Growing up I was never really a do-er.
I was one of those kids that spent a significant amount of time thinking about doing and stopping there- as if lifting a finger would be far too much effort.
It wasn’t until recently in my life that doing something was an essential part of living. I’d always had a thousand interests and yet it took me nearly 22 years to realize that I should act on them.
That led me down the rabbit hole into writing, weight training, doodling, and ultimately ABKstories. I lied to myself over and over that I was a do-er until I started to look like one. On the very surface anyone who sees my daily schedule would say that I look at something, say to myself- “yeah I can do this” and then do it.
But I know one thing- this is a learned behavior. I’m the type of guy that would rather sit back and relax than work. Deep down I want to play video games and think of massive sci-fi worlds for hours on end. I want to imagine what it’s like to be Luke Skywalker or Obi Wan Kenobi instead of stepping up and actually being Alexander.
It took some time before I started to say to myself- Obi Wan Kenobi is a master Jedi because he spent day-in and day-out training. The same goes for Bruce Lee, Master Chief, Gandalf, Ripley, Yoda, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Samus, Marcus Aurelius, Issac Newton, Kepler, Musk- I could go on for pages. None of the greats- none of the truly greats in stories- ever waste a second of their lives. They take every moment to heart and make it an investment.
This is something I’ve not only realized, but something I’ve gradually obsessed over. And that’s when things got interesting for me.
I have this idea- straight out of my math phase- that just about everything has an algorithm. You want to eat? Give money to a food place and 10 times of 10 they will give you food.
I also know that we humans create heuristics all the time- a good example is this: How many mass shootings can you think of? I can name about 5 right now that happened within the past decade. With that knowledge in mind, is the world getting safer or more dangerous?
This is the fault of the availability heuristic: I can think of more examples of something happening than not happening, thus it happens at a high rate.
Heuristics are useful in interpreting the world. In some cases they are right- like if an American sneezes in an East Asian country and finds that no one says bless you- she can assume that they don’t have this custom in that country and be absolutely correct.
I spend most of my time trying to fix my heuristics into tangible algorithms. This way I can accomplish more with set formulas and max out my day. Essentially I make a conscious effort to do things.
What does this have to do with writing? Well I’ve found that doing things doesn’t always mean that I’m getting anything done.