Heyo, Nik here, you know, the guy who went radio silent on Monday.
Sorry if I scared ya and thanks to everyone who reached out and asked about my health. I’m doing good :)
I know this isn’t a personal newsletter, but we’ll need some context for this update to make sense.
You might not know this but, for the past three years, I have been getting a Master’s degree at Technical University next to writing full-time. As of last Friday, I am done. I handed in my thesis and, barring any disasters, will graduate by November.
While I’m incredibly excited to launch into writerhood for the next 50 years, those three years have also been the hardest-working years of my life. On Monday, I realized: I need to take a step back, shift down a gear, and look at all this with fresh eyes.
What initially felt like a slump in motivation turned out to be a desire for change. The first change I am making is the one I’m most scared of, but it’s also the one I most believe in:
I’m getting rid of deadlines. All of them. No more daily, weekly, or monthly set publishing.
That statement is enough to give 17 writing gurus a heart attack, and I have been a big believer in deadlines in the past - so what’s going on here? The simple answer is I got sick and tired of them, and when I probed this feeling, I realized it was for 2 reasons:
I need more time to write better things. This includes both long articles and short ones. Without time to let a piece sit, edit it, and, yes, toss it out altogether if it sucks, I’ll always be forced to deliver sub-par writing some of the time. This isn’t to say everything will be perfect from here on out, but I got annoyed enough with knowing things weren’t when I sent them that I think this is worth a try.
As long as I have deadlines, I’ll always feel guilty when I’m not working. If you’re diligent in what you do, you know this feeling. You’re committed to doing the best job you can, but if that job is never-ending - which all entrepreneurship is - you’ll have a much harder time relaxing than if you can drop the hammer at your normal job. With daily or weekly deadlines, there’s always another one coming up soon, and it’s usually enough to keep me spinning in circles in my mind, even if I’m off duty. Reducing deadlines has helped before, and this feels more sustainable long-term, especially if I’m gonna do this for the rest of my life.
This is a classic example of “what got you here won’t get you there.”
It’s hard to let go of what has worked well for us in the past, but it’s often exactly what we need to improve. For me, that thing was publishing on a set schedule.
I’d still recommend it to any starting writer, but at some point, just like in college, you have to graduate to something bigger.
That bigger thing is going to be the Empty Your Cup book.
Here’s what that means for this newsletter:
Instead of soon going paid as originally planned, the newsletter will remain free - at least until the book is published, maybe longer.
Instead of daily emails, you’ll get them on a more random, infrequent schedule. I might send several in a row if I have them, but this allows me to write the content in batches and then test individual pieces so I can improve them and make sure whatever shows up in the book is world-class. It also means some of the ones in the book will be brand new.
When the book is ready, we’ll start a 365-day sequence on this newsletter that functions like an upgrade to the book. It might cost $5/month to get all posts or come as an upgrade to a slightly more expensive version of the book, we’ll see.
Okay, long update, but I hope it makes sense. If you have any questions, fire away.
I know I’ve never made more changes to my writing than I have this year, but it’s all a reflection of how much has changed in my life. You might not understand them all, but I hope you’ll see them through together with me.
After all, we’re over 4,000 people now on this amazing journey to find balance in our lives. I don’t know if we will, but I can promise you that everything I do with Empty Your Cup serves this goal to my best knowledge and ability.
Thank you for being here and talk soon!
PS: I’m working on a longer article to better explain why I’m now choosing more of a sprinter’s mindset at work. I’ll send it through when it’s ready.