Quantity over Quality

Newsletter

Table of contents

Hey friends,

We've just wrapped up the first week of the first cohort of my live online course, the Part-Time YouTuber Academy. We've got 400 students taking the course in real-time, and the sense of community that the students have already created is pretty inspiring.

One of the main messages that I preach when it comes to succeeding on YouTube (and in fact, in every other creative field too) is that in the early stages, quantity matters more than quality.

Here's the classic Parable of the Pottery Class (adapted from the book Art & Fear) that illustrates this:

There was once a pottery teacher called Brian. One month, he decided to split his class into two groups. Group A had to make a pot every day for 30 days (so 30 pots in total). Group B had to work on a single pot for the whole 30 days. 
At the end of the month, Brian judged the quality of the pots. Without exception, every one of the top 10 pots came from Group A, the guys that made one pot per day. None came from the group that focused on perfecting their single pot. 

When it comes to YouTube videos, my mantra has always been "your first 100 videos are going to suck. So get through those as quickly as possible, and then you'll start making good stuff".

This is (of course) the advice I'm giving students of our course as well. Each week, they've got a homework video assignment to film, edit and publish a video so that by the end, they've published 4+ videos on their channels. But importantly, this is just the start of a multi-year journey (hopefully) - it's a marathon, not a sprint.

I'm writing this because it's advice that I need to take myself.

I've been wanting to learn (a) how to draw, and (b) how to write songs for years now. But what's holding me back is a sense of "I don't know how to do this".

Instead, I should just aim to draw 100 things, or write 100 songs, and figure the rest out along the way, like I did with YouTube.

So my question to you is this - what are you stalling because you feel you haven't learned enough to create? What's your sense of perfectionism holding you back from creating?

Have a great week!

Ali


My Favourite Things

1 - Audiobook - It's a huge week because on Tuesday, Brandon Sanderson released book #4 of The Stormlight Archive, one of my favourite book series of all time. I've been finding every excuse to not do anything productive and just sit on the sofa (or lie on a yoga mat) listening to Michael Kramer and Kate Reading's fantastic narration on Audible. It's been so long since I've looked forward to the release of a new book - honestly, I think the last time was when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out. And it's such a good feeling, especially because lots of my friends are also Sanderson fanboys and so we've all been waiting with bated breath for this book to come out.

Apologies if I sound like a broken record, but genuinely, his books are amazing. If you're looking to get started, I'd recommend starting with the Mistborn series, and when you're done with that, move on to the Stormlight Archive. Especially if you're listening to them in audiobook format, you're guaranteed to have at least 1-2 years of pure joy ahead of you.

2 - Video Game - I recently acquired a Playstation 5 and I've been dabbling with Demon's Souls on it. It's pretty solid. I think I spent around 6 hours today playing it, while listening to my audiobook - can't believe I've never discovered this secret trick of stacking up the pleasure of an audiobook with the pleasure of a video game.

3 - Book - I'm reading Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t by Steven Pressfield in bed these days. Its tagline is "Why That Is And What You Can Do About It". It's a brilliantly entertaining and engaging guide to becoming a better writer, and there's a load of stuff in there about becoming a better storyteller too. If you're interested in the craft of writing, it's a great read.

Quote of the Week

We also tend to overestimate the percentage of reality that we understand. We think we know all the opportunities that are out there. Five years ago, I thought I knew all the career opportunities that were available to me. Thankfully, I was wrong.
I never thought I could or would be working on the things I’m working on today.
It seems the way to do this is to increase your exposure to positive volatility and generate more options for yourself.

From Taylor Pearson's blog. Resurfaced using Readwise.

This Week's Video



Join 100,455 friendly subscribers getting Sunday Snippets every week

You've successfully subscribed to Ali Abdaal
Welcome! You are now a Ali Abdaal subscriber.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! You are now a paying member and have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.