It's been two months since I wrote an article. A while back I committed to myself saying that every morning I will write for at least one hour. I followed it for five months, it helped me to write better. It helped me to bring out the creative part in me.
But why did I stop writing? It was going well, I was able to publish articles once in two weeks if not every week. Did I run out of motivation?. Did I burn out?. Did I get bored?. No, none of these happened to me. The reason why I stopped writing is I was too focused on writing daily.
Yes, you heard that right. I was too focused on writing. It didn't burn me out or I didn't get bored of it. In fact, I had many ideas about what to write, I was able to write more daily. I was too focused on writing that I felt the quality of my content or narration started deteriorating.
Before writing this article, I had so many articles in my draft. I've put a week's effort in each and every article, but I felt it's not worth publishing. They didn't make the cut.
Huh, the irony, when the article I am publishing after two months is an article about not writing articles.
I was looking at the writing habit in a worm's eye view. I was too focused on it. I was too focused on the WHAT part instead of the WHY.
What should I write next?
What will make a good content?
What are the ideas that need to go into a blog post?
I eventually lost the focus on,
Why did I decide to write?
Why writing daily is important to me?
When I started disdaining my drafts, initially I thought it's a burnout. Then I saw a pattern. The pattern which occurs when we are coding or when we are debugging something. If we are too focused on the problem or achieving something, our thoughts will be too restricted to the boundaries of the problem/goal and we won't be able to think outside those boundaries.
It took me some time to realize it's not a burnout. If it were, I would've hit a reset button for that habit.
Sometimes we focus too much on the task in the hand. Putting all our effort to complete the task but we eventually miss the bigger picture. The immediate task I had is writing daily to get more comfortable with creating contents and make writing a daily habit.
But always the bigger picture is to write quality blog posts. Write something that people will read, something which requires their attention. By focusing on the immediate tasks of writing daily without breaking the streak, I was in an illusion of continuing my journey towards the destination but I was not in the right course.
I was not in the right course towards my goal. This brings us to an interesting topic called the one-degree mistake.
When an aircraft departs from a place, it's path is set to the destination. Then it starts flying towards the destination. But that's not enough for an aircraft to reach its destination. When it's in the air, it's course is altered by wind, the aircraft drift from the intended course.
If the aircraft is off by one degree from its course, for every 60 miles of its flight, it will miss the target by one mile.
Imagine it's going to U.S.A from India. The distance is approximately 8,431 miles, if the aircraft is off by one degree it will arrive at the destination off by 141 miles. Remember, we are talking about just one degree off the course, if it's 5 degrees, it's off by 700 miles.
So, the aircraft needs a continuous course correction to reach any destination.
This shows that how small mistakes can affect the journey towards our goal. The one-degree mistakes. The mistakes we think it's negligible, but unknowingly it will have a big impact on our journey. We have to identify those mistakes and correct them.
My goal was to write good articles, write something that people want to read. But my one-degree mistake was the worm's eye view. I was too focused on keeping up my daily streak, then realized my articles were lacking more quality than I expected and none of the articles I wrote was satisfying.
Both One degree mistake and Worm's eye view emphasizes the same theme – your core values and your core goals.
Never forget your core values by focusing on the immediate tasks.
Next time when you're working towards your goal. Take a step back, get off from the worm's eye view. Look at the bigger picture in the bird's eye view and make yourself aware of your one-degree mistakes. Do continuous course correction to reach your desired goals.
Bon Voyage ✈️