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This is why your day is ruined

Since the beginning of humanity, the snap judgment was essential to our survival.

Fight or flight. Danger or safety. Black or white.

For some of us, this day and age has been the first time we don’t have to worry constantly about the imminent perpetrator.

Yet, most of the time, we do. We rush to judgment all the time because it’s instinctive.

Instinct > Emotion > Action

There is a choice though. As we mature we attain a skill. We don’t suppress our nature. We learn to separate feelings from the action.

Instinct > Emotion < Choice > Action

As we mature even further, we learn to control our emotions. We’re still people, thoughts manifest themselves instinctively. But we have a choice to label them as good or bad, practical or impractical, or rather, as thoughts. No more, no less.

The skill of maturity is seeing things for what they are in reality. Next time someone cuts you off in traffic or you yell at your kid because she did something, think about this:

Did they really ruin your day?

Or did you ruin it yourself?

It’s not about you

Words carry meaning. A paragraph is there for a reason.

Every word should be there for a reason. This should be here for a reason.

It’s easy to forget that words carry meaning. Words are everywhere. Sometimes we think ‘hey, we should put a paragraph of text here.’

Why? Because the page asks for it, everyone does it, or that’s how we’ve always done it.

We should have a name, a logo and a tagline. We should have a story. We should have a mission. We should have colors. We should have a design system. We should have a bio, a short one, a long one, and something in between. Just in case.

Everyone should know what we do. Really, please, read out all this crap we can do for you. Every single thing. Aren’t we great? We can do all those things. We’re the best. No, we’re better than the best. We’re the bestest.

If we did spell out what we do, we would be only that. We would be just another company trying to compete inside a category. And we would’ve successfully matched ourselves with the thousands of those who do what we do but cheaper. And you will never win if you sort by price.

What if we are something else.

What if we say how instead of what.

What if we say why.

What if we make things say things.

Speak less, say more

How much is enough?

I made a website for our studio and said very little. Some thought that anyway.

There are those who get it. And there are those who don’t. Those who do are the ones we like. Those who care enough to think about the meaning. About the why. Those open to connect with the emotion.

This is slow food as opposed to fast food. Slow fashion vs fast fashion. This is slow work. Not too slow but not fast. It’s thoughtful work. It’s writing when I have something to add. It’s posting when I have something to say not because it’s Tuesday.

Slow food vs. fast food

Doing the work for those that are ready to listen. It won’t spell it out for you. I’ll do something better. I’ll think about it a lot, I’ll put in the work to make it better. I’ll put in the work to make you think. If you care enough you will connect. Connect to the emotion that is necessary to create something new.

This will not get me views. My most viewed post has 5k views and I have no idea why. My favorite post has 700. Don’t look at the numbers.

If you show up, they will have to look for you.

The maker has another job as well. She must must find those that care and make it better for those that care enough to buy in. Those who repay the gift. She must make it easy for them to find her.

If you just make it, they won’t come. If you make it good enough, if you show up, they will have to look for you.

Those are your true fans, your best clients, your friends. Those are the ones that get it.

Those who got it reached out about our work. Those who didn’t, those reached out to say they didn’t get it. Thanks for reaching out.

I said just enough.

What’s the one thing you cannot not do?

The opposite is doing nothing. 

You’ve got all these ideas floating around. All these signals you pick up during the day. They are ready to play. They’re ready to become something.

They are ready if you are.

It’s the sitting down that makes you a creator. Sitting down, relentlessly, throughout the days and weeks. If you show up, ideas will, too. What kind of ideas? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you show up.

If you don’t, they won’t.

The good ideas, the ideas that develop, that are elegant and insightful, those are scarce. If they’re effective, if people care, those are even more precious. The only way to find those, is to put out a lot of stuff.

Writing about writing again. 

Why do we write about writing?

In my mind, it’s simple and complex at the same time. You wouldn’t believe what writers go through to put it down on the blank page. They search the world for the perfect notebook. For the perfect pen, the perfect paper quality. They book hotel rooms, they bore themselves to death just so they do something they, after all, want and need to do.

Something they love to do, something they are very good at.

It’s the same with making anything. Except that maybe words are easier to be judged. Words are everywhere, it’s easier to compare. You can always doodle because it’s just a doodle. But anyone can judge this sentence.

If you’re a writer, there are many motivations to writing. But most of all, you’re doing it because you cannot not do it.

You want to practice and you know most of it will be shit. The 80/20 rule. Yet you go for good all the time. And it’s still shit. That is the work. The work is the time you put in at maximum effort knowing it will probably go to shit. The worst thing? Even if it’s not shit, most of the time, you won’t know.

You’re doing it because you cannot not do it.

Now, I don’t know if it’s better if I lay it out like this, or if I just repress thinking about it and do the work. I’m not alone to think about these things. Many writers write about writing. I believe all writers write about writing. Some share it with people.

It’s practice in public. And it’s probably shit.

WritingMartin Uhnak