The Icebergs and Cycles of Hard Work

“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.” – Michelangelo

This week there were two notable observations in my life. The first was that hard work is basically iceberg assembly. It’s a process of building an unseen foundation and eventually breach the surface. The second is that hard work happens in cycles, and this week has not been a productive cycle.

The thoughts about how an iceberg represents a career/book/life coalesced this week while I  was working on a rough draft of something. Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister had originally used the analogy and I was trying to retell his story with an emphasis on that part.

Later in the week two different people told me that it was a good analogy and I began to internalize it more. Once I began to accept the “iceberg theory” as a thing. Once I gave it a name, I began to see it more places.

Yesterday I was looking for an old computer file and realized I must have close to 200K words of unpublished stories and ideas. They are evidence of my iceberg, but I can’t just build mass. I need to chisel while I add. To do this I’ve started to work with an editor.  It’s going to take even longer this way, but it’s the only way to get something sustainable that will rise above the water.

Work goes in cycles. Another easy to see point that’s been clarified even more. We have family in town and it’s been great seeing my nieces, nephews, and in-laws. But it’s been hard to do work. The constraints of less time during the day have forced me to prioritize what I get done in the mornings.

I saw this too while I was on vacation and read three books in ten days. I was a reading fool. My pace has slowed down considerably but hasn’t stopped.

This is weekly review 32, here’s what I’ve been reading and writing. 

I’m reading Isaacson’s Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. It’s good but I quit Isaacson’s book on Steve Jobs because his writing is so heavy. Not heavy as in hard to read, but heavy as in thick. I’ve also been nibbling away at The Practice of Practice.

In July our book club is reading Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion if you want to join in.

It was a good week for publishing. I shared 3 Things I Learned from Mike Lombardi and Scott Adams. I also published notes about David Bach’s talk with James Altucher.

::Photo is from the Princess Denali Lodge. I was told to be wary of the wildlife and was preparing to defend myself.

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