Ondrej Markus

Entrepreneur in ed-tech, building the future of education as a founder and CEO at Playful.

I write about the future of education, designing learning games, and running a startup.

I'm a generalist, introvert, gamer, and optimizing to be useful.

stickman sitting at a desk

I will try writing 100 articles in 100 days

I'm going to live inside this feedback loop for the next 100 days to become a better writer.

Building faster learning loops for writing in public

It’s about a year since I started writing on this blog. I’m spending more and more time doing it and I’ve learned a lot in the process. In fact, writing is one of the best things that happened to my learning.

But even though I’m improving, being a proper maximizer, I notice things could get significantly better if I made some changes. I need to find a way to finish things more often.

Over 2020, I committed more than once to finish one article every week, and I always failed. My writing never seemed good enough to be let into the public. I just couldn’t let go. I was endlessly polishing my writing to the point when it felt worse than what I started with.

Writing sometimes feels worse as time goes.

Writing sometimes feels worse as time goes.

Even today, I regularly get myself trapped with an article I start to hate, and it takes an enormous amount of energy to push it over the finish line. Or end up shoving it into a digital drawer and pretend it never happened.

That doesn’t feel good, and it’s not productive for learning.

What needs to happen

I want to finish things consistently to learn faster. And I see 3 things that have to happen to make that a reality:

  1. Daily writing routine ✅ - This one I already have. I sit down every morning to write from about 8 to 11 am. No meetings, no phone, no email. This works well for me.
  2. Consistent publishing goal ❌ - My life works best if it has a regular rhythm. But even though I write every day, I don’t finish things on time. Aiming to write one article per week often lets me get tangled up in perfectionism. I need to finish articles more often than once a week.
  3. Public feedback arena ❌ - I only publish things here plus I send them to a few friends for feedback. It’s better than nothing, but getting reactions from hundreds would be better than from a few. However, I’m social media abstinent and my new Twitter account has about 10 people following me. Nothing really happening there yet.

Leveling up my learning loop

Now, I’ve thought about these for a while. I searched the webs for tips and tactics. And these are the parts of the loop I’m building for myself:

  1. Daily writing routine → Write 3 hours every morning from 8 to 11 am
  2. Consistent publishing goal → Publish 1 article every workday for 100 days
  3. Public feedback arena → Create Twitter threads from every article

This combo demands a major redesign of my writing process. Until now, I usually wrote articles in 4 drafts spread over a week or two. Now I need a process that will enable me to start and finish an article in one day. This is how it should work:

I’m planning to do these for 100 days to build a strong writing habit. And even though 100 is a lot, I think it’s necessary to make it really stick.

Doing this every day for the next 100 days.

Doing this every day for the next 100 days.

Why this feels like a good idea

Try it first, decide in a week

I’m going to test this for a week starting today. Only then I’m going to decide if I want to commit to the full 100 days without shaming myself for now being able to stick to it. I’d recommend that to everyone considering this.

I don’t want to create needless misery for myself by being stuck in my own ill-advised commitments. I’ve been there already when my overly motivated self generates promises my regular daily self cannot possibly fulfill. Not a good place to be.

Yesterday’s Me is an optimist…

Yesterday’s Me is an optimist…

However, this routine is something I’m studying and thinking about for weeks. And I believe this is what I need to do to finish things more often, get more feedback, and improve my writing by building a faster learning loop.