“Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick. Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick.”
– Bruce Lee
I heard this in an Artosis video where he relates it to Starcraft and learning a core Terran build order. You go through three phases.
- You know the build order (but not really)
- You learn and execute the details of that build order
- You know the build order
This is a level progression from novice → intermediate → master and it applies beyond Starcraft and martial arts.
Applied to writing, you might hear that writing every day helps you improve.
- You know that daily writing is important (but can’t see why it might be difficult)
- You actually write daily and find out why it’s hard and what types of daily writing are effective for improvement and that you can build systems to maintain focus or to write toward something bigger
- You know that daily writing is important
Another thing is that it can seem possible to skip to step #3. You’ll often see visuals of compounding.
- Consistency is the key
- You face resistance day after day but stick to it and build systems to do creative work consistently
- Consistency is the key (you start to see the hockey stick)
Sometimes it can feel like just knowing that consistency will lead to some hockey stick of growth means that you’re able to skip past the majority of the flat portion of compounding.
But it rarely works like that. #2 is the most important step. It’s where resistance lives. It’s where you’ll find growth.
(The worst situation, of course, is being convinced that you’re at #3 but really still at #1.)