The Plan: Write Words. Fast.

Writing is really hard. Despite having plenty of time on my hands, I find myself stagnating when I try to write blog posts. The problem is that I'm aiming too high. I want my first blog post to be the most immaculate piece of literature you've ever laid your eyes on.

Not gonna happen.

So here's the new plan: I write a lot, all the time. Not every post will be good. That's okay; I'm learning. There's a famous parable about this that I'm told comes from the book Art and Fear, which I haven't read. It goes like this:

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

This story almost certainly didn't happen, but it holds a key truth: Learning takes place during trial and error. Making lots of stuff is the way to get better. Eight-year-old me had this figured out, but it's a lesson I've slowly forgotten.

So I'm going to write a lot, and see what sticks. Who knows? Maybe I'll even get lucky and write something good.