Something I think about a lot in writing is the benefit of just getting a draft on paper. All my best work begins as a crappy first draft. Because ALL my work begins as a crappy first draft. There is no magic, just revision: chipping away, word by word, with a mental chisel.

Are there certain things you need to knock out of the park the first time? Perhaps. But I think far more common is people not getting started because a too-high standard for their first draft or an underlying fear of failure. And this goes far beyond writing, too.

Your best bet is to lower that standard and embrace that fear. Because it doesn’t get easier. I’ve done a lot of writing and the vast majority of my projects—especially the ones I care about—begin with some version of “Oh shit, now I actually have to write this.”

The things you care about are going to be hard. They are going to make you vulnerable. That’s just part of the deal. Almost never is something going to be perfect the first time. Almost always will you have some fear, doubt. Just get started.

Brad Stulberg (@Bstulberg) writes about performance and wellbeing. He is the bestselling author of the new book The Passion Paradox and Peak Performance.

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