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  • Writer's pictureDillan Taylor

Motion vs. Action

One of my greatest struggles is falling into the motion trap.

Motion refers to planning, strategizing, and learning. These are all lovely and incredibly necessary.

But it’s all too easy to get stuck in motion: trying to come up with the perfect plan…making sure I’m absolutely ready to move forward.

What happens though, is that all of this learning and preparation makes me feel as if I’ve actually accomplished something. When really, I’ve just been preparing to accomplish something.

Reading about copywriting, taking notes, and researching where to find work are all great things. But if I only did that for a year, I would get evicted from my apartment.

At the end of the day, no one has paid me money to write copy for them–which is the desired outcome. It also pays my rent.

The solution is simple, and terrifying: spend some time preparing, then put your gloves on and jump into the mud.

At the University of Florida, professor Jerry Uelsmann did a study with his photography students. He divided the class into two groups: half would be the “quantity” group and the other half, the “quality” group.

The quantity group would be graded by sheer number of photos taken; if they turned in 100 photos each week, they would get an A.

The quality group on the other hand, would be graded on a single photo for the semester. They had months to focus on taking and editing the absolute best quality photo they possibly could.

At the end of the semester, Jerry noticed that the quantity group were turning in pictures which were wildly better than the quality group. He also noted that the quantity group’s pictures drastically improved as the weeks went on.

The lesson: planning and pondering can only do so much for you. The real juice comes from taking a shit ton of action, practicing, and removing yourself from perfectionism.

Jump in.

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