This begets this (not that)

Sometimes I’m tempted to stop writing on this blog (and sometimes I do… go back into the archives and wonder what I was doing during those quiet months), but usually at some point I convince myself to keep going and next thing I know I have a month worth of posts done.

And in those moments I’m reminded that writing begets writing.

You see, sometimes I write all my posts for a few months at once, which is a great practice when you’re entering a busy season.  I’m really good at doing this, I’m like the opposite of procrastinator, I do everything at the very. first. minute. ever.

This is sometimes a bad thing.  Because then I get busy, stop writing, and by the time I get to the end of those pre-written posts I haven’t written in weeks, sometimes months.  And then I wonder why it’s hard to come up with a new post or write anything of worth. And so I stop for awhile and then one day I write another month of posts.

It’s a vicious cycle.  I’m not saying that I don’t think I should work ahead, or that sometimes I enter a busy season and something has to give, but inevitably when I start writing and produce a lot of material, I think to myself “writing begets writing.”

And so while this post has a lot of useful ideas about getting into habits and sticking with them, and working ahead but not too far ahead, really I just want to remind you (and myself) that “this” begets “this”.  Not “that.”

Reading does not beget writing (though it provides inspiration).

Working out does not beget dancing (though it will keep your body moving).

Reading about great business ideas does not beget a great business (though it doesn’t hurt).

Eating things that are bad for me does not beget healthy eating habits (though I wish it did).

Rabbits do not beget turtles (but that would be funny).

Promoting your product does not beget your product (even though that’s a great thing to do).

Ignoring your schedule and to do list does not beget timeliness and productivity (if it did can you imagine how productive our workplaces would be?).

Some people call these things “habits.”  And you do something over and over until it becomes a “habit.” 

But I think of it this way:

Do I want to write?  Then write, because writing begets writing.

And yes, sometimes we can’t jump to the end result.  I can’t just “run a marathon” today, not without training (and a complete personality alteration because that is so not my thing).  But I can’t just make plans for my marathon training and expect to run it based on plans.  At some point you have to actually run.

What’s important to you?  Do it.  Don’t do something related in place of it.  Do it.  Then you won’t be able to stop it from coming into being.

What do you want to “beget?”

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