Fleeting moments of fierce clarity

forrest_gumpI blog. And I try to give it my best. Most of the times – I fail miserably. But this is not about the content, but the practice. I think everyone should break away from their Twitter habit and blog. Twitter and LinkedIn forces us down to sound bites, that any coherent thought beyond 140 characters need to be distilled to where we risk losing both nuance and perspective.

I used to blog quite regularly, but then hit a lull after I joined Experian. Despite the constant encouragement from my colleagues, I found it hard to find time. After a day worth of meetings, and non-stop context switching, I just did not have it in for me. My daily runs stopped as well. When I tried to blog again months later, my thoughts betrayed me and I found that I could not think of anything unique that I wanted to say out loud. I felt that I was forever limited to 140 characters or sporadic bursts on LinkedIn.

Blogging is serendipitous. It’s like out walking and seeing something that draws you in, and in turn lets loose a flurry of thoughts and emotions within you. My posts are rarely intentional – they are almost always a result of something I read or overheard. Though I was meeting and conversing more than ever before, these did not have the intended effect as before. If I was meeting 10x the number of people than before, why did these not lead to 10x more posts?

What I was missing were not moments of sheer brilliance or serendipity, I simply had run out of stillness in my daily life. My runs (and my walks) at the beginning or the end of the day – were the only times I could clear my head and let my mind wander and simply focus on the act of propelling myself across asphalt, grass or gravel. I run without headphones and I had grown accustomed to letting myself chew on anything that lay behind me or ahead of me that week – family, friends, passions, and ofcourse the banal. And I came to realize the value of those runs – when my mind could be free of clutter, and I could take a strand of thought and examine it more closely than I could have at any other point during the day.

And so I resumed my runs, only this time slower, owing to the number of pounds I gained in their absence. But beyond the first mile when the shin splints and the breathlessness give way to clarity of thought, I found once again my moments of stillness – when I could ask myself dumb questions over and over again and by the end of my run have a couple that have merit. And then when I sat down to capture those in a blog post – I had a sequence of strands that I had knotted together in a way that made them whole. And you should too.

**I decided to write this post after reading Joel Gascoigne’s post on Evening Walks. You should read it.

Do you blog? If so, how do you prepare yourself for it? Please leave your thoughts below..

I am on Twitter here, if you wish to connect. And you can find me on LinkedIn here.

I am the Mobile Commerce and Payments Lead at Experian Global Consulting and I serve Experian's clients in Banking, Retail, Consumer Credit and Payments on strategy, innovation and emerging business models around mobile. I am on the Advisory Board for SimplyTapp and ModoPayments. I am an Affiliate Analyst for Yankee Group focused on Mobile Marketing and Commerce Strategies. Previously I founded DROP Labs, a mobile payments/commerce strategy and advisory practice focused on banking & retail. Tweets here. I'm on LinkedIn here.
Cherian Abraham
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  • WarumNicht

    I feel the same way. Today I had that cluttered feeling in my head, wanted to write something but wasn’t happy with what I had, so I went for a run. And now have a much better idea.

    Happy running.

  • http://twitter.com/mordyk Mordy Kaplinsky

    It’s not just blogging, when you have time to be circumstantial one can gain clarity on a topic that couldn’t be analyzed when our minds are already 2 steps ahead.

  • alan

    Same here buddy. Good to know im not the only one :-) You have inspired me to write something this month.