A while ago I wrote down all the things I should be doing and it made me feel a bit better.
Paul Tibbetts: The Writer, the tiny part of my brain that aspires to live in a cabin by the lake and play with words for a living, had beaten the monkey.
It was a change from the norm, taking some time to do a little introspection and post some thoughts that wouldn’t otherwise have been… thought.
But it didn’t become something I’d do regularly.
It was too easy to stick to the status quo and continue doing, well, anything else but writing. I didn’t have time for it because I was too busy doing things. Running, meditating and socialising went the same way. It’s been months since I wrote a Tweet and even longer since I added something to my blog.
That’s not a good look for someone who runs a meetup for people who write for and run their own website.
I recently got the opportunity to listen to Toby Coppel and Simon Levene from Mosaic Ventures have a conversation with Sam Altman, the president of YCombinator, who had a lot of interesting things to say on lots of different topics.
The thing that stood out most to me though was Sam’s definition of a good founder:
The single most important quality for a founder is someone who communicates well
Communication even got it’s own chapter in The Pragmatic Programmer, something I wasn’t expecting from a book on programming.
As a developer I spend most of my day writing and thinking about code. After that I need to let my colleagues know what the plan is, keep them updated on progress and work with them to make sure it fulfils our business objectives and so communication is clearly important to the work I do.
Probably more important than coding.
After many hours of reading countless tabs, recreating the problem in not one but two online editors and then starting another tiny project just to isolate the issue I had still gotten nowhere. I had a call with my CEO where we talked briefly about the problem but didn’t really solve it.
That didn’t happen until the call ended and I realised I’d been staring at the solution the entire time.
Inside a function, the value of
thisdepends on how the function is called
And I’d missed it, because I wasn’t thinking clearly about what I was doing.
So I did things a bit differently today. I took Andy’s advice on making meditation a habit and signed up to Headspace to work through their introduction to meditation. I’ve also joined in with Marc’s 30 Day Writing Challenge, through which I’m going to write five hundred words every day throughout April.
I’ve only done it the once, and it’s not until I’ve completed the challenge that it will really count, but already today the meditation has helped me clear my head and given me clarity when writing this.
There are plenty of other things I need to be working on, like waking up in the part of the day that people still say “good morning” to each other, but for the next thirty days the first thing I’ll be doing is (at least) ten minutes of meditation followed by writing down five hundred words.
I’m working on breaking the radio silence.