Blog | Why I’m Writing

2019 Article

Why and What I'm Writing Here

I dislike writing. I grew up with dysgraphia* and, I think, also with a teenage boy’s dislike for what a teacher recommends. But, begrudgingly, I’ve done a lot of it over time, and suspect I will have to a lot more in my life.

When inspiration hits (I think like anyone) I can write two pages in an instant. Talking about something I care deeply for, like education or opening up opportunities, I also can (before a long iteration cycle getting them to impactful). Then, practical things like dissecting challenges and putting together plans I am very happy doing.

But, there is a lot worth communicating that doesn’t come from inspiration, and is a longer-form piece outside of those few areas.

This is the essence of why I’m writing this.

I’m slowly going to fill digital pages up with the thoughts that occupy and echo in my head, some of the things I’ve been amazed by in a path that has fortunately taken me to some pretty interesting exposure, and things I’ve found that could shape their own future decisions. Overall, my writing will cover both what I want to share with a couple of others, but also extend to complex pieces I want to unravel for myself.

None will be perfect, they may evolve over time, and feedback is always welcome. But I am going to stick to this.

Writing each month I hope will help for a few key reasons:

I’ll improve the way I think and digest information.

There are a lot of my thoughts or opinions that move around or may not be fully thought out. Taking this time is great for me to fully think through or refine these, as well as examine the underlying impressions I’ve formed.

Rather than travelling through life getting dopamine hits resonating with something I heard that was interesting - I can translate the perceived insights to mental tools vs lost to the ‘knowing’ doing gap.

This is a way to share if I find things others could benefit from

I don’t want personal publicity but if I can shape a few others lives or send them to 4 people I care for who they’re relevant to, the time on each one is worth it.

On my website I’ll also write up piece like my living in London tips, how to get a job thoughts and co to hopefully let me help more people I come across - and do so in 20 minutes vs hours.

I’ll become a better writer

As much as I think that my thinking is coherent - and at times it comes up with some outwardly great plans -  there is a way to go in translating what I think is being communicated to what really impacts across my career.

I write overly long sentences (potentially evidenced by that last one) and can be verbose. This may help tidy that up, and subsequently impact the way I chat with others or communicate in debates, negotiations and other areas of my life.

I’ll be a better person

I don’t like backlash. But as I’ve come to realise from challenging myself to speak to strangers, lead in conversations, the perceived risk isn’t great. In the case of writing, there may be some reputational risk if I say something ill thought out and get called out for it. At this stage, it may feel bad but can only be learnt from - it’s more feedback and growth for a year of developing. And it is far better for me to have that than to develop in a vacuum.

What this isn’t, is trying to build a brand. Personal recognition isn’t my goal, it won’t help me as much for the companies I want to build - it is far more likely to distract me, and I also don’t consider myself more qualified than any other person. I will write for my own learning, to save time passing onto others, or maybe to add to an outwardly facing portfolio of my thinking.

Throughout, I’m holding true to the down to earth Kiwi I want to live as. I loved Paul Graham’s essay on writing where he tore into verbose language. I will try to keep conversational - while I strive for the simplicity that YC praises and I hope to embody in the future.

William ReynoldsKiwi exploring how we build companies in an ever more complex - bigger, yet smaller - world

  • dysgraphia means it just takes actually 10% longer to translate my thoughts to my hand. I’m not made to be a micro-tasker. If you do happen to need micro-taskers, hit up my friends at Xpand :)