What the fuck is going on, Chris?

I’m embarrassed to say that’s it’s been almost two whole months since I visited this website.

What started off as a very passionate project, somehow quickly became a lot of hard work.

No surprises there, right?

Launching a project is easy, keeping a project going is hard. Well, it’s not hard, it’s just work.

After a few drinks last night, I confided in Cara to help me figure out why I’ve not made any progress on this project in the past few months.

What the fuck is going on with me?

A few things:

  • I knew the first few letters would be easy compared to the rest, because they were my most concrete ideas at the time. It started off easy, and every week it got harder. Writing isn’t the hardest part, it’s making the ideas I write about make sense. What I’ve figured out is that there’s a lot more work required than just the ‘writing’.
  • I’ve put too much pressure on myself. Not just a weekly schedule, but my expectations of myself are too high. In terms of the quality of writing, I’m expecting every letter I write to be a hit, to be the best yet. But that’s not how it works. I know that to become a better writer I have to write, and that not everything I write will be my best writing.
  • I haven’t been writing enough. Why? It’s related to all the other points I’ve made here. As time has passed over this few months, with no movement, I’ve lost my confidence and I’ve been getting in my own way.
  • I forgot why I started this project in the first place. The big picture: I want to push myself to write more, so I can find new ideas, explore new topics, and eventually find a thread for a book. The reality is that I fell off my horse at the first hurdle (after 4 letters I stopped), and now I need to get back on. More about that here.
  • Every day that passed I felt more and more guilty that I wasn’t serving you, the reader. And every day that passed felt like I was moving further and further away from every getting back to this project. This is a classic case of overthinking and getting in my own way. I just need to open up my laptop and start writing again. I need to ‘reboot’ and start fresh.
  • I haven’t made the project a priority. Yip, I’ve got time scheduled in my diary for writing every week, I’ve even got a project schedule in Basecamp, with reminders and deadlines. But that’s not enough. I need to make it a priority in my life, and up until now I’ve let other less important things take that time instead. You can have all the productivity tools in the world, but they don’t do the work for you.

So what am I going to do about it?

Today is Sunday 5th May. I’ve cleared my whiteboard in my office to develop a new schedule for this project. I’m going to pretend this is a newspaper and I have to submit my column at the same time each week.

I’m going to plan out the next 6 topics for the letter and start the writing process. I know that I must do this. I want to write more, I want to write and publish books, and in order to do that I have to explore the ideas I have and find my way through this.

I also know that I need to push through this barrier – it’s exactly why I started this project in the first place. I’ve got no idea what it feels like to write a book, or to be a writer, and I’m not prepared to fail just because it got a little harder than I expected. Pushing through this challenge is what I need to get better.

So, here it is…my confession to you.

I hope you’ll stick with me and I’ll see you back in your inbox in a week with something new to think about.