Why Write Now?
Since I was young, my right brain drove me to imagine and create–music, lyrics, poetry, stories, ideas, humor. But when I decided to go to law school in 2006 I had to compartmentalize more than ever. The space that was once welcoming to walk-in diners became the hardest reservation in town. Sports statistics, political polling data, and musical trivia gave way to principles of contracts, torts, and civil procedure. I just couldn't manage it all. I got more Cs my first semester than I had during the previous 5.5 years of undergraduate and graduate work. Something had to give.
It seemed like a good exercise anyway–reining in the dreamer and giving him structure. On the side, I still found time to play guitar (perhaps even fire up GarageBand) and flirt with side projects like a soccer website. I didn't have the bandwidth for the law and everything else. And because I didn't force myself to ship anything, I just ended up dabbling.
Early last year, I found out my law firm would be closing and I would be out of a job. It was change I desperately needed. Then, just weeks after this discovery, I was contacted out of the blue by a media company that wanted to hire me to write and do social media for the World Cup. Coincidence. Providence. Whatever you call it, it was a thunderstorm in a desert. That's when I took my creativity off the leash again. Good ideas. Bad ideas. I pitched. I executed (often with the help of other skilled designers, producers, and thinkers). I failed and succeeded. I felt valuable again.
When my contract ended I returned home with the wind in my sails–optimistic that my grandiose phase two plan would be green-lit. But it wasn't and I wasn't interested in being part of something ordinary. Fortunately, I didn't have to retreat to the safety of full-time law practice. I freelanced and did contract work to make ends meet (hat-tip to my rockstar wife who gave me a journal and encouraged me to write more and whose support allowed me to be patient in my journey). And I spent time reading, listening, and thinking about my life. Why did I dabble? Why did I react the way I did when phase two didn't work? Why did I pursue the law? What things do I need from a job and company? How should I position myself to switch from the law to something else? How can I prime myself for success?
In September, still early in my search, I happened upon a podcast that would change my life: The Moment with Brian Koppelman. His guest was Seth Godin. That conversation opened my eyes and helped me answer, or start to answer, the aforementioned questions. More importantly, it helped me ask myself better questions. Since then, I've listened to every episode of The Moment and devoured many of Seth's books, articles, interviews, and speeches. This body of thought–Seth, Brian, Tony Robbins, Jon Acuff, Danny Strong, Dave Ramsey, and others–has stoked my intellectual and human curiosity.
So, why am I doing the Your Turn Challenge? Because I need to get in the routine of putting my thoughts out in the world. I'm a fairly avid tweeter and I have an open invitation to pitch soccer-related ideas to a number of outlets, but I need more. I like to write. It helps me organize, reflect, remember, and grow. But too often I let my creations and insights live and die in my head without writing them down. That changes today. #Shipped