Growing up I was never really a do-er.

See this kid? Totally lazy

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.

Cool things take practice. To be cool you first have to be boring.

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?

I’m willing to bet that you will say it’s getting more dangerous. And you would be wrong.

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.

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6 thoughts on “The Importance of Doing- Misunderstood Writing Advice

  1. I love the fierce determination and passion you give to your writing – and reading. I don’t think that you could be lazy, what child (or adult) doesn’t like to get up to not much and live imaginatively??!!

    Congratulations on the poetry reading, is any of it on your wordpress site? And a trip to Japan?? as for spending your time reviewing a fantastic writer.., well…

    Finally, sometimes, you must drink ALL the tequila, take it from someone who knows. Just make sure you have nothing much to do the next day!

    You’re awesome, keep up the good work. Happy everything is my new catch phrase.

    1. Thanks as always for being so kind!

      I wanted to post the video, but there are two things that make it so I can’t until a month from now: I wrote them for a class, and the video is low quality and isn’t worth it. I might post them in May.

      Oh- no trip to Japan! Gods that would be a wretched weekend.. I went to the town I studied Japanese in. Nice place in its own way.

      I am certainly not aloud to touch tequila. I have some stories about that stuff!

      Glad to be able to supply catch phrases! As always, keep writing my friend.

  2. Your week has been hectic! It’s gotta be amazing that you got the opportunity to travel, join in the poetry reading and being a writing tutor. But, as you mentioned, that had needed a lot of dedication and work on your part. Admirable. Moving onwards! ☺

    I’m a writer, not a notification reader” is also a post written by Aspiring

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