I mean never again… after today…
After seeing a whole shitload of ‘Get Your Summer Body/Wardrobe’ ads in my inbox and social media this morning, and after scrolling through a Medium feed full of ‘How to Write More/Better/Faster’ and ‘Self-Affirmation/Self-Compassion/Self-Actualization’ articles, I’m feeling particularly curmudgeonly today.
Then after breakfast, I sat down to write and came up with zero. Nada. Zilch. I could think of nothing I wanted to write about.
So my grumpy brain started listing all the things I will never write about. Ever. Not in a million years. Not if my life depended on it.
I mean no offense to anyone who does write about these things. Whatever floats your boat, I say. And I’m sure your audience welcomes whatever you have to offer. These are just topics that are not, and never will be, my cup of tea.
In no particular order…
Jeans, t-shirt, hoodie, hiking boots. In summer, swap jeans for shorts and hiking boots for sandals. There. That’s my fashion advice.
2. Health & Fitness
I enjoy beer and cigarettes. A workout is taking a shower, doing housework, or walking to the pub and back. A healthy meal is skipping the sugar on my Cheerios and drinking my coffee black.
That’s all I got.
The internet is full of self-help gurus offering recycled advice to help you ‘live your best life’ or ‘be the best version of yourself’. And people eat that shit up.
Personally, I don’t believe in the power of positive thinking or that gratitude can magically manifest abundance or that mindfulness can change anyone’s life. Try telling any of that to a single mother with four kids, two jobs, and no health insurance. Go ahead, I dare ya.
If it works for you, great. More power to you. But as far as I’m concerned, the self-improvement industry is a cultish scam that reinforces privilege and feeds dangerously into the myth of bootstrapping.
What little I know about productivity — and that is extremely little by any stretch — I learned from working ten years in the tech industry. It can be summed up as follows:
- Multi-tasking is a crock.
- Uninterrupted focus is the one and only route into flow , aka ‘the zone’.
- Flow is the state of mind where the best creative work happens and it takes time to get there.
- All the productivity hacks and apps in the world won’t help you if you can’t or won’t put in the time.
- If you do put in the time, flow will inevitably come easier for you, allowing you to produce quality work faster, thereby improving your productivity.
Which all boils down to one simple piece of advice — just do the fucking work.
5. Inspirational Quotes
If you ever see me include an inspirational quote in something I write, hunt me down and give me a good smack. If I include it in a meme with a cat or a unicorn or (~shudder~) an angel, just go ahead and put me out of everyone’s misery once and for all.
Sure, I can string together a coherent sentence or two. And yes, people have paid me for writing. But that sure as hell doesn’t mean I have any pearls of wisdom to offer on the subject.
The truth is I have no idea what I’m doing.
I don’t write for eyeballs or likes, I don’t know how to build an audience or an email list, and I don’t have some grand plan for a product or course that I can flog online. I write the kinds of things I like to read, about things that matter to me, hopefully from a place of authenticity, and mostly by the seat of my pants. I just open a blank page, write one word at a time, and trust that I’ll end up with something that makes some kind of sense.
People will either like it or they won’t, but either way, I’ll open another blank page and start again.
I guess the title of this piece was a bit of a lie — I sort of wrote a little bit about each one of these things here, didn’t I? Oops.
Oh, well. There are more than enough people already writing reams of material on all of these topics, so I’m sure these pathetic contributions of mine won’t matter.
And now that I’ve purged them from my brain, maybe I can start focusing on the things I really do want to write about.
Now there’s a list I’m interested in seeing.