Consistent Writing Builds Quality Writing
Coming through with yet another change to this newsletter.
Arinze’s Monthly is now back to Arinze’s Weekly. For real this time. Seriously.
Building this newsletter has been an invaluable learning experience for me. It has taught me how to handle the relative difficulty of maintaining consistency in tandem with improving quality.
I used to think that consistency and quality in writing go hand in glove. But as I tried to be consistent with my weekly newsletter, it felt like the quality of my writing was depreciating. So I started to think otherwise. But it turned out that consistency did nothing to hurt the quality of my writing.
There’s an over-told story about a certain photographer, Jerry Uelsmann, who did something interesting. He split his photography class into two. One half was to be graded on the quality of photos they took while the other half were to be graded solely on the quantity of the photos they took.
In the end, he was surprised to find out that the ‘quantity’ half of his class also produced better quality photos than those who were to be graded based on quality alone. He found that that was because by consistently taking many photos, the quantity-focused students got to try new tricks, move away from old styles, and produce their best work.
The moral of the story is that aiming for quality work is not what creates quality work. Rather, it’s by putting consistent and frequent effort into the craft that’s to be improved that quality work can be produced.
But I was doing that. I was consistent with my writing. I published weekly for over 3 months without missing a week. So something else had to be the cause of the declining quality of my writing.
After much journaling, what I realised was that as my writing gained more attention, I became less motivated to put as much effort into ensuring that my writing maintained high quality.
Hubris-induced laziness was what harmed the quality of my writing, not the pressure to publish every week. With that realisation, I’ve started the work to maintain a beginner’s mindset with my writing even as I get better. It certainly won’t be as easy as it sounds, but I’m ready to put in the work to improve both my craft and my character.
The final update is that I’ll be adding a new section at the end of all my newsletters called Ask Arinze! There, you can ask me anything.
I’ll pick 1-3 questions and post my response in the next week’s newsletter. The only thing is that the question must be aligned with at least one of the four things I cover in this newsletter: life, career, identity, and behaviour.
I’m very excited about my next few pieces that capture some of the things I’ve been thinking about over the past few weeks. I hope you stick around to read them when I publish them in the coming weeks.
Here’s to building Arinze’s Weekly with you again!
See you next week ❤️
Thanks for this week's newsletter.. I agree with the part where you said consistency and frequency of effort put into the craft improves quality...
Actually, for a long time, even till now, I have struggled with consistency in almost everything I do, from my spiritual life, to my friendships, to learnings, to work...
I'm planning on starting something new, and I'm really hoping I'll be consistent enough to see it through
This is a read I resonate with, thank you Arinze.