So I'm starting fresh.
The reason I wrote that first draft is because things are changing in my neck of the woods, and I'm the type of person who likes to think things through before I act.
I can be quite the thinker when it comes to change ... like, the analysis-paralysis type ... that person who freezes at the sound of porch chimes whenever there is a shift in the wind.
And I sense a change in the winds heading my way. Quite a bit of a shift, if my inner-chimes are to be believed.
Sensing such an approach is a bit like watching an incoming tsunami and trying to plan your triage of the aftermath in advance.
On one hand, such well-intentioned earnestness in the face of such intensity is adorable; on the other hand, it is an exercise of naïve futility to pretend you know the first thing about what will come next after an ocean over-runs you.
The good news is: It all feels like it's going a good direction.
The unsettling news is: Unforeseen change is involved. *cue: control issues*
Now, while I can't predict anything in advance, I do like to be a good neighbor and send out a public notices when it comes to things like this so that no one is surprised who doesn't want to be.
So here's my DISCLAIMER for the upcoming year: 2019 may see you seeing different things from me.
Some of the changes I see coming are:
- Platform shifts
- Experimentations with style
- Lots and LOTS of research
And here's my super-vague, wish-I-could-triage-in-advance-but-this-is-all-I've-got look at what's to come:
Per #1 (Platform Shifts), I've felt for a while that I need to do a podcast. It's an idea that hangs out with me daily and it's growing more and more specific in its focus.
The focus that is calling to me is to have honest conversations with people.
Nearly everyone I know is so stressed and feels like people once close to them can no longer be spoken to. It's kind of amazing how much the results of the last presidential election impacted day-to-day relationships around me.
Once fast-friends are now distant, formerly distant friends are now rhetorical allies, and everyone is stretched thin and emotionally exhausted.
Nearly every time I hang out with someone, it's made mention that they don't feel they can speak their thoughts honestly anymore for fear of losing work, reputation, or relationships.
And it's a two-way street. No one on either side of the political aisle is free in this divide. All are taxed in stressful ways.
So I think it would be fun to have a podcast of honest conversations and see if maybe there is a way to find some healing.
Per #2 (Explorations in Style), this is actually the topic I wrote that whole big blog about before pressing delete and cutting it down to saying this:
The more I write these days, the more words want to come out a new way that seems a bit odd to me. Sometimes I write it read it back and am left wondering if I actually said what I thought I said, or if I'm taking a giant step back in my delivery.
In many instances, I honestly can't tell.
That said, it's a style I want to explore. So you'll probably see me start sharing things soon that read a bit differently than you're used to seeing from me.
One sure sign I'm playing in new waters is the koi fish, KOI PHILO, a friend illustrated from my design to give me luck and flow along my way.
So if you see KOI PHILO looking at you like this:
... that's definitely me exploring and trying new, concise deliveries to see if I can execute them with success.
Feedback (and sharing) is welcome--especially if your feedback is related to whether you get what I'm saying or not.
You see, I had a bit of an eye-opening revelation as I was poking around with a research side-project (my 8 Major Communication Tones system). One thing I learned while developing it is that I have demonstrable gap between what I am able to see and what I convey when trying to communicate a process I'm creating to others.
While I was grappling with this, someone who was giving me feedback on the project reminded me of two words I've never really used before, but are about to become my theme-words of this upcoming year.
And, since we're all bibliophiles here, I'll share them with you:
Perspicuity - the ability to be clear or precise in presenting a thing (ability to explain)
Perspicacity - perception or insight into a topic (ability to understand)
What I have discovered in this new writing style that wants to come out is that there is a delicate balance between being able to do something and being able to teach the same thing--like someone who naturally sings Aretha Franklin trying to break down what she's doing and teach others her natural technique.
Both the performance of skills and the teaching of them require their own type of practice. Neglecting one in favor of the other is basically like being the writer-version of that buff dude who always skips leg day.
And I don't want to be that guy in this arena. This is a skill I want to teach, which means I've got to go to work--not with weights, but with balancing my input and output.
The hard part for me is embarking into such a learning curve publicly (because I need feedback to learn myself) ... giving myself permission to screw up and laugh, and posting things common sense tells me to treat as a gaffe.
The point is to learn how to be precise in presentation of potentially intricate things, and reason stands I won't get things right out of the gate every time. I get that.
But it's Learning Curve time and I would love your feedback on 3 questions, in particular:
- How's my perspicuity doing?
- Do you understand what I'm saying, even if you don't agree?
- Can you see where our thoughts converge or diverge, or am I losing you in oversaturated obscurity?
This new style I'm trying for is a bit swooping in its delivery so it stands to reason that I might try to pack too much into one punch, only to have the end-sentence crumble under its own weight.
If that happens, feel free to let me know.
If I nail something, feel free to let me know that as well.
It's all a journey to try to write better and better stories.
Per #3 (lots and LOTS of research), well, this aspect of the upcoming year is going to be all over the map.
There's the podcast I mentioned. That will require research, as will the 8 Major Tones (which is a study of scoring language a bit like music). Then there's more transient projects that pop up on top of that.
I'm thinking upcoming research will also include travel (book 4 of the Pimpernel has a whiff of big city, East Coast). So one change I definitely hear in those metaphorical porch chimes is a call to travel a lot this year and meet tons of new people.
So if you see an excuse for me to head your way, please give me a heads up. I can be a bit of a workaholic, and sometimes I need help looking up from a computer ;)
So there you go.
This post is less a blog entry and more a disclaimer for future updates.
If 2019 doesn't look like an exploration of new potential whenever you look my way, then I'm doing something wrong. But here's to getting as much as I can right while building a treasure trove of knowledge for future books.
Hope to see you somewhere along the way!
In the meantime, thanks for the reads, reviews, shares, and support. I love sharing this ride with you!