Perseverance Will Get You Where Motivation Can’t

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Motivation: A swell of productive energy and excitement. It’s something that propels you to work at random times, triggered by varying circumstances, and is completely unreliable. It will fail you often and if you are depending on it, it will lead to really dismal project slog.

Perseverance: The determination to keep going, even though it’s difficult. Rather than waiting for it to strike you, like motivation, this is a choice. The choice to continue working toward the finish line. Once you do succeed, and realized that it was your own will power to pull you through, you’ll feel empowered to move forward.

 

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Why Style Quest Almost Didn’t Get Printed

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There were many points along the journey of Style Quest at which I considered cancelling the debut of the project in print.

I knew I would finish it; I had fun creating it each day, not planning plot arcs and just living in the moment of creation. Even assembling it for print and doing the research.

But then came the marketing. I’m fine with marketing and I know how to do so without feeling slimy. Unfortunately, when you market, you have to feel confident that your product can help someone, or at the very least, entertain them. And that’s where I hit the wall with Style Quest.

It goes back to that lame “is it good enough” quandary.

Style Quest, aside from being a guide to honing creative style, is the (albeit whimsical) chronicling of my personal journey. So the feelings crop up about whether anyone would really be interested in reading the story of me. Not something made up that I can hide behind; my real journey.

I’d decided I was going to print no matter what, mostly out of pride since I’d announced everywhere that it was going to print and built it up for six months, but I was pretty convinced that I was wasting my money on a product that would never sell.

It wasn’t until I was giving advice to someone else that I became sure that Style Quest must be printed.

They were afraid to start a personal project because they thought no one would care about what they had to say. I told them that, whatever their life story was, there is someone, somewhere, going through the same struggles. And that person wants to know they’re not struggling alone.

So that’s why I printed Style Quest.

And anyway, in the words of Robert Kondo, “personal stories are the best stories.”

Monitoring Your Progress May Be Slowing You Down

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Tracking your progress step-by-step is great. It can make you feel like a beast. As long as you’re on schedule that is.

If you’ve gotten behind, counting each step is a nightmare. It heightens anxiety and makes you feel like you’re sliding down into the abyss of never finishing. So how can you get things done and monitor your progress?

If you have a real deadline, forget counting the steps. Just get it done.

If you have a self-imposed deadline, the world will not end if you shift your deadline. Things don’t always work out as planned. So just shift your schedule and let the pressure off.

I’m running an experiment.

I got “behind” on my personal comic project. I decided to drop my schedule entirely. Not just my premier schedule. My production, my daily rituals. In the trash.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been planning one day at a time, and recording what I really do. Actual vs theoretical. A few weeks in and I’m starting to see some interesting results. I’d like to collect some more data before presenting my findings, but it’s getting really interesting. Stay tuned.

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Style Quest – Wrap Up

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I’ve given you some tools to get you started on your quest. The fact is that, no matter how much information you have, doing anything takes work over a long period of time.

There are no shortcuts.

I thought that in absorbing a bunch of knowledge upfront, I could cut years out of the process. Like how people offering courses tell you that they’ll save you from years of heartache by sharing their mistakes. This is true. You won’t make my mistakes. You’ll make your own!

Get it in your muscle memory.

Not only does knowledge take time to sink in, skills physically take time to get embedded into your muscle memory. I’ve been accused of not taking my own advice when I’m overworking myself. The truth is, I just didn’t remember the revelations that I’d written about the month before!

So take your time.

Putting a deadline on when you’ll achieve greatness is a good set up for disappointment. Instead, make a scalable goal. The easiest way to imagine this is with a weight loss goal: Rather than saying you want to lose 30 pounds, say you want to get stronger, or have a healthier heart. So you start you lifting 5lbs, walking for 15 minutes. And the next week you increase to 6lbs and 20 minutes. And you increase steadily each week. Over time you will loose weight as a result of your training (assuming your eating less calories than you are burning, but this isn’t a nutrition talk).

Who knows exactly when you’ll achieve your original goal? It often happens while your working and you don’t notice until after the fact.

So don’t stress about the when. Just build a solid plan and get to work. If you’re consistent, you will reach your goal.

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Thanks for tuning in to this blog series! I have one more post coming up about why Style Quest almost didn’t get printed: a lesson on overcoming fear.

It did indeed make it too the printers and will be arriving soon, so I will start shipping them out this month. As I mentioned, I’ve bundled these posts into a PDF that will come along with the book, as well as other goodies.

The digital package is now available separately as well. For $8 and no messy shipping, you’ll get all the digital goodies.

Having Memory Problems?

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When we’re born, our brain is like a big, empty storage closet. Unfortunately, it immediately starts getting filled with… STUFF. Anything and everything our little baby hands come into contact with is stored up there.

By the time we’re 10 or so, our poor brain is stuffed to the gills! Now information has to be deleted in order to pack new things in. So why try to cram trivial things in?

Write it down. I don’t need to store the fact that I need to call you at 10. A handy post it on my work surface or a timer will suffice.

Writing things down does not make your brain lazy. It helps you to put your brain to work on the things that matter, rather than wasting it on little things.

Use your memory tricks for the important stuff. Like developing a skill, learning a new language, gaining knowledge in your area of expertise.

 

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