Control: Reign like it’s May weather
I spoke about control and focus in my last post.
I told you how helpful it is for me to put my iPhone in the other room while I’m working. Put it even farther than that. Put it in the kitchen if you have to. Put it in your fucking neighbor’s room and tell them to lock it up if you need to. Do not even get connected to the Internet when you write (or record, or write code, or create anything). Yes, I don’t give a fuck if you need to copy things online. You want to copy or steal or get influenced?
Prepare. Wake up, give your one hour to meditation, save lots of documents, copy and paste things into your word processor, write notes, do whatever you need to do.
And when the time is right, and you start ripping the keyboard (or any of the tool you use to create things), you will not have any distractions. You could type so fast. You know who the most successful authors in history are? People who type fast. Typists. Some of them are women who used to type 77 words a minute in court. Court typists. Some did stenography. Some of them just used to type 70 word a minute in an office. And they just know how to type fast. Yeah, typing is writing.
Ok, so now when we kill the distractions we need to make some mathematics. Let’s say you want to write 4,000 words in one hour. Get some paper and make yourself a list. Make blocks of five minutes. Every hour you’ve got 60 minutes. That’s twelve blocks of five minutes. Every five minutes you need to type 333 words. So go work on your typing skills. Seriously. Work on them hard. If you want to be a writer or author you will need to be an excellent typist.
Unless of course, you are rich and you just want to find a ghostwriter, then you just need to teach them how to write 4,000 words an hour for you. Because if you’re a wealthy businessman you probably don’t want to pay for 1,000 words an hour when you can get 4,000 words an hour. And those 4,000 words came as part of “the instinct” which will probably be better for your taste (and maybe for your readers’ taste). And you could call it art if you want.
Art is bullshit, by the way. Who will decide what is art and what is not? You could create something, and it will be so successful, so the critics will say, “That’s not art, that’s product.” But if the same product will fail, you and others will say, “Wait, that’s art, that’s why he never succeeded. He was too early to the market”. Get the fuck out of here. Seriously.
Focus. One of the best tools to perfect your focus comes from ancient (and essential) Asian methods of meditation. First of all, take a deep breath (cliché, yeah, but I prefer to have clichés and win). Make sure you aim the breath to your pelvic floor, just under your belly. Now close your eyes and feel the air going through your hands, your legs, your whole body. Now, inhale, exhale, feel the air getting in and out. Clear your thoughts. You need to do this for 1 minute. Sixty seconds. If in those sixty seconds you start thinking about other things than your breath, you lost. You need to start all over again. When you succeed, do five minutes, and ten minutes, and twenty-five minutes, and one hour.
Now for our next simple “trick”, the eye focus. What is the eye focus? I’ll tell you, so pay very close attention. You need to look at an object far away. So open your window or just go outside. You need to focus on that tiny dot, that spot, and ignore everything else. Just look at it. Feel this thing. Is it the top of a building with a red light? Perfect. Look only at it. Ignore everything else. Ignore everything on the right, ignore everything on the left, ignore everything at the bottom, ignore everything at the top. Feel the red dot. Feel the object. Think about that object only.
More about Self-control. Independent praise. Self-punishment and self-respect in my next post.