Expected vs Unexpected

Yesterday, I was rereading an old Seth Godin blog post I have hanging on my cubicle wall titled, ‘Blah, blah, blah.’ In the post Seth talks about how all writing and speaking can be separated into two types of groups: The expected and The unexpected.

The expected is the type of writing and speaking we’ll never remember.  They’re words anyone could write or presentations filled with bullet points and text.  Do you ever remember a presentation with bullet points?

The unexpected is the opposite.  It’s never been done before or risky or opens you up to be vulnerable.  This type of writing makes you nervous to publish. This type of presentation doesn’t include bullet points, paragraphs of text, or your company’s PowerPoint template. You’ll find yourself face down in the arena while the crowd figures out what you just accomplished.

What would you rather do?  Never be remembered, or even noticed, because you never tested your limits, or would you be willing face the unknown to find out if what you have to write, or say, moves us.

Seth ends this post with a tip that is the first step in moving from one to the other: “Cross out every sentence that could have been written by someone else, every box check, every predictable reference. Now, insert yourself. Your truth and your version of what happens next.”

This is my blog and speech writing goal going forward.  It probably means I can’t write posts like this one, because it was already written by Seth Godin.  I need to write my story.