I roll up to a seat at the counter of my favourite cafe/bookstore in Boston’s Back Bay, ordering a double cappuccino with a wink and a nod. I tear out a laptop from my
purse gym bag. I open up that sucker, ready to bust out another blog post, and pause.
Now, imagine this happening over 100 times.
That’s a lot of double cappuccinos (usually followed by a beer and further followed by a large chocolate chip cookie). That’s a lot of sitting down in front of a glowing rectangle with the intent of not only creating some text associated with the exploration of applying Scrum principles to personal development, but sharing it with folks via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. That’s a lot of pause.
The creative process for me, at least writing these posts, starts with bringing to the table (and propping up against the laptop) an external resource (a poem, a sermon, an inspiring quote, a passage from some book, et cetera), or a theme to explore (kaizen, retrospectives, product backlogs for ScrumOfOne, planning for less, and so on), or a story to tell (getting engaged, moving to a new apartment, lying about how I work for Taco Bell, yada yada yada). From here, it is never consistent.
Sometimes, I’m so excited to get into sharing this thing that I burst through the gates, typing at the speed of thought, usually running out of steam by the time some logical conclusion is supposed to present itself. Coincidentally, this is how I ran cross-country races in high school.
Sometimes, I’m torturously clawing through the empty virtual canvas, dragging myself away from the top of the page, weaving in the good bits of this thing I want to share until I can start getting into it properly. It is painful to watch myself do it… I’ll start way too many analogies that I don’t carry through the rest of the post… I’ll make you, dear reader, read through details that have little to do with the thesis or are entertaining in any way… I’ll spend way too much time on the introduction.
Aaaaand I’ve spent way too much time on the introduction.
Now, imagine that somehow Zeus smiles down on me from Mount Olympus and I finish a post where I deem it worthy of the ‘personal favourite’ tag. As part of learning and relearning from this blog, I’ve read over those posts with this tag, like the bear who went over the mountain.
Aaaaand I’ve started way too many analogies that I’m not carrying through the rest of the post.
If it is a personal favourite, it is because I am particularly proud of the post, and this evidently can be for a number of reasons.
- I am proud of the path I took in analyzing towards a conclusion, whether driving a concept deeper (On Point…s), or driving towards a concept from what feels like left field (Become A Superhero).
- I am proud of publicizing something private, usually through being vulnerable (Regularly Scheduled Chaos, Cleaning The Bathroom Is Perfect For Me).
- I am proud of my use of a literary device, e.g., circling back (Suddenly Deserve A Cupcake), sprinkling pop culture references (I Am A Millionaire (And So Can You!)), vocalizing inner monologue (Scrum And The City).
- I am proud of my seriously silly story-telling (What Are Questions?).
- I am proud of doggy paddling out into the philosophical deep end (Cadenza, Blogging Break).
So now that I have analyzed this WordPress category, what have I learned or relearned? I’m proud that I keep writing. I’m also proud that I keep exploring this niche intersection of software development philosophy and self-actualization. I’m also also proud that I am practicing what I preach, creating and sharing. I’m also also also proud that I can accept my own creative output, whether it’s a post where I smile, like this one, or a post where I cringe, like this one.
(And thus, I write about posts that are personal favourites via a post that is very much the antithesis of one. Ironically, this is the kind of self-referential self-amusement that would make this post a personal favourite. I think I’ve gone cross-eyed.)