I’ve been struggling for the past few weeks; struggling to write a new column.
It all started about a month ago when I decided to look back at the body of work that is The Stranded Starfish and see what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown. Being the typical engineer, I started with data. I built a spreadsheet that listed all of the past articles and some interesting details like number of columns, average word count per column, etc. I also write a weekly innovation column for work, so I included that data as well.
The stats surprised me. In these few short years, I’ve written close to 100,000 words in 120 columns. When I went back and read a bunch of the articles, I was again surprised by the variety of topics covered. There were some columns I barely remember, until I read them again and fondly recalled why I wrote them in the first place.
Here’s the problem: the next column I write will only move the dial 0.8% from where I stand now. It will only be one of 121 columns. It will have to stand against other columns that were as intense as the death of two of my coworkers and as widely cited as the column on performance reviews. How could what I write next possibly matter?