Monday, February 8, 2021

On Writing

The last years taught me that writing supports my thinking process. It's helping me both reflect and craft something new. I'm writing things down as they come, making my thoughts tangible and visible so I can iterate on them more easily and also spot patterns I might have missed otherwise. I see this when taking notes in meetings, when preparing for conversations, when facilitating workshops - nearly everywhere. Visualizations help me with this as well, yet I find myself drawn to words in the first place.

Beginning of last year, I started journaling at work, writing down everything that I felt was noteworthy for the day, that kept my mind busy, that inspired me, that triggered new insights. I'm gaining a lot of value out of the process of taking these notes and having them as a reference. They allow me to free my mind by offloading some thoughts, they show me on hindsight what worked and what not and how I felt in certain situations. They are the source of new ideas.

While I wrote a lot more at work, I did not blog too much. Well, last year was a different year for everyone, so maybe I shouldn't interpret too much into it. Yet the observation stays: I journaled more in private, I blogged less publicly. That doesn't mean there wasn't anything to write about, I have lots of topics that still wait to be composed into a blog post.

Another observation is that lately I blogged more on personal challenges. Well, last year I stopped my personal challenge in favor of a way more important topic. So, I mainly stopped writing blog posts as well, besides a few exceptional ones.

And then there's the fact that I have a tendency to write lengthily walls of text. I write blog posts mainly for my own learning, yet this tendency oftentimes makes me feel sorry for those taking the time to read through them and hoping it was worth their time. Yet as soon as I start writing, it's hard to stop and shorten the text, make it more concise and more easily digestible. Mostly it takes more energy from me to cut things down than to write them.

In addition, last year had a toll on everyone. As I'm very privileged I was surprised to see the impact it had on me as well; I cannot even begin to fathom what it still means to others, and how life is right now for people. One thing that showed for me was the reduced amount of energy available. While taking everything a bit slower after a time when I constantly overdid things was a good idea, I nowadays still don't have the same capacity back as before. Any kind of little thing like receiving yet another message adds to my mental load and on some days, they simply feel so overwhelming that I procrastinate with responding while feeling bad about it. Note to self: that's not helpful, as I keep this mental load with me this way instead of getting rid of it.

All this led me to blog less and less. Which would be totally fine, I can stop blogging any time and pick it up again any time, it's my own blog after all. However, the above is also preventing me from writing more frequently and sharing what happened - and so much happened that would be worth reflecting and sharing on this medium. The less I posted (and hence practiced blogging), the more I found myself hesitating again to sit down and take note of my thoughts and experiences, for my own learning and by chance they might be valuable for someone else as well. Practice is everything and makes hard things easier, step by step. I watched my old fears came back, like that people will see that I'm actually not where they expected me to be. However, one of the things people told me was that they appreciated me sharing just wherever I was, they could relate with authenticity and not being the perfect super skilled smart expert who knows everything already and never fails. All in all: I want to share again what's going on, and that includes when things are not going well or according to my hopes. That includes difficult feelings about my own work, my role, my skills and everything. In the end, this pays into my mission as part of fostering a culture of inspiration.

So now I decided to try something new for me: write a short text and then stop. Short one-page posts on one topic. Similar to my journal at work - which by the way is an amazing resource what to write about - just elaborating a bit more. No need to cut things, just choose a small thing to share, write and then stop. Just revise what's already written and then publish. I'll try this out and see if the outcome indeed will be more frequent blog posts and hence more reflection and experience sharing.

Writing supports my thinking and keeping things short will allow me to do it more often.


  1. The hard part for me is writing a *short* text!

    1. So much agreed, Lisa. While I'm well aware one blog post doesn't need to encompass everything and be overly comprehensive yet can focus on a few aspects, I find it really hard to put my thoughts together in a short text that still makes sense, flows well and provides value. Usually, I feel it's just not enough so I press on. To overcome this, share more, and share more frequently, I want to practice writing short digestible texts.