Looking in the mirror

I spent several hours writing new material for Aha! today. In retrospect, I spent more time on rationale than instructions. That’s counter to the concept of the book: a how-to guide for becoming a better learner.

I also Skype-chatted with a fellow I’m writing some articles for. His sponsors want me to write more practical material. Forget the theory. Give me a Guide to what to do. What are the five important steps.

I’m guilty of writing what I’d want to read instead of what my reader want to read. I’m a theory guy.

It’s a conceit that others think like me (when they clearly don’t; I’m an oddball.)

That’s one reason I’m writing a Test Version of Aha! — to get feedback and guidance from potential users. I know I haven’t nailed what they need. I hope, contrary to Steve Jobs’s take that customers never know what they want until they see it, that I’ll be able to pare Aha down to practical advice. I’m moving more and more of the background, elaboration, and references to the online Ahasite.

I’ll probably need a ruthless editor to boil this down to useful information.

Today I was driving coach for my son. He had put off learning to drive until age 31. Having recently moved to Kansas City, he had no choice but to take up driving and buy a car. Public transit is unknown here. Today was his first navigating the confusing interstates around here. He drove us to Overland Park, Kansas, and back. Everything was cool until he drove into his driveway. He took the turn into the driveway too fast. Bump. We told him he took it too fast. He was incensed. We argued over whether he’d gone too fast. This released a flood of emotion. “You don’t have to stay at my house.” This evening has been awkward. The stress of driving was transferred to the unreasonable parents. We ate supper in silence. My guidance would have been not to let emotions take over the show yet that’s exactly what happened and it didn’t do any of us any good.

I spent a few hours working on the book, realizing how little I really know. I have to give myself pep talks that I can make something of this pile of words I’ve assembled. I am so looking forward to completing the Test Version of Aha! so I can get into polishing and adding new insights and material. I have to complete this baseline edition before I can get to polishing, adding stuff from my flow, and getting creative again.

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