Make Before You Manage
by Writing Workshops Staff
A year ago
Make Before You Manage. I got this simple mantra from Tim Ferriss. We've never been busier and tasks seem to have multiplied under lockdown and social distancing measures.
Often what gets lost is permission to pause and work on our creative endeavors. These are the things that sustain us as writers and tend to be the first thing to go. We need time to accomplish our goals, to get to THE END of our manuscripts. This requires the mental space and self-permission to get there.
So, if you can, make before you manage. Ferriss writes:
Each morning, before plugging holes, fixing things, calling vets, answering text messages, or delegating things, this mantra was a reminder to make something.
Even the most time-sensitive items can usually wait 60 minutes, and by make something, I mean anything.
Even token efforts allow me to reassure myself with "Don’t worry. You did produce something today."
The psychological difference between zero acts of creation and one act of creation, no matter how small, is impossible to overstate. If you’re lucky, sometimes that one idea, one sentence, or one shitty first draft can turn into something bigger. But the point is to be able to say to yourself, even for five minutes, "Hark! I am a creator, not just a janitor of bullshit! Here is proof that I can—and will!—do more than just manage minutiae… "
We all spend time on the struggle bus. At the very least, this mantra has helped me to find a window seat when it’s my turn.