I’m writing book notes again to try to publish something every day. I’ve been aiming to write 1000 words daily and I’d like to make some of that published words on this blog at the minimum. Then I can go from that to the podcast to Shorts or something like that. And I’ll start with this Giannis biography that I’m really enjoying so far.
Tool 1: Find joy (even if you don’t have 5 brothers to play basketball with)
When Giannis was a kid, the family would travel to work as street vendors in different villages:
They’d drive for five hours, ten hours, during summers. Giannis would look out the window, see areas he had never heard of. Then they’d spot a beach. For an afternoon, they’d sit on the sand under the sun. Just get to relax for a few hours. Not worry about money for a few hours. Feel their toes in the sand, jump into the cool blue water. They swam and laughed, and the water glittered a deep blue green. They were able to have fun. Let go.
Then they’d go to the next village, sell, sleep. Travel, sell, sleep. Miles and miles away. Travel, sell, sleep. But even through these struggles, they found joy.
They always found joy in each other. It’s good to notice joy in your workflows. Making content and putting it online isn’t a fight for survival or anything close to the difficulty that Giannis’s family faced in Greece. It’s a stretch of a comparison.
But you should try different topic + format combinations and see which ones you enjoy. It might not be the entire workflow that’s enjoyable, but you should definitely start by avoiding content you absolutely hate creating in the first place.
Tool 2: Look at your existing skill stack (even if you’re not a Gumby-like elite athlete)
Giannis loved playing soccerso that seems like the most likely path to being scouted as a kid.
But he was playing tag.
“I stumbled across three other kids who were playing tag on the Tritonas team’s court. I was stunned by what I saw. It was Giannis, along with two of his brothers, Kostas and Alexis. At that moment, I realized I was in the presence of one of the biggest basketball talents in the world, right in front of me.”
Velliniatis was a local coach at the time. He noticed the length, energy, and focus. From “Giannis”:
What he saw was Giannis’s long limbs, his Gumby-like arms. What he noticed was that Giannis never seemed to tire, running, running, running. He was just having fun, but there seemed to be a seriousness about him, a focus to him.
Length, energy, and focus transfer well to other sports. While length is hard to have control over, energy and focus can be worked on.
As a creator, look toward your current skills and knowledge to see if there’s something you can add to your content.
On the off chance that you had a prior life as a professional tag player, you certainly have some stories to tell. You have knowledge of fundamentals that are boring to you but really interesting to people new to the sport. And if you’re still playing, you have an offline journey that you can document and share online.
(Reversale: Keep things separate — MKBHD is a professional ultimate player and doesn’t sprinkle that into every tech review video he does. David Senra seems to have as much knowledge about Game of Thrones as he does about business history, but compare everything to Westeros history.)
Tool 3: Practice, practice, practice (even if you’re talented)
Giannis practices dunking:
Something burned in him to fly. Rise higher and higher to the basket. He’d start at the free throw line and practice his steps, trying to get his rhythm down. He failed and failed, struggled to even grip the ball. For the next five days, he leaped and failed, leaped and failed. Wouldn’t leave until he dunked.
Giannis practices instead of hydrating:
What was clear was that there was an edge to him. A hardness to him. He ripped down rebounds fiercely. He’d practice moves he couldn’t master over and over rather than drink water during breaks.
Giannis practices some moves from the internet:
Finding Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant changed everything for Giannis, though. He wanted to be as creative as Kobe, as hardworking as Kobe; as versatile as Durant, as long as Durant. He began to idolize Durant especially, who was just budding into a star for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Giannis would study him every day after attending classes at 53rd High School in Sepolia.
He’d practice Durant’s moves, especially dribble crossover pull-ups. “He’d do it at practice and call out [Durant’s] name,” says Kamperidis, who would often watch highlights with him.
Giannis practices some calisthenics:
Giannis didn’t even know what a muscle-up was. Teammates Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, and Chris Wright showed him, each completing five in a row. Giannis couldn’t get his chin over the bar, his feet still touching the floor. His teammates were laughing so hard as Giannis struggled, twitching. “He almost flipped over the bar,” Wright says. “He was just really uncoordinated, but you could just tell he was working at it so hard.”
Whatever it is you’re creating, fall in love with practicing. Practice writing titles, Practice writing video scripts. Practice writing hooks. Practice storytelling. Practice being on camera. Practice finishing your work. Practice starting your work. Practice that tedious workflow (and find ways to remove steps). Practice focusing.