Motivation vs Systems

By Maxi |

I had the idea to write one blog post per month. Clearly that didn't go as expected. Because I know motivation is a very powerful fuel that is consumed quickly I'm constantly trying to create a system that does not rely much on motivation, still creating that system needs also motivation which creates this cycle of... Having motivation to create a system and having a system to "avoid" motivation.

Motivation as a driver

I'm a firm believer that habits work better than motivation and also that there are no absolute truths when it's about human behavior. Being that said, my experience with blogging follows the pattern of having a lot of drive at the initial stage because there are high level of emotions and an initial push that will make me excited about doing it. This emotion, feeling, drive fade away very fast.

Motivation is an intrinsic factor that plays a big role on me deciding start writing an article. This does not last for more than a couple of weeks... I can see that with this blog and I can see that with many things that I start. Since I want to continue blogging and motivation is not enough I have to change the way I approach blogging.

System as a driver

Blogging just when I feel like it it's one option that work great for most people and would have been just fine if I didn't set a goal for myself. Because I want to be consistent with blogging I need to just do it even when I don't feel like it. Today it's one of those days that I didn't feel like blogging and I am here...just writing. It required a significant effort to start writing.

Systems flaws

If I didn't blog for two months, this means my system is really not working and that is a reality. I was analyzing the whys of this and there are a lot of factors that contribute to skipping days. I'll list the top 3 for me.

  • Time scarcity.
  • Limited creativity.
  • Publish anxiety.

Time scarcity

Based on my previous tries, I need around an hour to have a blog post. After that time I have something that could be published. If I do it in the evenings I need twice as much time and I know the quality of my output changes. This leaves the weekends as best candidates since I have more time slots available. The weekends are still very far apart between each other to create a habit effectively, at least for me.

Limited creativity

Keeping your blog scoped it's very hard for me. I have some moments where I feel like writing but not necessarily about technical topics. In the end, the blog is a communication channel to the world and I feel there might be some other fellow developer struggle with the same. My writing probably reflects my state of mind and It's as organise and clear as I would like it to be. I have a list of things I could write about and maybe I should use that list more often.

Publish anxiety

Everytime I write a blog post, I am exposing a little bit of myself to the world. That is scary, very scary. People judge you... It's in our nature. I just need to focus on what matters today: Pracrice. I know that I'm not good at writing and that is exactly why I want to practice more. If I spent too much time thinking about the quality of something, then nothing would pass my filter. I get some anxiety from whatever I write. I know it can always be better and that it's so far from perfect.


Worry less. Publish more. Write consistently. Quality will come with practice.

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