This is it! This is what my entire existence on YouTube has really been about, now that I stop to think about it:
There is no magical secret that will fix what is wrong or make you good at something quickly.
Sorry, folks, you can’t learn to play guitar in six weeks.
You can’t write a guaranteed best-seller in two days with the “secret story formula.”
You can’t become a shredded bodybuilder in six weeks by learning this “one diet trick.”
STOP LOOKING FOR EASY SOLUTIONS. The more advanced you get in any field, the more you learn that “secrets” not only aren’t secret, but they’re usually counter-productive – bullshit made to sell worthless books, videos, and supplements to noobs, distracting them from what they ought to be focusing on.
You want to know how to become a great writer?
There’s not much more to it. You can listen to people like me talk about story techniques, which might help you think creatively, but it won’t solve the biggest limiting factor, which is time spent practicing your craft. Expect to dedicate a few years to actually learn your craft. That doesn’t mean consider yourself an amateur, that means you need to know that some writing manual will not provide a shortcut to doing the work.
Same thing with learning an instrument. Six-week guitar courses can teach you a thing or two, but you’ll become aware of just how little you know once you step into a room with real experienced musicians.
I’ve been seeing this for years with different diets, where people earnestly believe if they adopt the latest fad diet all their weight and health problems will disappear. In fact, fad diets often work, at least in the short term – that’s why they become fads – but for most people, they won’t be a permanent fix. They go on a lemon water diet and HOLY SHIT they lose weight. Who’d have thought eating nothing of nutritional value would cause you to lose weight. SHOCKING! “I ate nothing but broccoli and lost five pounds in a week!” YOU THINK?
Fitness experts, doctors, and dietitians don’t set the limit of 2 lbs of fat loss per week because they think that is some theoretical maximum, but that’s the most the majority of people can expect to lose without suffering health issues such as muscle wasting.
These things are not secret. It took a long time to put on the weight, it will take a long time to take it off. Quick fixes are going to hurt your progress. Are you going to keep losing massive amounts of weight forever, or only until you look like you just got rescued from a concentration camp? Most dudes who want abs want to be shredded and have muscle. What are you going to do when you are done? Go back to eating cake and cheeseburgers? As soon as I go back to eating like that I “magically” get fat again.
This is why I emphasize always the process rather than some outcome. A good process can be sustained indefinitely. You want to know how I put out as many books as I do (and I’m a lightweight, I work maybe an hour per day)?
I put in the time to learn, and I put in the time to create. I work every day. Over time, the results are tremendous.
For things like writing sprints (or any super-intense program) the upper limit is about six weeks. Just be aware mental and physical fatigue are going to get to you eventually.
Using diet as another analogy, would you rather have a miserable six-week extreme cut where you lose half your muscle gains, eat terrible tasting food, and feel hungry constantly, or cut back moderately for 12 weeks, never feeling very hungry, eating the occasional cookie, and keeping most of your strength and size? There’s a reason coaches who know what they are talking about emphasize the process, the lifestyle, instead of selling some cheap, quick fix.
That was a philosophy that I started my youtube channel on, beginning with classical guitar content. I wanted to show you the techniques for free and set you up to practice regularly. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on high-priced guitar lessons, you need to practice! What you need to know I wanted to give away for free. No flashy gimmicks, just the real knowledge, paired with what people wish wasn’t true – you have to take the time to do the work.
I’m an independent musician and writer. You can support me by buying my books, including my book on productivity: