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#99 — My best essays of 2022
It’s been wonderful to see all the responses, ideas and feedback I’ve gotten from so many of you along the way. I’m thankful to each and every one of you for joining me on this journey. I appreciate you trusting me with your time and attention, and I’m excited to see where my writing takes me next.
I’m taking the next few weeks off to rest and recharge. Quick Brown Fox will return for its 100th edition in mid-January.
Before I take off for break, in today’s letter I’ll share some of the essays I’m most proud of publishing this year. I’ve loosely grouped them into a few selections on personal productivity, motivation and self-management, and the craft of writing.
Happy holidays, dear friends, and see you next year!
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On personal productivity:
Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time — Sometimes we feel exhausted after just ten minutes of work. Other times, we get immersed in work for hours. Instead of planning our lives with time, we must learn to notice and manage our energy.
Don’t Wait for Motivation, Act for Momentum — Waiting for motivation is a losing game. Start with a tiny task, then ride its momentum.
Showing Up — We talk ourselves out of creating, because we think it’s too intimidating. But if we ask ourselves to take just one step, the mountain becomes manageable. A small step becomes a giant leap.
On motivation and self-management:
Peeling the Onion — Thinking of writing as a process of self-discovery. Finding ourselves, one layer at a time. If what I’m writing now is just the outer layers, what lies hidden beneath?
What If You Succeed? — We often look at others and think, “Wow. I want that.” But how much do we really know about their day-to-day life? What works for them may not work for us. We must learn to be confident in our own intuition.
Bumps Are the Road — What if we looked at life not as a mission to avoid the bumps, but a challenge to embrace them? In the end, we may look back and realize those weren’t bumps on the road—the bumps are the road.
On the craft of writing:
Write It While It’s Hot — Ideas are like candles. We must make the most of their light while it lasts. If you abandon an idea too early, it leaves the idea in a vulnerable state. What you return to might be unrecognizable.
Low Stakes, Strong Takes — Crippled by fear of public scrutiny, writers avoid what they really want to say. But there’s a middle ground to be found: Lower the stakes with semi-public sharing, and liberate your strong takes.
How to Ask for Feedback — Great feedback is a gift, but most feedback isn’t great. By clarifying our needs when asking for feedback, we can dramatically improve the effectiveness of the feedback we get, and protect our peace.
That’s all, folks!