Charles Pillsbury III

Geek. Dad. Writer?

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Folders by Folders (and getting something done for a change)

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Luckily Merlin is taking his time between posting on 43 Folders lately, or I fear my blog would turn into little more than “ooh, go look at what he said now!” Still… Go look at what he said now!

While the largest part of his latest piece is an indictment of the “tip culture” (see: most of the self-help/problog/lifehack blogosphere), one can’t overlook what is probably the most important paragraph.

We can’t get good at something solely by reading about it. And we’ll never make giant leaps in any endeavor by treating it like a snack food that we munch on whenever we’re getting bored. You get good at something by doing it repeatedly. And by listening to specific criticism from people who are already good at what you do. And by a dedication to getting better, even when it’s inconvenient and may not involve a handy bulleted list.

[From Real Advice Hurts | 43 Folders]

I’m a serial “student of” things. From radio control airplanes, to web design/development, to writing fiction, to playing guitar and many other things, I become interested in a subject, and study the crap out of it until I know it far better than I have any need for… but until I start doing it, the knowing doesn’t do me any good. I’ve come to this realization on my own I know, because I stopped subscribing to magazines on action subjects. Five years of reading about RC flying, or writing fiction, is much less likely to get you any better at the action than just spending a month focusing on doing it.

With writing especially, I struggle with the doing. There aren’t any magic bullets that will give me more knowledge on writing theory and suddenly make me a better writer, I know enough of the basics (and even some of the “advanced” concepts) that spending my time reading about writing, is a waste. My current writing project is not fiction though, so I’ve found another way of keeping myself from doing and that is “research”. With a non-fiction project you have to do research, though I suspect maybe I’ve done enough research to commit to writing some now too. I think I’ll give myself a handy bulleted list.

  • Butt in chair
  • WRITE!

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December 7th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

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