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My Writing Year – 2018

2018 has been a mad and crazy year. Throughout, I’ve been able to get some writing done. Not as much as I intended or hoped for, but a surprising amount nonetheless. As the year comes to an end, I take the time to explore the writing that you most enjoyed, and offer some insights into where the articles came from and what they meant to me.



A Year Gone Quite Mad

What a long, strange year it’s been. It is more than a little astonishing that—as I write this—it’s the winter solstice. It feels like the year started last week. And it feels like an eternity. My reflections on 2018, my plans for the coming year: what you can expect of me, and what I hope for you.



Keep Going

We (and I) write and think a lot about work. We embrace dedication and commitment and “giving 110%” like that’s something easy to do. In reality, it’s not easy, and sometimes it’s downright unpleasant. And the risk is that—faced with a mountain of work—we run screaming in the direction of our Netflix queue and oblivion. Some thoughts on how to persevere instead.



The More Process You Have, The Less Process You Need

Process is important. It provides useful and relevant guidance on how to get things done. And yet process can also be a crutch, particularly when we presume the real world works exactly as the process prescribes. For process to be useful, then, we need to rethink how we relate to process.



Work Is Visceral

There is a difference between doing the work and loving the work. Much of what produces worthwhile work is–well–work. Painful, sweaty, slogging, frustrating work. That’s why, often, we avoid the work. That’s why “do the work” is an exhortation and imperative; it’s designed to get us to make the first step, with the hope and intent that we keep on going. And that’s where the challenges start.



Do The Work

Doing the work is fundamental. Yet, if we we’re honest, many of us are tempted by short-cuts. We look for quick wins. We settle for just enough. We distract ourselves. And when we look back over our shoulders, the mountain of work is still there, waiting for us. It might even appear to be a little bit bigger now. When we stop figuring out how to get around it, we realize that the only way to tackle the mountain is to start climbing. On why that’s a really good thing.



Storytelling In The In-Between Spaces

Liminality—the idea of in-between spaces as a source of growth and transformation—is a simple construct that’s difficult to live through. The art of storytelling is a complex, rich mine of insight with a similarly simple construct beneath it. The traditional of three-act narrative owes a lot to liminality, because it borrows a great deal from how to navigate the places in-between. Story is what shows us how to live, to imagine and to consider what’s possible. The same structure is what allows us to grow and succeed.



Inhabiting In-Between Spaces

I’ve been exploring liminality and in-between spaces in a few posts. And while the structure is simple, and the ideas it offers are profound and meaningful, actual living in and transitioning through liminal spaces is often anything but clear, ordered or certain. There can be a great deal of fuzziness, frustration and even fear. I thought it would be helpful to explore what it’s like to actually live in the in-between spaces.



Working In The In-Between Spaces

The idea of liminality is a simple one. It describes a progress by which significant transformation can occur. But within a simply presented model, there are a lot of moving parts. Attempting to navigate through in-between spaces takes work and effort. Knowing what to look for and what to expect helps make that a little bit easier.



Facilitation – A Peek Behind The Scenes

I more often share how I think, rather than how I work. This week, I shift that around a bit. I’ve been facilitating for decades, and learning and adjusting what that looks like constantly. What I’m finally (mostly) comfortable with is what’s in my kit. These are the essentials that I won’t go into a meeting room without. To some, it may be overkill, but it’s how I go in prepared.