Without practice we maintain a plateau where progress stalls. To obliterate plateaus, create habits of regular practice.
I believe that I'm at the point in this experiment that Seth Godin would refer to as 'The Dip'. It's the point at which one feels no upward progress is being made and where one feels momentum has stalled. It's where continuing further doesn't feel worth the effort.
Seth says it's where most people quit. It's the reason great ideas and businesses often fail. They don't fail because the idea or business was no good, but rather because the person keeping the venture alive decided to give up. They weren't patient and persistent enough. They didn't push through the dip.
As I experience the dip in this experiment, I find myself questioning more and more the purpose of it. I find myself looking for an out, trying to convince myself that nothing of value is being produced and that I'm wasting my time. But I know none of that is true and it's almost comical to watch myself go through this phase.
I'm able to look at these feelings objectively because I made my decision not to quit before I started.
I accepted that no matter what, there would be value in this experiment. Even if all I wrote was narcissistic gibberish -- something I knew my perfectionist, value-based side wouldn't allow for anyway -- I knew there would be value in finishing.
Knowing I would come up against this resistance, I gave myself just two rules: One paragraph, ten days. These rules were optimized to get me through the dip. I knew that even my perfectionist self should be able to share that much.
And as it turns out, I need only look to the previous seven days for proof: More than three thousand words shared and lots of resistance overcome.