763 Elephants

Vicky Quinn Fraser
3 min readApr 20, 2023
Beautiful elephant waving its trunk on the Kenyan plains. Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

What can 763 elephants do?

Launch a rocket into space.

On July 20, 1969, humanity launched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (and some others) into space on Saturn V.

To get off the surface of our planet, it took 4,578,000lb of fuel — which weighs the same as 763 elephants.

(Aside: I love the thought process here. “How can we visualise that much fuel?”

“Elephants.”)

There was waaaaaaay more fuel than anything else… the rocket was mostly fuel.

But once it was up there — it’s easy sailing.

Well, kinda — let’s ignore all the exciting ways to die in space and focus on the energy expenditure.

I could boil it down to:

  1. An absolute boatload of energy to get moving.
  2. Once you’re moving, you’re set — cruising forever with little effort.

A flow state, if you will, which is what most writers are trying to surf on.

But the big mistake I see soooooo damn often is this:

“I want to write, but I’m just not motivated. I can’t do it until I’m motivated.”

Ah, no, grasshopper.

That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

We do the thing — THEN we get motivated.

We get moving — which can be awful and require 763 elephants — but once we’re trucking, we can usually sail along.

I will do almost anything to avoid starting to write, up to and including picking up chicken poo from the coop.

But when I finally do start, it’s like an exhale.

A weight lifts, I zone out, and off we go.

And I am motivated to continue because that’s how this works.

We start the thing, then we get motivated to continue.

But we don’t wanna use 763 elephants worth of energy to get going, right?

So why not use a tool instead?

I have created some amazing things that are NOT templates to help you get started.

What they are is extremely focused brain pokers, designed to get you thinking about your book from all sorts of different angles.

You read the questions.

You think about them.

You write your thoughts down.

Et voilá — you’ve started writing!

They are Writing By Stealth Sheets and you will be amazed at how quickly you can get started.

More here: https://moxiebooks.co.uk/start-your-book-templates/

Hi I’m Vicky and I help misfits + weirdos write incredible rule-breaking nonfiction books. If you’d like to write one, you can get on the waiting list for Season 4 of Microbook Magic in September — DM me for details :)

For more on writing nonfiction books (esp if you have ADHD or are ND) join my newsletter, Notes in the Margin:

Buy my book How The Hell Do You Write A Book here:

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