No Excuses On The Dancefloor

I've been complimented on my dancing skills a lot since the first time I saw this scene:

If I were to describe my style of dancing, it starts with the steady, on-rhythm motions of Will Smith's approach. But from there, rather than doing gimmicky moves that are very deliberately "moves", I've just trained my feet, hips, shoulders, and hands to do their own thing but stay on beat, and since I have a little bit of musical training and am able to recognize common song structures, even if I'm hearing something for the first time, I can pick up on when the beat's about to drop, when it's building, and so on. I don't actively think it through since it's just muscle memory at this point, but you can play just about anything and I can dance in a way that looks unusual but that fits the song organically.

Don't think you can dance? Just focus on getting your shoulders on-beat and you'll look like you know what you're doing more than about 90% of people. That's the minimum effective dose for stylish dancing.

The other trick to looking like you know what you're doing is to not call attention to your mistakes. I see this a lot at karaoke bars when people try hip-hop songs. You stumble (which is natural, everyone does) but then, rather than soldiering on, you double back and try to re-do what you just flubbed, and now, instead of delivering a line that people who really know the song will notice you messed up, everyone knows you don't know the song perfectly and you're off the beat. And yet a voice in the back of our heads tells us we must speak every word on the screen, so it happens again and again and now you're a full bar off and it's just embarrassing.

Don't think you can rap? Just focus on starting every line on beat and you'll sound like you know what you're doing more than about 90% of people.

Here's why I bring this up. I've been good about writing since I got back from Cancun. I set a standard for myself that I'd write something every night Monday-Thursday, come hell or high water. No one's twisting my arm or bribing me to write this. I just noticed that there are people I admire doing cool things, and the way they got there was by consistently shipping. They weren't all gold, but they got stuff out the door, and you could see it and think "Damn, this guy has a body of work." I want that, but the only way that happens is if I push myself to do the work and hold myself to account when I haven't done it yet. Last night was my first slip, and I regret it. I didn't have a bad night - I hung out with some coworkers, had my weekly trivia night, wound up doing a bit of comedy at an open mic night... all great things.

But I didn't ship. I didn't do the one thing I'm pushing myself to do every Monday-Thursday. I have no souvenirs from last night. I never will. But I can point to this post and say it's what I did tonight. And even though I disappointed myself last night by letting instant gratification take priority, I can't go back and undo it. All I can do is strengthen my resolve, and commit to doing better next time.

Don't think you can do something? Just focus on starting every day with the sincere intention of making it happen and you'll accomplish more than about 90% of people.

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  • In short, because the point is less to have something publish every day and more to sit down and write something 4 days a week. I track ideas for topics I want to cover, but I don’t flesh them out until I sit at the computer and write my posts.

    • Brian Alkerton
  • It takes serious determination to blog post every day with fresh ideas. I admire you for doing it . . . kinda like the dancing and the rapping, you are keeping on the beat with your writing. (As a random self-focused aside, I dance like a scarecrow jiggling. But it is generally on beat, so I guess that’s okay.)

    • Catherine Brunelle
  • I love this post! As far as blogging every day, why not write a couple of “canned” blogs for when you absolutely cannot get to your laptop? Keep at it!

    • Jenn Thériault