Why can’t I write?

This is my first post ever. Hurray! So let me just introduce myself. I’m a Software Engineer, actually nowadays I’m more a manager than a developer. I’m also a teacher, I teach Aikido — yes a martial art. As you can imagine my background in sciences makes me a curious person, I love to learn! One of the things I like about being a teacher and about working with people is how much we learn from the students. This only happens because I try to be as open minded as possible. I learnt this in the martial arts world, and I say that to my students. As martial artists we always need to keep a beginner’s mind, Shoshin.

I love to interact with others and learn

Maybe most of you are like me. If you are, then you like to spend some time in a pub or at the office talking about some of our favorite subjects. In my case, I enjoy to talk about technology, entrepreneurship, and company culture. Even when the conversation moves to a different subject I enjoy to listen and share my opinion. I love the feeling you get when discussing ideas with others, to feel that I’m learning so much with them.

Last month I read the book “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh, and I finally made up my mind. I need to start writing. I’m sure that at the beginning it will be hard but I believe that it will help me. In the book Tony says two important things that helped me to start. First he says that we should encourage our teams, and ourselves, to improve 1% per day. Second and most important, he says that companies should learn with each other and share their knowledge, because this will help them grow. What I understood from these two advices was, share your knowledge so that others can give their opinion and help you grow.

Why do I believe that sharing my ideas and waiting for opinions can help me?

Only by forcing ourselves to analyse our thoughts — something that we need to do to deliver our message — can we reach what I call the teacher’s state. In this state we learn to deconstruct our ideas to their fundamentals. Then we can reconstruct them on a way that is learnable. At this stage we can finally write about the idea and someone can share their point of view, like in the pub. This will help us to fuel the discussion and to take it to the next level.

But why can’t I write?

So now that I’ve explained why I want to start writing, I still need to explain why can’t I write. Why it’s so hard for me to get my ideas onto paper. After a lot of time struggling with this question I found that the answer is quite simple and complex at the same time. I don’t do it because I’m afraid to fail. To start writing I need to invest a lot of time because of two issues. First, I’m not used to do it and so I will not like to read what I write. I’ll never be able to deliver content with the quality I want to. Second, I don’t have any followers meaning that no one will comment. As you may recall, feedback is the thing I like the most about sharing my ideas. To be able to share and have one of those healthy conversations, like the ones we have with our friends.

Such a long post to reach to such a simple conclusion. It took me more time to understand what was happening in my head than the time it took me to write this post. Looking back I think I should have failed faster, that by now I could have learnt more.

Only by trying, training and learning can we get better. This was the process I had to overcome to start talking with people in conferences, and other places. I used to be an introvert. I had to train a lot to be able to feel so comfortable while discussing my ideas in public. Now that time has passed by, I just forgot the huge effort I had to do.

I wrote this initial post for myself, to help me move forward. But if you feel the same way hope this helps you to understand why you feel that you can’t write. Eventually this may also help you to make up your mind, and to write. If it helps you, just drop me a line with the link to your first post, I’ll be glad to read it.