If I don’t know where I’m going, how will I know when I arrive?
You know those signs out in the middle of nowhere with 27 different faraway locations on them? They point in all sorts of directions, they’re usually cockeyed and worn, the signs are vintage and in different fonts and styles. Part of me feels like I’m standing at that point and I’ve decided to take all of the paths.
You arrive at a fork in the road, you can’t take both paths.
You see, as a person, you can only take one path if you’re walking. But as a writer (or product manager or business owner) you can go off in a bunch of directions. Some might call that lack of focus, some might call it diversification. I call it exploring.
One goal of this site is “writing as therapy.” There’s the tree falling in the forest and if no one hears it, did it make a noise? I feel that way about writing: if I don’t write about it, I’m not going to be certain that it really happened. Something about getting it down on pen and paper (excuse the old school references) etches it into my memory, saves it on my hard drive so to speak. If I don’t write it down, maybe it’s only in my random access memory (excuse the geek-out references too). Maybe they’ll be gone when I reboot.
Getting it written out forces me to think about it, analyze it, forces me to write that next word, finish that sentence, make a point.
Ideas, goals, philosophies, strategies, anything more than a fleeting thought is, well, a fleeting thought if I don’t put it down on paper. Getting it written out forces me to think about it, analyze it, forces me to write that next word, finish that sentence, make a point. Then I move to soup references. After a while, the good stuff will rise to the top. I’ll “get in shape” with writing, with analyzing the thoughts, I’ll be more practiced at what’s working and what’s a labor to churn out. What rolls, what sticks to the wall, what’s epic.
So that’s my plan: in a way, it’s a plan of not yet having a plan. Back to the signs in the road, I’m going to make my way down each path, see where it takes me, see where I take it. It’s exploring, I can’t lose, I can only learn.