My Self-Help Challenge

I am obsessed with the idea of self-help books and courses. What does that mean? It means that my Kindle is currently packed with self-help books of all kinds, and I take advantage of every Udemy sale to buy courses that claim the ability to teach me all sorts of things from writing to drawing and learning German. I love the idea of these courses. But ask me how many of these books I’ve actually read, or how many courses I’ve actually taken the time to go through.

Answer: none.

You can only imagine how much money this has led me to waste. Just last week I spent about twenty dollars on Kindle books about writing. Each book was between one and three dollars. So it bought me quite a few. But upon buying the books I promptly shut my laptop and ignored my Kindle which had just downloaded them. And I went to work on my WIP (work in progress).

Why am I so obsessed with these books? Why do I continue to buy them without touching them ever again? The answer is simple. I like to think–stupidly–that the simple act of acquiring these books and courses about all sorts of subjects will somehow allow me to learn the material inside them by osmosis. All I have to do is purchase a drawing course to be able to draw like I’ve been doing it for years. It told me so!

Well no, not really. What it said was if I applied the lessons and practiced hard I could achieve this. But who wants to do all that, right? So I continue piling the courses and books up to one day be inspired to read and apply.

I have issues.

But realizing you have issues is the first half of the battle, right? And this is what inspired my latest challenge. There are two things I’ve always wanted to know how to do.

  1. Draw (like, you know, well)
  2. Write faster

So I recently bought this book called 5,000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox, and instead of letting it rot on my Kindle, I forced myself to read it. And I am thoroughly inspired. I am going to apply it the way the author instructed, and will check in here every week, reporting my progress. And for drawing, I bought this figure drawing course by Riven Phoneix (an amazing artist) years ago, and I’ll be following the course as well, and will post my progress each week for that as well.

This is a lot, to go from nothing to something all at once. I don’t expect to do it perfectly, and I expect to miss a few days, but I will try my best. You guys will keep me accountable, right? I hope so. Over the next year I want to get faster with my writing and eventually I want to be able to draw my aliens and characters from imagination in non stick-figure form.

I can’t guarantee I’ll stop buying self-help books, but I am making a promise to myself that I will learn how to use the ones I do purchase instead of wishing they’ll bestow magical powers upon me.


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