(last updated on April 29, 2014)
After my cousin returned to California on Saturday morning, I’ve been settling back down into my quiet solo routine. Today I put some of the ideas on improving my methodology toward productivity to work, focusing on just a few things and relaxing about everything else that was on my plate. It was a fairly productive day, and I even made it to the gym. What stood out to me most, though, was what precisely I was missing: the daily conversation. It was only in the aftermath of my cousin’s visit that I recognized what was different; I’d gotten used to sharing and receiving a lot of stories and thoughts our ongoing shared interests: music, video games, books, movies, education, food…there was not a day that went by when we related some bit of trivia or insight that drove the conversation a bit further every day. It was nice having someone to bounce ideas off of every day.
There is something fundamental about being about to communicate one’s ideas to receptive audience. When I’m hanging out with friends I haven’t seen in a while, as I did on Sunday, there’s a joy in sharing my stories and receiving new ones in return. In recent months, however, I’ve been quite caught up in my own struggles with e-commerce and personal productivity. Partly, it’s because I don’t know a lot of people locally that are (1) freelance (2) frustratedly creative and (3) entrepreneurial. So I’ve tended to put this stuff on this blog, though I do so guiltily because it strikes me as self-indulgent and of little relevance to the general public. Since it’s my blog, though, I allow myself to continue to post whatever comes to mind, and accept low readership as the tradeoff.
There was once a time, though, when I did share more freely of my interests. I just liked to share what I was reading and thinking about, without care of who might be reading because there were only a handful of friends that had found the site. Back then, in the mid-2000s, I was writing as if I was writing to my friends.
I think it’s time to return to that mindset, with one caveat: I think I’ll tell just one story at a time. I have a tendency these days to try to tie everything together in massive blogs posts. These are difficult to write and probably even more difficult to understand, because the reader probably has to be in my head to make any sense of what I’m writing. A better approach would be to just set aside a bit of time every few hours to share another story about my day’s musings. The theory behind this is that the daily act of sharing stories will help maintain that conversational connection to people that I’m missing. I’m pretty sure that my stories will jog the memories of others, perhaps prompting them to add a story of their own. This is the very foundation of friendship, as I know it, and I think it will feel good to actively practice this in my blogging. And as with any conversation, I have to know when to provide the space for people to let what I’ve said soak in, then respond if something comes to mind.
Seems like it’s worth a shot!