Why I Have Been Waiting to Write My First Article, Ever
When I actually started writing.
To the future reader of this article, in case it is important for you to know, this article was typed almost seven minutes before Sunday, 19th March 2022. This is almost two weeks since I decided that I needed to kickstart my writing career on this platform; I actually was contemplating the entire writing thing for a considerable amount of time before that.
A bit of background
Before picking up an interest in writing, I had been a transcriptionist for a while and to me, it was a natural progression to move on to writing. My only issue was where to get started because you see, unlike transcription which has a few well-known companies worldwide, writing is a far larger field with lots of options to choose from or lots of roads to confusion and frustration if you had the same problem I had.
Before we get to the problem
Having decided to join the writing fraternity, I hopped onto the internet and read article after article about several ideas on how to make my first experience worthwhile.
Next, I posted my profile on different job boards like UpWork and Fiverr. It was clear however for me from day one that this was going to be an uphill task, to outprice and outcompete all the experienced writers there.
I then went over to LinkedIn to actively search for jobs only to get the dreaded, “Post at least 3 links to the articles you have ever published.” Now, how was I going to get the written samples as a beginner? That became my next challenge and then came the Youtube videos.
I went onto youtube in search of the different ways I could appear as a legitimate writer in spite of the fact that I didn’t have any experience, to cut the long story and the hours of videos short. In that chaos, however, is where I found Medium, two weeks ago.
Again, I looked for the perfect ways of how to write that one article that would introduce me to the writing world, and guess what? I am still looking.
I am a pretty introverted person and most of the time — I know this sounds selfish but bear with me — I would prefer writing alone. No, that’s not my problem but if you read Before we get to the problem above, you will see that in most of my endeavors, I was not writing but researching about writing.
I bogged myself down in hours of videos and articles on how to be perfect at what I will do in the future.
This stemmed from two issues, first, I always wanted to know all the details first before starting something, and I have found that I have decided to take the easier way out on some things when the playbook was not clear.
What I have done
As for the first problem, I have made a resolution to determine the course of action based on the value they bring to my life, not the knowledge I have about what hasn’t happened yet.
This is intended to help me escape the brain freeze that has made me lose out on many prior opportunities — and two weeks on Medium — and besides, you can never know fully about something. Therefore to save time, I have come to the conclusion that it is best to learn the rest on the way after a few basics.
As for the second problem, I decided to deploy good old vigilance as we all know deep down that nothing comes without a sweat, at least nothing valuable.
I have determined to catch myself whenever I am procrastinating and not willing to put in the work and to remind myself that what I am doing will in the end be worth more than the temporary relaxation, surfing, watching or whatever I will be doing that day.
Now those might look like two different issues but it is actually one thing. I discovered later that this was a coping mechanism for my brain to avoid what was unfamiliar and unknown to protect me of course. That is why we have habits and most of us rarely change or even want to change our routines.
We are naturally inclined to simplicity and predictability, both of which are not good ingredients for success, especially the latter. We grow through discomfort and pushing ourselves to greater limits.
This requires us to constantly be aware of what’s going on in our lives so that we can create the environment that is necessary for the discipline we need. As one wise man said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, so is the price of success in anything. You constantly need to be aware of bad habits and weed them out.
It is now 53 minutes into the new day and I’m almost done with my first article not because I got the formula for the perfect article, not because I even halfway know how this whole Medium thing works, but because I decided to sit down and write. I intend to figure the rest out as I go. As another wise man said,
If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Whatever it is you want to do, within reason, act upon it and always keep your eyes open, not to watch the world but to watch yourself.
Time check: 1:05 AM