Philippe Khin
Trying to get the first step perfect will ruin you
22 March 2020
Don't waste time dwelling on your first step, think of it as a necessary step to get the next ones better.

After a long time brainstorming about ideas on writing the perfect first blog post to start this blog, I decided to just write and publish this one. No specific theme or targeted audience in mind.

What I noticed from my previous experience, is that every time I took a loooot of time trying to make the first step of any project, be it a blog post or a small MVP of a product, to a certain extent satisfying enough to put it out there to the public.

The perfect first step doesn't exist

But what I realized is that this process is soooo time consuming and will drain your energy, doesn't bring you anywhere, and the perfect first step doesn't exist and you will never get satisfied enough.

Instead, just start with something perfectible, so you can get the wheel started, and once it's started, it becomes much more easier to keep doing the things.

For instance, this blog post itself is just an exercise for me to get better at writing for my next ones. When you see your contents out there, you get enough motivation to keep doing the thing in a long run.

The less time you give your first step to be done, the sooner you will get it done

After endlessly trying to write what I have in my blog post ideas list, I decided to just start writing when the inspiration hits. To be honest, there is no such things as inspiration, just get your brain clear and get yourself a good surrounding environment, start to write, and then your brain will do the rest.

I'm currently writing this blog post from a coffee shop, and will give myself not more than 20 minutes to finish it. The more you dwell on trying to perfectionize it, the longer it will take you to produce the output, and the less likely you will keep up the next time.

So smart small, short and quick and everything will get smoother over time. That's the magic of habits.

Have a few headlines in mind and get started

You can keep staring at the blank screen for a while, and you'll be guaranteed that nothing good will come out.

Instead try to type some keywords on a draft note, and ideas will flow by themselves. Then from there, your brain will get all the dots connected with each other while your fingers are typing on the keyboard.

Do not underestimate the power of seeing each letter popping up on your screen. Just by seeing that, your brain gets into a hyper mode that will bring you more inspirations. It sounds weird but when I start typing, there is this little sense of satisfaction of hearing the keyboard resonates with all the letters appearing on the screen, and you get some adrenaline (?) and feel like you're competing in a race, trying to get the damn blog post out there as fast as possible.

Do not review the content of your blog post until you get enough contents

One thing that I noticed as I write, is that the more I review and go over what I'm writing, the slower I will get to finish the blog post, and the less ideas I will get.

This might be explained because you reviewed what you just write, and your brain will get locked on this particular part of the contents, and it will put you off from writing further.

So what I'd do, is that I keep writing until I got some solid contents (maybe around 4 or 5 paragraphs) and then I go over what I just wrote to see if I can add anything else. By doing so, you're not only gonna get more ideas, but also will save a lot of time.

Keep the momentum

One thing I've learned from school in my physics classes in college, was that there is a equation explicitly proving that it requires much less effort to keep moving something that's already in the motion than to start moving it, like a heavy table or furniture.

This is completely true and also applies to anything you do: the first step is so hard but once you start it, everything will get easier. So don't make the first step harder than it should be. Your first output might and will suck, and a few years or even months from now on when you'll see it again, you will be surprised and ask yourself "did I really write this sh**?".

But who cares, the first video of a famous YouTuber sucked, the first piece of software that you write will be buggy and will suck, but the 10th or 100th cannot be worse.

Start now, keep doing it, you'll get better and will be surprised how much you will accomplish.

© 2020, Philippe Khin