I want to be prolific. There is something inside me that has an almost insatiable need to make things. I have a feeling that if I can grasp that feeling and run with it, I could get there. I have some baggage to shed in that pursuit but it feels within reach.
If you'll indulge me in this I want to write out my thinking. Half journal, half a snapshot of what hopefully marks a turning point.
I pondered this a lot. The seemingly arbitrary goal of being prolific seems almost as open ended as wanting to be happy. There are many examples of prolific writers, actors, scientists and thinkers. I don't know which I'll be, likely some mix of many. Regardless I know that for me there is a need to create. To get ideas out and into the world. To build ideas, companies, stories and see how well they hold up outside my brain.
Reasonable question. Even in writing this I keep coming back to the advice to not share goals publicly. The idea being that announcing ambition gives us enough of a dopamine kick not to bother with the follow through. Perhaps in this goal that doesn't apply. Right now I feel that the biggest barrier for me is two specific worries. Number one, the perpetual worry that I am going to come off looking stupid. Number two, the worry that no matter what I am doing there is always something else that feels like the better use of my time.
The first worry might be some combination of healthy skepticism and an Australian culture of tall poppy syndrome. Worrying that strangers on the internet don't like what you are making is fairly stupid. I can analytically say that my skillset and interests overlap into a pretty small niche. It should come as no surprise to me that of the over eight billion people alive today, some are going to think its bad. Despite that I am going to push on. Make things I love and put them out there. Spend my time worrying if I like what I make not if others like it. That isn't to say I am here for "good vibes only," a lot of my success has come from criticism of my work. It is only to say that nobody gets to be prolific without a bit of time spent looking stupid.
The second worry is no doubt tied into the first. I am sure I am not alone in the following experience:
It's the weekend. You want to relax and recharge after a big week so you do something fun. Soon you feel guilty for not working so you stop having as much fun. Later you do a bit of work to resolve the guilt and soon find yourself feeling guilty for not relaxing. Repeat until Sunday night.
I end up in this cycle more than just on the weekend. I work too much, feel guilty and spiral into a haze of getting things done slowly but with an ever growing feeling of falling behind.
This past weekend I made a deal with myself. I was going to spend the weekend doing whatever felt like the thing to do in the moment and avoid any guilt for choosing it. In the end, I had a lovely relaxing weekend. I got to spend time doing things I would typically avoid out of guilt and started Monday feeling relaxed and recharged. My plan is to take that experiment and work out how to make that my default mode.
If you read this far, thank you for the indulgence. I know that my plans for being prolific are not an attempt to have a popular blog analyzing my own mental blocks. This was a marker. A post to show myself that I can create. Hopefully the start of something wonderful.