I was wrong.

I recently wrote a blog post about how tiny positive feedback loops help us achieve success.

For example, if I’d want to become a better writer, I could post my ramblings on Reddit and get “karma”. The reasoning goes I’d get addicted to these virtual points and quickly improve my writing.

Turns out, if you rely too much on feedback loops, you condition yourself to need instant gratification. You start thinking short-term and you can no longer get through the dry patches. There are always months where no-one appreciates what you do. The months without compliments nor encouragement.

Being able to delay gratification is hard. Relying on feedback loops is a quick band-aid fix. It allows you to work towards your goals while still getting the much needed instant gratification. However, it doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

It’s the age old debate. Discipline versus motivation.

I need to toughen up. Right now I rely on a like or a share or on someone saying “I love your writing” to get motivated. I’m dependent on it. If shit hits the fan, I give up.

This attitude needs to change. If I want to be a writer, I need to be writing.

Let’s play the long game.