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A New Reason to Write


Writing was not something I enjoyed growing up nor was I good at. I didn't enjoy it and therefore did't put much effort into it. I decided to begin the practice later in life due to a couple pieces of advice:

  1. Scott Adams remarking that he almost always finds public speaking and/or writing skills in people he considers successful.

  2. Seth Godin has said something along the lines of, "starting my daily blog is one of the most valuable things I've ever done".

  3. The Minimalists wrote a piece called "How to Improve Your Writing: 3 tips": 1) sit in the chair, 2) start a blog, 3) kill fear with accountability.

Two people saying they've seen writing pay off for themselves or others and the other saying here is how you being to get better in the simplest way possible. If I wanted to give it a whirl, it didn't seem to hard to start.

When I reflect on Scott Adams's advice, I do think public speaking is something I am pretty good at, practicing always help to continue to improve, and others have told me the same. Despite feeling a level of ease when speaking, its been interesting to see my writing evolve over the years as I've practiced it over the years. At this point, I'd still feel more confident at a speaking engagement than I would writing a piece and recently have begun working on ways I might strengthen that by enrolling in a Masterclass on writing. How timely this investment may prove to be.

When I was younger, I was lucky to have parents that invested in my bite through braces and an array of retainers. My bite wasn't great growing up but was fixed and looked great. A couple years after college, some of that dental work began to "unfix" itself. The under-bite I had growing up reemerged and eventually became what is deemed a Class III bite, an underbite paired with my lower teeth being off-center.

Day to day, it more a minor inconvenience and people had no real idea unless they looked close. But over the years my dental treatment sheet has grown longer, which brings us to present day. It was recently recommended to me I look into jaw surgery to correct my bite, which is depressing. However, I have mostly resolved myself that this is my path and life is life. But as I work my way through the process of consultations, towards what I'm told is first braces and then surgery, a new player appears to be entering the picture. TMJ. I've had some extreme moments in my dental history, a handful of root canals, one in particular where the tooth's nerve died, and it was three days until I had resolved what was the most intense pain I've ever felt.

But last night, and I worry the days going forward, is a pain likely brought on by overuse. I have a pretty good idea overuse is not what I ate, I've been reducing the chewy and crunch foods in my diet for a while, but rather talking. The idea of talking leading to pain is both physically and psychologically frustrating. Be that with friends or at the office.

Despite this backdrop, one thing I do try to keep top of mind is other people in my life and around the world are dealing or have dealt with challenges that are far more painful or threatening. This, at least for now, is more inconvenient and distracting, than debilitating.

But it does make me think about my professional future. How long might talking be a problem for me? And if I can't rely on my ability to speak, a great reason to write may end up being because its the skill I can more execute on going forward.

Its feels a little disingenuous to end this post with "go forth boldly" after the frustrations I've just voiced. But I suppose I still have to do this because feeling sorry for myself won't fix the situation and there are so many others today and who have come before me who have gone through things that are much worse.

"Necessity is the mother of all invention"


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