Post-Vacation Check In

I've been on a vacation for a few days and gave myself a somewhat needed break from writing posts at a high frequency. I realized that even with only 500 words, the posts get a little diluted over time. That's ok, and it's mostly an observation that doesn't surprise me. What makes me happy is that there's some major themes I discovered in my thinking that I wasn't that clear on before I embarked on that little writing journey. Getting myself to sit down on plenty of evenings to write something down on those topics really helped to shape and evolve quite some trains of thought.

Another thing I discovered is that plenty of topics that I spent a lot of time thinking about have not only one, but many interesting facets worth exploring. You'll discover plenty of overlap in the posts itself, and so did I when writing them.

When I'm reflecting on how I write most of my stuff, it's usually a process consisting of three steps. The first one is usually just a "punchline", some tacky one-liner that I use to file the idea initially in my brain - the next post I'm working on has the line "leadership is antimechanical", and it's not more than that, other than some loose ideas and thoughts. I like to think of an idea in simple terms.

The next step is arguably the hardest - it's squeezing that one line and exploring where it goes. I usually do that while writing, and this can be rather exhausting. What helps me is to only look forward. I write a sentence, and then I write the next one. That sometimes leads to sentences that are just not good, but it also leads to a text that is usually above average. You win some, you loose some, but you can't win if you don't do.

The third step happens for some, but by far not all of my posts: A state of flow. Sometimes I just stop thinking and start writing. Interestingly, I feel the same when running, but also only sometimes. A state of flow where the activity itself becomes both very rewarding and feels rather effortless. It's those posts where I'm just crashing through my 500-word barrier as if it doesn't exist. Certainly those moments are the ones that make this whole experiment, this hobby, most fun.

I always enjoyed writing. For myself, in professional contexts, as long as there was a notion of long form and the opportunity to use the medium of written text to explore a topic, I was in. It helps me think. But that state of flow is something that I never felt before when writing plain language - it certainly happened while coding. Every language is a programming language if you try hard enough probably.

And one closing note: WordPress really works very well. Hasn't troubled me one bit since I set it up, and it really lets me focus on writing what I want to write.

So, off to the next posts then.