I want to be an honest writer. To be an honest writer, I need to think hard about my life and I need to write a lot. Observe what’s going on around me with curiosity and sensitivity. And then I have to write about it, and write it well. I have to remember what I see. And then put it into words as succinctly and beautifully as possible.

One of the great joys of my life is when someone tells me “I read what you wrote”. I feel like we’ve connected. Perhaps in a little and unimportant way. But sometimes it’s a deep and meaningful connection. To keep that happening I must keep writing. I have to get good. I must also keep living, having things to write about. Continue exploring, witnessing, finding awe. I must look at the world with kindness, accepting its natural generosity with a keen eye.

Words have power. They transform those who write them and those who read them. Words are, quite literally, magic spells. Every January, I pick a single word as the theme for the year ahead. For 2024, I’ve picked “eclecticism”. I wrote it in ALL CAPS on my personal journal.

Theme for 2024: ECLECTICISM.

Since that day, I’ve been dreaming way more. I have, almost inexplicably, stumbled into several fascinating experiences. I’ve reconnected with old friends who had faded from my life. I’ve found beauty in the chaos of Buenos Aires, where before I was cut by its sharp edges. I’m planning a months-long trip to Asia. And it’s only February.

Words have power, and I want to wield that power with truth.

The honesty part is key. I appreciate and admire honest writers. Fred Wilson. Derek Sivers. Vi Hart. Scott Alexander. Paul Graham. Henrik Karlsson. There’s a fearlessness in them. They don’t try to sound smart, wise, or even honest. They’ve traveled long journeys of thought and discovery, and want to bring others along. They know language is a tool, and spend hours reading, writing and mastering it. Readers recognize them, and find peace and encouragement in their words. They value the freshness of authenticity in a world where everyone else writes with an agenda.

I want to leave behind a part of me that my children (and their children) can read. Something that is truly and unapologetically me. I want them to really know me for who I was. And how I wish my grandparents and great-grandparents had done the same. It would be such a great tool to understand who I am, and where I come from.

I also want to share knowledge I’ve acquired with current and future friends. Learning by doing is a lonely path. It can rarely be replaced by reading. But we’ve all had that distinct feeling of know-how crystallizing into knowledge through reading a good explanation. I’ve learned so much from the words of others, and I’m eager to pay it forward.

Finally, I want to write well to improve my thinking. My mind is a fuzzy mess of feelings, colors, and intuitions. Writing takes that soup of neurons and gives it the structure of language. I want to learn the craft of words.

I know it will take time to get good. So I must begin.


Cover photo by MidJourney

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