How to improve at you writing craft: The lesson of 1000 pots

1000 (pots) is a big, but mentally accessible number.

1000 Pots Experiment. Who made the best pots?

The idea is that there was an experiment where there were students, one group was told they had the whole semester to make the best pot they could. One group was told their assignment was to make 1000 pots. By the end of the semester, the students who made 1000 pots were making the best pots.

Common takeaway? Output over quality initially

The common takeaway from this story is that you have to go through the mechanics of making something, over and over, and initially, output might be more important than concentrating on quality.

It is kind of like the kid I saw at the hoop behind my house. He would be out there for 5-6 hours a day, earbuds in, shooting really ugly shots.

But for 5-6 hours a day.

I call him "Kobe."

If he keeps that up, he will have to be better.

The Excitement Dulls: The Limitations of Results in a Few Weeks Programs

More than some "shoot killer jumpers in 4 weeks!" program, he will have learned how to motivate and work on the craft himself. When you do some "short amount of time!" "crazy results!" program you end up being into it for a portion of time, but eventually you go back to whatever it was you were doing before. That adrenaline and excitement drops off again and you're back where you were before.

So what do you do? You end up looking for another program.

The Real Goal is Freedom

In reality, the way out of this cycle is figuring out a program for yourself.

Something that is internally motivating. Something that you do not just expend yourself doing, but that doing it renews you.

That is the goal. Freedom. Internal motivation.

The Alternative Takeaway from 1000 pots

Well the other takeaway is that, sometimes by doing things, you actually get what you wanted.

If you are there putting in the work, you will be naturally improving, that is, you have a mind towards improvement, you will be searching for it.

But the limiting factor is not the skill of learning, but the energy and pool of motivation to do it.

Put out work. Quality, not quality, put out a huge body of work. Allow your natural inclination to guide you.

You are naturally wired to improve, to experiment, to be curious, and to succeed.

Go for it.

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