Effort has its limits.

This statement can be said about many things. In particular I am thinking of how it’s true about writing, or maybe just editing.

For me, at first, an image explodes, fills me with verve and motivation. Ideas spill and scatter, mixing together and sticking together. Small become bigger, take on lives of their own. It’s all I can do to hold on, get them out quickly enough.

I make a huge mess, and hopefully when it’s all done, I have something to work with. I know its just a start. I know there will be a huge effort to turn that pile of words into something you’ll want to read.


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Following the law of diminishing returns. I don’t find effort equals improvement. I don’t see that the more work I put in, the better it becomes. Movement without improvement. Banging your head against a wall. At some point, it’s just effort, and those points may not be at the end of the project.

I liken it to making chocolate cake. I have a recipe, but I don’t follow it perfectly. At first, flour, sugar, and baking soda dust the counter on their way to the bowl. In that gentle crucible, milk and eggs transform them. Magically, abracadabra, batter. Then it’s time to add the chocolate.

I like rich, chocolaty cake. But I know, at some point, adding more chocolate doesn’t make it better. It doesn’t make the cake more chocolaty. It’s just more chocolate.

Time to put this blog post into the oven.

What’s your chocolate cake?