Don't make things easier, make yourself better

What to do when writing feels hard.

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Writing is hard.

Content creation is hard. And sometimes the best way to handle this isn’t to make it easier. Rather, it’s to better prepare yourself.

I ran Track and Cross Country when I was in college. Every Monday and Wednesday we had grueling workouts and my preparation for these workouts began the night before.

I started preparing by getting plenty of sleep. Then I had a specific breakfast and lunch that I would eat to give me enough energy without making me full or slow out on the track.

Finally, I would get to practice early to get warmed up and stretched out before meeting my fate.

Everything was engineered so that I could survive the workout.

If I didn’t respect the difficulty of the workout, it would punish me.

Entrepreneurs can benefit from thinking this way about their content creation habit.

Many people underestimate how hard content creation is because of how effortless it looks from the perspective of the reader.

Especially on social media, everyone is throwing around ideas of abundance and effortlessness in life.

But writing is hard.

With every phrase, you’re confronted with multiple options for what to say next, what to include, and what to leave out.

You’re pushing against the limits of your knowledge and your ability to articulate the concepts in an entertaining and emotional way.

Only you know these decisions and only you have to live with them.

This has been at the front of my mind even more so lately as I’ve been editing my new book that’s coming out this fall.

Over the years I’ve found that if you “respect” your writing and treat it like something that’s hard but worthwhile, it will respect you back.

But if you try to squeeze it in last minute, you will get punished harder than I did at my first few track workouts.

Everyone tries to make things easier instead of preparing themselves to perform better.

This doesn’t help me as a runner. I could have made the workouts easier. I could have quit the team! But I wouldn’t have gotten faster. I wouldn’t have met my goals. I wouldn’t have won any races.

If I wanted to meet my goals, I needed to make myself better prepared for the workout. I couldn’t change the task at hand.

The "make business easier again" mindset doesn't help me as a business owner, either.

Every time I sit down to write, it’s effectively a practice session. I’m preparing for books I’m going to write, speeches I’ll make, future emails and marketing materials that I’ll create.

And sometimes, when I’m feeling tired, worn out, or demoralized, I go through the motions and just try to get something, anything down on paper.

Trying to make things easier is what makes content creation feel miserable.

And it’s how I end up missing days: One bad day turns into two. One missed day turns into two or three.

And my momentum is lost.

This is exactly how you end up convincing yourself that you’re not a good writer or that you can’t do it.

The simplest way to improve your writing is to respect the habit.

Prepare in advance with sleep and nutrition.

Sit down and focus.

And share what’s really on your mind.

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