Monthly Archives: September 2010

The unexamined life

The unexamined life is not worth living. – Socrates

As I resurrected this blog, I was forced to look back through much of what I’ve written over the past nine years. A few things hit me:

  • Writing well is hard work
  • I really used to work at it, and in some cases, it shows
  • The process of writing makes me more thoughtful about myself, my experiences with friends and family, and the world

It’s the last point that struck me the most, especially after I had a conversation with my friend Tony about it. He told me his blog is a way of recording his thoughts, and in many ways, of generating them. The same is true for me, I realized. It’s one thing to tell someone you thought a movie was pretty good; it’s another thing entirely to be able to sit down and write something about it that’s actually worth reading. The writing process requires concentration and focus, honing ideas to the point where they can be articulated.

Without the writing process, most “ideas” are really just partially formed impressions, misshapen lumps of clay that hint at something deeper. Writing provides shape and form and structure; it clarifies and enlightens both the writer and the reader. I think the anticipation of writing can also encourage looking at the world with more open eyes. If I’m thinking in the back of my head that I want to write about my experiences, I’m suddenly more present in them.

As I looked through those old entries, I realized just how much introspection and curiosity I had lost when I stopped writing over a year ago. I realized that, on some level, I’d really stopped thinking about my own life experiences in a meaningful way. My professional blog kick-started thinking about my working life, but my personal life remained largely unexamined. It was just a sea of impressions without any land in sight.

Now that this blog has risen from the ashes, I feel like I’ve shined light into the dusty attic of my brain, brushed away the cobwebs, and started the gears turning again. They’re a little rusty, and it will probably take another year of writing before they run smoothly, but it’s all about the journey, right?

I’m not exactly sure in what direction I’m heading right now, or where I’ll wind up, but at least I know I’m leaving the unexamined life behind.

Me 3.0

How many times in our lives do we have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves, either in our careers or otherwise? Or perhaps an even better question: How many of those opportunities do we take? Well, I’ve just been handed one in the form of a mostly-mutual pink slip, and I’m going to take it.

I’m not exactly sure what my next step will be, but as part of my transition, I completely retooled my professional presence online:

Once all those boxes had been checked, as luck would have it, my neighbor Chad over at offered m access to the Beta of their new online book creation product called Bookify, complete with a huge discount on my next book. I can’t say exactly what the book was (since it’s a top-secret gift), but it involved a major trip down memory lane. It reminded me how much I love to capture and reflect on my life, not just in pictures, but with words, too. It also reminded me how amazing my life has been to date. And that’s where we come to this poor, neglected blog.

I started blogging on May 21, 2001. Since that day, I’ve penned 368 posts and dropped out more than a few times, always returning sheepishly, full of excuses. So let’s try again and see how far we can go before I drop out again…Welcome to Version 3.0, retooled and streamlined onto WordPress 3.0.1. I enjoyed all those years publishing with Movable Type, but the time had come to break up. It wasn’t me, Movable Type, it was you.

Onwards and sideways. Thanks for taking the journey with me.

Image credit: Simply Gorgeous