Unfinished Business

Hey there

I hope you're doing well.

Up front I want to say thanks for the replies people have been sending in response to these letters - it's crazy to think we've reached double figures. To know that someone wants to comment and enter a conversation is what makes it worthwhile and is why I do this.

🙏

Down to business...

Some people are probably fed up of me going on about the #write365 project but I can't help feel that I've got some unfinished business with it.

For those unaware, in November 2013 I quit blogging. I had become disillusioned with it, or more likely with what I was trying to do with it, and wanted to do something different. So, after taking a break, on 4th January 2014 I decided to write something, anything, every day for a year. I chose to do this in public on Google+ rather than on the blog. The project actually lasted 370 days as illness stopped me writing every day, I tagged the missing days on the end so there would still be a year's worth of items.

My goal was to write, on average, around 300 words per day; sometimes things were shorter, others much longer. The goal wasn't for this to form a body of work (I warned at the outset that there would be a good degree of rubbish in the mix) but to re-establish a habit in a way that I could enjoy.

What's so special about writing every day, lots of people do it? I didn't, I agonised over everything, sought perfection so didnt post most of what I started. I desperately wanted to get away from that.

The project led to some unintended and unexpected consequences, and by the end I felt burnt out. It took me a long time to really process what I'd done and what had emerged from my subconscious in that year - in truth, I'm still processing it now and that's why I think there's still something I need to do with it.

I may have deleted my Google+ account years ago and so removed all of the posts from the web (Plus has since been shut down by Google anyway) but I kept offline copies of everything so can refer back to them. I still do. For some reason I like to archive just about everything I post.

I wrote a post outlining the lessons learnt from a year of writing back in 2018 but I don't think that went far enough, didn't really go beyond the obvious, and I feel this is something I need to revisit. I'm not really sure how or in what format but I just have to. I previously considered gathering the best posts together into some kind of collection but that's not enough.

I'm loathe to say too much or get ahead of myself as my previous newsletter was based around the idea of writing a book but that died when the whole premise was no longer relevant. I dont want to over-promise and under deliver, or not deliver at all.

Again.

But I have to do something.

Reading

It's been a good time for books as I received a bunch for my birthday but I've been spending time with the latest offering from Derek Sivers: Hell Yeah or No.

It's been a strange period where I keep starting books but then the new shiny arrives and I move on. I must getvround to finishing some of the others I've written about over the last few letters.

Anyway, HYON (as Sivers likes to abbreviate it) is quite a thought provoking read so far. It is comprised of quasi-chapters where each section is actually a blog post repackaged for the book; I remember reading a couple of them before. It's little snippets, individual thoughts that make you think about how you approach things, how you react, and how you become a better person. He's selected and curated them very well.

Each post/section is a little story, almost a moral tale, that repeatedly reaffirms the messages he wants to impart. Either say "hell yeah" if you're enthused by something and give it all you've got or "no" - no half measures.

Very highly recommended.

And that's it...

Once again, I can't believe we've got this far already. It doesn't seem like that long ago I started this, certainly not long enough to have sent out 10 letters when they average one every two weeks. I suppose that's been the effect of the virus and lockdown and how it has altered our perception of time.

Things may be getting more back to normal but, in a way, they're changing more than ever. Restaurants may be reopening but you have to give your contact details and have your temperature taken. Shops have mostly reopened but queues and social distancing are still the order of the day while wearing masks within them has now become mandatory.

Many will wonder why it took so long.

Remote working is still a thing and many companies are reluctant to take risks, to get staff back on site too early. Even when they do the workplace is likely to have changed forever.

The number of cases her in the UK has dropped overall but there are local spikes and you can't help but wonder why. We are all more critical of others, more observant of their behaviour, and more judgemental when we feel they are following guidelines. Until a vaccine emerges our trust in many of those around us has been completely eroded and we don't feel safe.

Still, enough from me.

Thanks again, take care and stay safe.
Colin.


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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog