Why Quantity Should Be Your Priority (Redux)

Quantity as a structure for creative practice, experimentation, and motivation

Image: Wikimedia

Quantity provides structure

A week before I wrote this, Austin Kleon wrote a blog post about quantity leading to quality. He writes, “The frequency of my work — showing up at regular intervals, without worrying about results — has actually lead to better results.” Similarly, Ryan Holiday wrote, “Quantity increases quality,” encouraging readers to use quantity to commit to the workload necessary to master their craft.

Quantity provides motivation

Creative blocks happen when expectations of results get too high for one project to achieve. It feels like your back is against the wall; “This has to work, or I’m giving up.” Derek Sivers describes this as the failure mindset.

Quantity encourages experimentation

Author Ray Bradbury said, “If you can write one short story a week — it doesn’t matter what the quality is to start, but at least you’re practicing, and at the end of the year you have 52 short stories, and I defy you to write 52 bad ones.” In Chase, Chance, and Creativity, James H. Austin writes about four types of chance; one of them (the Kettering Principle, known as Chance II) is about motion — the premise that unluckiness runs out when you keep stirring things the way only you can.

Make a lot of projects

Game designer Nick Bentley writes about 100:10:1 principle, where he writes down 100 game concepts in a notebook (sometimes in just one day), picks 10 concepts and develops them, then picking the most promising concept and developing it further.

I write about personal and collective growth. Author ‘There Is No Right Way to Do This’ herbertlui.net/reps/

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