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The challenging thing about creating something new is building a rhythm. Without it, you’re going to struggle.

(Carlos Coronado/Unsplash)

(This is a little bit of an expansion of a Twitter thread I wrote recently.)

There was once a time in my life where I was incredibly full of ideas, but didn’t know exactly how to follow those ideas through.

Maybe it was playing music. Maybe I was going to write a book. Maybe even design a poster or something.

But no matter what happened, I could never finish the project. I would hit some kind of wall that would prevent me from doing what I had hoped to do with my time.

Eventually, I lost a job and found myself in a position where I almost had no choice. I would have to actually finish a project and see where it took me.

That project was a blog, and after I started that project, the moment I finished was five years and nine full months later. The reason I stopped was because, after all that time, I had finally found myself in a position where I could no longer manage it. But, nonetheless, I had succeeded at my goal. I saw something through—and that made seeing later things through a whole lot easier.

It took a couple of months to figure out what my next project would be, but when I did, I announced it … and found I got a grand total of three likes on Twitter. Even though I had a track record and a big audience on another social network!

But my secret was that I knew how to follow something through and to see where it took me. And I knew the mistakes about my prior project, how it created additional stress in my life because there was no off button. I was forced to structure it more actively.

Now, my new project had dedicated time to it, and a rhythm to it. And the thing that ultimately built out its audience was that it had a consistent track record, which I was able to lean back on.

The hardest thing about writing is building a rhythm. Once you have it, that rhythm proves incredibly easy to maintain.

It’s been interesting doing newsletters as long and consistently as I have, because a lot more people are getting started in this field, and many of them are finding voice for the things that they’re excited about—that they hope others are as well.

As a result of running my Facebook group Newsletter Nerds, I see a lot of these folks going at it for the first time.

They are likely now running into the hard part—building the rhythm. This is the point where they must power through as they build their new thing. There will be a lot of resistance—be it social media, hobbies, or other things. But if you’re passionate about creating, this early point where you muddle through, if you work past it, everything will click.

And that’s how you start to build your audience.

Time limit given ⏲: 15 minutes

Time left on clock ⏲: 2 minutes, 38 seconds

Ernie Smith

Your time was just wasted by Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the editor of Tedium, and an active internet snarker. Between his many internet side projects, he finds time to hang out with his wife Cat, who's funnier than he is.

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