Sticky Notes - Quitter.

Read this, from top to bottom, if you're notorious for not finishing the things that you've started. 

The TL;DR...

Last night, I was thinking about how so much writing today doesn't "finish strong" but instead dies slowly, miserably, like a week-old party balloon. So, I shared some candid thoughts on the subject in my guide. If you've already purchased the guide, then it's your fucking birthday. You've got lifetime access. Just log back in. If you haven't purchased the guide, shame on you. Write your wrongs here. Or, by tapping the big black button at the very end of this email. 

The whole story...

I'm not of the opinion that athletes are God's gift to mankind. But, I do think it's advantageous for everyone to do something physically challenging every now and again. Primarily, because something that's physically challenging is also mentally and emotionally challenging. 

I'm three-quarters of the way through Haruki Murakami's "What I talk about when I talk about running", where he spends 173-pages gorgeously making a metaphor between writing and running...

"Muscles are like work animals that are quick on the uptake. If you carefully increase the load, step by step, they learn to take it. As long as you explain your expectations to them by actually showing them examples of the amount of work they have to endure, your muscles will comply and gradually grow stronger."

Murakami, of course, isn't talking about running. But, writing.

He views the writing process as a sort of manual labor, where you show up to the page each day and write, without distraction, for 3 to 4 hours.

Very few self-proclaimed writers have this mentality and ability.

Sure, they say they write for 3-4 hours a day but in actuality, these 3-4 hours are filled with tweeting, emailing, Instagram-refreshing and then, sprinkled in-between all of this grab-assing, a little bit of writing.

Because of our lack of attention, it's far easier to begin a novel than it is to finish one. The word "novel here can really be exchanged for anything that takes a substantial amount of time and effort to complete: building and launching a product, dropping twenty-five pounds, improving upon a romantic relationship, etc.

Funny enough, the very thing that often keeps us from finishing something that we’ve started is the excitement and enthusiasm around starting something else.

I don’t feel I’m over-generalizing when I say: Humans are splendid beginners but God awful finishers.

When I’m struggling to finish something –– and this “something” for me is generally a writing project –– it usually means that something more exciting has stolen my attention. 

It’s always more exciting to tweet than it is to write a hard-hitting closing sentence to an article I’m writing.

It’s always more dopamine-inducing to cut away at the delicious fat of email than it is to edit my next book of poetry and prose.

It’s always more invigorating to find myself speedily tapping away within a text exchange with my girl or a friend than it is to sit down, undistracted and write. 

That’s the challenge with writing... there will always be things a hell of a lot more fun than writing... things that become even more of a problem the more widely you are read.

This is how writers are stripped from the vine before they’ve had the chance to reach their fully ripened potential.

They write something halfway decent. They gain a readership. They gain a following. Then, they tell themselves they have to constantly tweet and post for... "marketing".

If they're not abundantly careful, they will spend the rest of their fucking lives "marketing" and, eventually, find themselves with no work to market. 

I was listening to a podcast the other day where a prominent entrepreneur was interviewing another prominent entrepreneur and one of them made the claim that they spend most of their time tweeting because they feel it offers the most value. This, in my opinion, is when you’ve developed a God Complex: when you feel you’re offering the world tremendous value by tweeting. 

And, please don't think this isn't coming from first-hand experience. The last couple of months, my following on Instagram has gone from a few thousand to twenty-nine thousand due to blind luck and, sometimes, I worry it's the worse thing that has ever happened to me.

I'd believe without a doubt to be true if I didn't quickly realize that a following doesn't demand my attention; that both my following and myself will be better for it if I only write them when I have something to say or new work to share versus writing them constantly to keep up with my "marketing". 

Anyway, back to finishing strong... 

Murakami claims the only reason he has reached his full potential as a writer is because he's reached his full potential as a runner... running marathons has allowed him to become incredibly comfortable with pain. 

In other words, the same tenacity that keeps him in a race for 26.2 miles is the same tenacity that keeps him at his writing desk, daily, undistracted, for 3-4 hours.

At the very end of
my copywriting guide, you will find a headline that reads... "The finale before the finale –– the art of finishing strong." It is accompanied by a short clip of a sinking ship. Read it. But, more importantly, act on it.

By Cole Schafer.

"The big black button at the very end of this email."

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