Quora Saturday: Writing habits, dictators, leaders, managers, and generating ideas

October 15, 2016 by Joshua
in Quora

Continuing my Saturday series on posting my answers to questions from Quora, here are my next questions answered:


Q: How should I make a habit of writing one blog post every day?

A: I’ve written a blog post every day since January 2011. Here they are: Joshua Spodek’s Archives. In case you didn’t guess, I didn’t feel like writing every day for the past 5+ years. I still did it.

You know what to do. Just sit down to write every day. Your challenge is how to do it. I’ll share some perspective. I’ve found adopting the view of taking the choice out of the process helps the most. I don’t ask myself if I feel like writing or if I should write today or not. I don’t ask if something else is more important. I already decided that writing daily is my priority. No more second guessing.

People say, “You must have a lot of discipline to keep it up.” They have it backward. It’s not that I had extra discipline that made it possible. Doing it daily developed the discipline. It’s like a weight-lifter. They don’t start with strong muscles that make it possible to work out. They started with weak muscles. Working out makes them strong.

The more you do it the easier it gets. The big bonus is that it builds skills for you to act on your priorities everywhere else in life too.

You might also check out my writings on sidchasSelf-Imposed Daily Challenging Healthy Activities—which emerged partly from writing.


Q: What’s the difference between a dictator and a strong leader?

A: To say someone is a dictator describes the political structure. It’s a statement about a system and a person’s place in it.

To say someone is a strong leader describes their style of leading. It’s a statement about a person’s behavioral style.


Q: I am not really convinced that there’s a real difference between managers and leaders. Am I right?

A: Considering the extremes helps illuminate the difference.

An organization with all management but no leadership can become like the DMV.

An organization with all leadership but no management may never get started.


Q: How do bloggers come up with so much content?

A: I’ve found writing every day and taking the choice out of the process helps. I’ve written a blog post every day since January 2011. Here they are: Joshua Spodek’s Archives. In case you didn’t guess, I didn’t feel like writing every day for the past 5+ years. I still did it.

When I started I thought I had a few dozen posts in me and then I’d have to work hard to come up with ideas. Instead I found that writing developed my skill of coming up with ideas. I have a file on my computer for ideas. That list ended up growing faster than I can use them up. I don’t think all my posts are incredible, but some are. Quality comes with quantity.

People say, “You must have a lot of discipline to keep it up.” They have it backward. It’s not that I had extra discipline that made it possible. Doing it daily developed the discipline. It’s like a weight-lifter. They don’t start with strong muscles that make it possible to work out. They started with weak muscles. Working out makes them strong.

I suggest you see writing as something that can develop writing and creative ideas. The more you write and come up with ideas the more easily you come up with more.

You might also check out my writings on sidchasSelf-Imposed Daily Challenging Healthy Activities—which emerged partly from writing.


Q: How can I generate ideas for blogging?

A: I’ve found writing every day and taking the choice out of the process helps. I’ve written a blog post every day since January 2011. Here they are: Joshua Spodek’s Archives. In case you didn’t guess, I didn’t have a great idea for a post every day for the past 5+ years. I still did posted. Because there are some incredible gems in there, and even ones people haven’t found still helped develop me. Quantity leads to quality.

People say, “You must have a lot of discipline to keep it up.” They have it backward. It’s not that I had extra discipline that made it possible. Doing it daily developed the discipline. It’s like a weight-lifter. They don’t start with strong muscles that make it possible to work out. They started with weak muscles. Working out makes them strong.

Same with coming up with ideas. There lots of little skills—seeing ideas, keeping them in a list, refining old ideas, finding new interests, finding topics you like researching, reading things and realizing you want to comment on them, etc.

You might also check out my writings on sidchasSelf-Imposed Daily Challenging Healthy Activities—which emerged partly from writing.Once, when I told someone how I exercise daily, he asked, “You don’t exercise when you’re really tired or busy, right?”

I said “Especially when I’m tired and busy. Those are the times when you develop the most.”

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