On Alex Boxall And Doing Stuff
My friend Alex Boxall is getting on my nerves.
It’s not because he has better facial hair than me. It’s not even because of his relentless determination to turn every single worship song into a country number.
You see, recently, Mr Boxall has been doing a really good job of doing stuff.
If you didn’t know, doing stuff is the key to success (click here to tweet this). It’s a very easy trick and more people should try it.
He’s set up a blog and – listen carefully kids, this is the tricky bit – he’s actually posting consistently. He is writing regularly and putting stuff out there. Flexing his creative muscles. Working on his literary 6-pack. Exercising his powerful writing thighs.
I feel like I may have taken that metaphor too far.
The point is that he’s doing stuff. Consistently showing up. And it’s annoying. Because I’m not doing that, and I know I should be. It’s pretty simple really.
Obviously there is a little more to the creative process than just turning up and making things. But in percentage terms, it makes up a great deal more than you might think. It’s the first and most important hurdle. Don’t wait for inspiration. Ruthlessly pursue it. Hunt it down.
If you only write when you feel like writing, you’ll never get enough practice to be really good at it.
And, equally importantly, he’s not just doing stuff. He’s putting that stuff out there. Not waiting for unattainable perfection before shipping his work. Perfect is the enemy of done you see. It’s make believe. Don’t wait for it.
But that’s not the only point. What do I do with Alex now that he’s getting on my nerves? Well, there are a couple of easy routes out when our friends are doing better than us. Doing things we know we should be doing.
One of them is quiet cynicism. Telling yourself that if you were doing the same thing, you’d be much better at it. Pulling them down to artificially build yourself up. When in reality you’ve done nothing.
The other is to be unnecessarily intimidated by their success: ‘I can’t do it as well as them’
‘I wouldn’t want people to think I was copying them.’
Excuses. Anything that results in me not doing stuff is the wrong choice.
So, I will choose not to be annoyed by Mr Boxall. Instead, I will be spurred on by his example.
I will choose to do stuff. Regularly and consistently. To show up whether I feel like it or not. Choose to flex my creative muscles and put stuff out there rather than wait for perfection.
Why not join me? Resolve to do more stuff – to make things, write blogs, sing new songs, record ridiculous videos, draw rudimentary pictures of animals.
Be more like Alex Boxall. Do stuff.
Changing every worship song into a country number is still unspeakably annoying though.
P.S Do check out the stuff that Alex is doing here