Measure Twice

It takes me much longer to think about what to write than to write it, on most days. Writing comes fairly naturally to me (though that’s dangerous in its own right, and I’ll get into why in a bit), but I give thinking some serious thought.

I don’t like to overly deliberate, and I do like to engage in “productive thinking,” where I’m actively doing something value-creating while thinking. In the short term that might mean that my “thinking time” will also be workout time, laundry time, etc. In the long term it means that even if I can’t decide what I’m going to build, I’m still going to be gathering tools and materials, scouting locations, etc. in preparation for when I do decide.

But while I don’t like to overly deliberate (I believe action is vital), I also never like to act in haste. I like to look at a problem or task or situation and roll it around in my head for a bit. Examine all sides. Live in it. Maybe even try a few initial attempts in my mind. Then when I act, I go all in.

When I write these blog posts, I usually (to an outside observer) just stare at the blank screen like a zombie for a bit. What I’m actually doing is moving words around. Preparing a concept. Then I write like crazy, straight through. It can look like I don’t plan at all, but I just plan differently.

Still, that can be dangerous. When something comes pretty naturally to you, you have a tendency not to develop technique as well. My writing could definitely be better. I think it’s improved dramatically since starting this blog, because practice makes better, if not perfect. But still, I think it would be worthwhile for me to actually take a writing course of some kind – so suggestions welcome!

Regardless, always give yourself a few breaths and a few heartbeats before you engage. Especially with speaking – it has an odd way of being permanent. Words can cut. And before you cut once, measure twice.

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