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It usually happens to me I have a vague draft of my posts in my head, and when I finally sit down and write, it comes out quite finished in a single sit... I almost don't think at all, it's like vomiting over the keyboard, like if someone else was writing it and I'm just he editor. And then, I hit publish with as little corrections as I can. I feel it's the most respectful thing I can do for that unknown mental state that wrote it, to avoid trimming it with the constrains of my rational mind.

Great read! Subbed :)

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Thanks Nacho! I get what you mean. A lot of writers like to put stuff out there when the idea is fresh in their heads. To "avoid trimming it with the constrains of my rational mind" is such a great way to put it. Sadly I'm too much on the opposite end of this spectrum.

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Brilliantly summed up. I am writing a tennis season review which was supposed to be just under 1000 words but right now it is standing at 5k words strong and I have absolutely no idea why I have so much in my head.

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Yes, exactly! It's an eternal problem lol.

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Feels like you're rationalizing lack of output.

> It’s impossible to set “deadlines” if they’re not real, that is, imposed by an external authority.

Disagree - "Wisdom is nothing more profound than an ability to follow one’s own advice." Deadlines are just abstractions that you can choose to enforce or not enforce as a contract with yourself. They aren't "impossible" to set.

I agree with some of the sentiments in the article, such that a project tends to evolve in unanticipated ways, but I do feel there is value in setting targets for exposing your thoughts in publication rather than dwelling in a continuous state of tweaking things in the safety of private words. Publishing has value, because it forces you to consider what is really worth saying, cutting off the fat of scope creep.

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Yeah, I don't disagree, it's more like I've had different experiences with different projects. I have my share of things I've made where I was like, "Yup, this is done!" This particular essay was inspired by the other kind, which just keep going because I can't stop having ideas to incorporate and don't want to leave out a single idea from the work.

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Perhaps you could split the varying ideas into a continuing multi-part series? Seems like a good way to get the benefits of publishing while not limiting the scope of the work.

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Yeah, good point. For that exact piece it wouldn't make sense but chapterizing a work seems like an option to keep in mind.

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Dec 27, 2023Liked by Siddhesh

Sample size: 1

I have had similar experiences to the examples in this post. I've also had well meaning people attempt to offer insights and suggestions on how to change or "improve". It's always a little annoying when someone thinks they can "fix" you. Regardless, I've taken some of the the suggestions and advice and attempted to implement it in my own work with little to no success.

It finally dawned on me that their solutions were tailored to a sample size of one and not universal truths for everyone within earshot. Hearing other people's solutions for how they got through a difficult situation in their own life is incredibly helpful. Having them tell you that their solutions are your solutions is grating at best.

Take the same template and apply it to weight loss advice. I've extended it to how I talk about movies and TV shows and changed from, "you should watch" and "(Movie) is great" to "we really enjoyed watching (Movie)" and "I had a great time watching (TV show).

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That's applicable for any advice ever though. The sample size for most suggestions is always 1 and that's fine.

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Dec 28, 2023Liked by Siddhesh

Sample size 1 is to remind me to present my experiences and solutions as being just my experiences and solutions. It also reminds me that when people are telling me about what I'm doing wrong and how I should fix it they are more often than not talking about themselves.

I thought Phil being a little judgemental and little familiar with his analysis and you and your personal trials and tribulations and thought I would offer a counter point.

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Dec 19, 2023Liked by Siddhesh

As a sculptor (amateur), one of my favorite sayings is "Sculpture is never finished... it is abandoned". There comes a time when "finish" is a verb. Perfection is an asymptote. And it is the enemy of the good.

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Oh, I love "Perfection is an asymptote", so true.

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Dec 19, 2023Liked by Siddhesh

Also a first time reader. You’ve touched on a lot of thoughts that I share, but haven’t fleshed out. This was thought provoking, glad you took the time to write it up and publish

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Glad you liked it Trent!

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Jan 7Liked by Siddhesh

You absolutely nailed it with the thought that the creator would know every little flaw and yet has to decide at some point to publish what they have regardless of how much it can still be perfected! Couldn’t agree more on this, be it a simple piece of code I am writing at work or something I paint as just a hobby.

Anyway, great article and the following things you’ve mentioned will stay with me for a long time:

1. You don’t know what you really think till you write about it

2. It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so

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🤝🤝

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First time reader here. That’s very interesting, thanks a lot !

You said that

> if writing a stupid essay that requires zero research, zero external coordination, and zero dollars, only my time and focus, is this difficult to finish, I’m astounded that anything ever gets done in the world in the first place

But I realised that maybe, not being able to finish your projects could be caused by the lack of constraint. Like if you have no more money or no more data to base your analysis on, then you have to finish it right ? So maybe finishing an essay about your thoughts is harder than publishing GTA 6 before 2030

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Thanks Arthur! You're not wrong - lack of constraints is definitely a problem, especially a lack of temporal constraints. Unlike GTA there's no money on the line or stakeholders to please so yes, there's less incentive to finish the piece and in a way that makes it "harder" though in a very different way.

That's why I went on the tangent about deadlines though - I get that there's a price to having no constraints (price being the essay is not finished), but on the other hand, I've gained a lot from having no deadlines too, in that the essay evolved into something I couldn't even have imagined had I "finished" it early on. So there's this inherent conflict between when to finish/abandon something and when to keep going, for which there are no right answers.

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Dec 27, 2023Liked by Siddhesh

Siddhesh, thanks for getting these thoughts out of your head and where I can read them. They have been very helpful.

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Thanks Bob! Glad it helps.

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Dec 27, 2023Liked by Siddhesh

This correlates strongly with The Cult of Done manifesto I read just eralier today. I think you might find it interesting: https://thomasdeneuville.com/cult-of-done-manifesto/

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Good read, thanks!

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This is the first time I'm reading you and I must say it's very touching...

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Thanks for the kind words!

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Write up on a write up. Interesting introspection. Wise . Im curious to read those enedited 17000+ words now.. Maybe it could finally be A Book

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Time will tell...

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deletedDec 26, 2023Liked by Siddhesh
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True, constraints are what I inspire creativity is what I've heard as well.

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