Reboot at the OK Plateau

I have been inspired to restart blogging by, as usual, several seemingly random prompts that combusted in that imaginative furnace I am pleased to call my mind. The first was Shannon Wilkinson’s recent completion of 13 weeks of straight Monday-Friday blog posts. The challenge, of course, is in coming up with enough ideas to fill up that many posts. But I firmly believe that the more you write, the more you can write.

Another prompt was reading Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein, particularly the chapter on becoming an expert by working past the “OK plateau.” The OK plateau is that level of skill whereby you get good enough results without improving your execution.

Foer’s example is that of typewriting. Most people’s typing speeds improve to a certain speed and then stay there. The patterns and movements are well-burned into the neurons so that they hardly have to “think” about typing anymore.

So, to type faster, the key is to move those unconscious skills up to the conscious level where they have to be examined, honed, improved, etc. This is exactly how my banjo teacher has instructed me to practice — set the metronome faster than I can play comfortably. The point is to get uncomfortable and stretch and confront your weak spots, which the faster speed highlights.

As far as blog posting — well, I’m not out to set any records.  But I would like to challenge myself, particularly on producing a lot of  writing. I always have a ton of little ideas, and one way to break the blog barrier is to write faster, shorter posts. Since I typically take a long time to write a post, this will be good exercise for me.

My plan is to write 50 Monday-Friday blog posts over the next 10 weeks (thanks for the M-F idea, Shannon!). This gives me the weekend to rest up, maybe write some posts in advance, and hone my writing and posting process. One reason I stopped blogging is because I couldn’t figure out a great workflow. I hope this exercise will help me use my software tools better.

And I have a few other reasons for wanting to write regularly. I will talk about them in later posts.