I have been evolving. One of the things I have tried to do better is find people to work with who understand some important task. Then I let them do what it is they do. In other words: I trust them. I particularly like letting people who work in an often micromanaged profession . . . do their job. I get a kick out of telling them: “Cool, let’s do what you said.” I worked with Karen Latchana Kenney on something very important to me―this book, my first book. Karen is my editor. In the process of writing this book with her, I believe I have trusted her and gotten out of her way. I don’t agree with everything Karen says, but I agree with damn near everything.
My writing has been evolving too. I’ve written a lot, but much of my writing is equivalent to a 100-yard sprint . . . mostly columns and blog posts. However, there is a huge difference writing 400 vs. 40,000 words. It’s like I’m a sprinter running a marathon for the very first time. I do not know a dangling modifier from a mortified participle. And I once tried to spell the word “any” with two n’s. It took me way too long to figure out what was wrong. What I’m trying to say is that writing this book has been a whole new ballgame for me.
I write like I speak, and I speak directly. This can make people feel uncomfortable. I am not a careful writer and a few colleagues have even said I was a bomb thrower who didn’t have a filter. God knows what people who think I’m a toad say! Bomb thrower? No filter? Uncomfortable? I call it the truth. And I cannot write any other way, because I think it lacks integrity. Lacking integrity is a deal-breaker for me. So the only thing I asked Karen to do was to “keep my voice.” I trusted her to do so. Trusting others is a risk. Speaking frankly is a risk. To misquote Mike Tyson: Everyone talks about how great it is to take risks until risk punches them back in the face. To get something really good though, you need to take a few risks.