Preciousness vs. practicality

Author Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes, “Another discovery I made then, and to which I have been adhering until the present. If you consider writing a creative endeavor, then avoid practicing it in mundane matters as it may both dull your vitality and make it feel like drudgery, work. I find it painful to write outside of my books (or mathematical papers) –and immensely pleasurable to write in book form. So I limit my emails to one or two laconic (but sometimes incomprehensible) sentences, postcard like; the same with social media posts that are not [excerpts] from books. There is still such a contraption called a telephone. Likewise, I don’t read letters and emails longer than a postcard. Writing must have some solemnity. Reading and writing, in the past, were the province of the sacred.” 

While it certainly adds to the mystique of his creative process, that is precisely the opposite of how I work. I love the writing process, and I’ve only enjoyed it more since I started writing every day at my blog again. I’ve gotten less obsessed about things being perfect, and learning to let go and loosen up again.

I also don’t believe that emails should be purposely incomprehensible; in fact, some emails make for excellent blog posts or articles. (I believe it was Tucker Max’s first book that started as an email chain.)

Most people are poor judges of their own thoughts, and emotions are fleeting; vitality may possess a person after the writing process and not during, or vice versa. For most people, it’s best to keep it practical: 

Just to show up and do the work. 

P.S., Or as Big Mike told me, “Put the paint on the canvas!”

P.P.S., If you want to be precious about it, you can always wrap a story around it after.

P.P.P.S., I know several authors who blog every day—Tyler Cowen and Seth Godin being two of the most obvious—and the perspective is the opposite. Tyler Cowen writes at his blog every day, partially to relax. (He believes in getting something done every day.) 

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