Generational with Justin Lancy

A quick note:

Busy times here at Veritrope HQ, but two of my favorite online pals made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse: To appear on their wonderful podcast, Generational, and talk about travel with them.

Gabe Weatherhead and Erik Hess are my kind of people – keen observers of how technology fits into our everyday lives and gracious about sharing their knowledge with their readers and followers. I think you can tell we had a lot of fun talking before, during, and after the recording… and I hope you enjoy “hanging out with us” as well.

You can listen here or get it via iTunes. While you do, I’ll be working on a way to lure those guys to some of the places that I know they love so we can meet up again soon.

Monks in Luang Prabang

I once read an article which said that people should refrain from speaking about work they’re doing until it’s complete. As I remember it, there was a scientific study which suggesed that talking about doing something apparently “scratches the same itch”, neurobiologically speaking, as actually doing something.1

Talk too much about what you want to do before you act, the theory goes, and you never will.

I’m pretty sure I’ve taken that idea too far lately. There has been, in fact, a major change in my life which I haven’t written about yet. My plan was to announce it alongside some projects that I’ve been working on. But when I ended up being far, far busier than I had planned and all my work took much longer than I expected, I was still afraid to talk about things until they were almost ready to go because…

Well. You know.

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  1. You’ll just have to trust me on this because my Google-fu is failing me right now []

I recently came across an aphorism that made me smile: “The purpose of speaking is to be understood; the purpose of writing is to avoid being misunderstood.”

I smiled because – I mean – how many wooden, lifeless bits of prose have you read in your life which were caused by someone taking this idea too far? There’s a reason that this particular type of bad writing is often called “legalistic”: It is a joyless, bloodless, anti-human kind of writing – which is probably part of why you have to pay a lawyer $300 an hour to read it.

Most of the writers that I enjoy place their words on the page with a sort of lightness. It feels like someone speaking to you, like someone trying to be understood. If good writing is a sort of magic trick, then a good writer is the magician, the rabbit, and the top hat – all rolled up in one. It is craft combined with the courage to show yourself as you are that lets you pull yourself out of the hat.

It’s a hard thing, but some writers can seemingly do it with ease.

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