Josh Pitzalis

Finding the right focus

For the last month or so I've been writing all sorts of things over on a platform called Nicheless. It has been a liberating experience, not having to write about anything specific.

I'd read books and listen to podcasts and when an idea resonated I'd write about it.

So far I've written about addiction and business and collaboration and community. Depression, entitlement, the environment, idleness, focus, jail, money, and science.

I explored our species' cryptic relationship with seeking status.

Then I dove into messy conversations about the nature of value.

My last little adventure was on was the nature and power of storytelling, and how it's so much more effective at crossing the gap than the more serious business of communicating "clearly".

I think I've got it all out of my system now.

I'm starting to feel like the writing is not going anywhere now. I'm just firing off flares, flashy sparks in different directions, but none of them are leading to anything.

I believe it's time to settle down and return to the business of writing about something specific.

From a professional point of view, this has meant starting a newsletter. I have never committed to a newsletter because I've never felt qualified to write about a single topic at any length. My fear is that I would start and then it would fizzle out, as it has done so many times.

I have abandoned an uncomfortable volume of unfinished newsletters over the last ten years.

But then, recently, someone explained that starting a newsletter is the most effective way to become an expert on something. This flipped my point of view. Rather than waiting to become an expert and then start talking about stuff, the pressure of having to say something meaningful each week is what drives the expertise.

So I've started a newsletter for work. The first issue is out. Currently reading up for the next issue.

But I've been here before, and I know writing about one thing alone becomes suffocating after a while. So I also need to write for myself, not for an audience, but as a way to make sense of my journey through life. Narrative, is as much a nutrient for our social minds, as food is essential for our bodies.

So I'll also be writing here for now. Not about anything, like I did with Nicheless, but I also don't want to get too specific, like I would with a newsletter. It needs to be interesting enough for me to keep going, but also coherent enough to be meaningful. So I've decided to write about whatever I want, as long as it's honest, and as long as it pertains to my journey of growing a tiny software company responsibly.


- 1 toast