I’ve been out doing archery over the last few weekends.
I’ve been shooting on and off for about 11 years now. I don’t shoot as often as I would like; maybe every 7 or 10 days on average. The club I shoot at has just moved to new (and equally windy) premises.
Finding your form in archery is rather like finding your form in golf. You spend most of your time chasing your own shadow, trying to remember what worked for you two weeks ago.
When you can’t find your form the temptation is to control or wrestle with each stage of the shot. You accidentally introduce mental and physical tension, which reduces your fluidity. Without fluidity you spend most of your time fighting with yourself.
Anyone who plays golf will understand that.
Anyone who writes their own marketing emails will perhaps understand that too. The trade-off between control and fluidity also exists in copywriting.
To improve your writing the first stage is to add in more control. Rather than trying to draft an email from scratch, you break it up into individual steps. Control leads to you feeling safe; like what you are trying to do is achievable.
When you increase control however the task of writing feels more arduous. For a while you’ll wrestle with the individual stages
As you move from novice to master you have to regain a sense of fluidity. It’s like taking the stabilisers off your bicycle when you’re ready to go a little faster. Fluidity protects both your time and your mental energy, which are your two most precious resources.
Control comes first. Control is where you learn a system and isolate individual steps. Fluidity comes second, and fluidity can only be achieved with regular practice.