silent and implicit accountability partner for myself. The nagging guilt that if I don’t post another day — or if I quit — it will be out there for the world to see.
The funniest thing is that I didn’t even have anyone watching these animations. It wasn’t until Day 150 or so that anyone liked one of my posts. If you searched ‘Blenderbeetle’ in YouTube, you would find a video of someone modeling a car in the 3D animation program Blender.
So why would yelling into an empty room provide motivation to continue?
It’s doesn’t sound empty. No matter where you go, the internet is a bustling world of activity. We are bombarded with status updates and blog posts to the point that it is impossible to forget that there are people still wandering past our little section of online community.
We know the people are there but is anyone actually watching us? Can the mere possibility of people actually motivate us even while the view count stands at zero?
Try thinking about it this way.
You’re a pianist preparing to perform a concert. As you walk out on stage your hands are shaking. You wonder if you have drawn a crowd. Will people think you’re good? You hazard a glance at the audience and stop. The auditorium is empty. There are no chairs, No people and the room is only five feet deep. The back of the room is covered in mirrors and you stare for a second at the sign at the top. “ONE WAY GLASS” You have no way of knowing if there are people on the other side of that glass.
At this point you could walk away; Many people do. After all, Who wants to play piano to an empty room? But for others (myself included) the possibility of people on the other side of that glass is enough to make us sit down and begin to play. There is no guarantee that someone is listening, and some days no one is. but the important part is someone might be listening.
Let me tell you, when the views start adding up, and you see that people are genuinely interested in your work and your ideas, it’s a heck of a lot more motivating then the empty room that got you started.
My challenge to you today would be this: start posting something online. Whatever your goal may be get it out there. Do you want to be a more consistent artist? Post your drawings on Deviantart. Do you want to be a successful YouTuber? Make and post YouTube videos. Do you want to learn to be an accountant? Start a blog about the ins and outs of accounting and what books you’re reading on the subject. There is always a way to post your progress.
If you do start something, be sure to comment a link below! I’d be honored to be the first person to stand in your empty room.