Ignore the Rules and Be True to Yourself

“Writers write every single day.” “If you aren’t writing code every day, you can’t call yourself a developer.” “The best in every field get up at 4am and start working by 6am after a workout and an hour of reading.”

Rules are so fun to state. They make you look hardcore, driven, and disciplined. But if you are on the other side of that exchange and are the one hearing those rules, ignore them.

Seriously, fuck those rules.

Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing about people’s processes. I love reading books like Daily Rituals. But you won’t get anywhere by worrying about following someone else’s process. You have to figure out with works for you and be ruthless in following it.

I personally see a lot of benefits of showing up and doing things daily. I don’t wait for inspiration to find me, I spend time consuming great stuff and thinking about it. I’ve recognized that I need space to think, walk, read, and listen. Inspiration always comes, and when it does, I’m ready.

That said, I don’t stress out too much over it. While I do get stuff done every day, that isn’t necessarily when my best work hits me. Sometimes I’ll have weeks where I get tons of ideas and am excited to work on some cool stuff. For example, I had the idea to build this WordPress theme this week. This is the first full WordPress theme I’ve done all on my own. I couldn’t get it out of my head until I got the templates done and shipped it. My Jekyll blog template was the same way last year. So was the Sol LeWitt project, the Slack Toggl slash command, the Apple Photos analysis project, and the Cocktail library.

Other times I’ll go a few weeks without being moved to do anything beyond the daily tasks I’ve set for myself. I’ve learned to be okay with that. Fuck what works for other people. These are my projects.

What I can never forgive myself for, though, is not doing the work when I feel the call.

Not following the traditional rules is totally fine. What is inexcusable is not staying true to your own terms and getting your work done.