My Fear of Being too Personal

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Hey friends,

If you've spent your valuable time watching my Day in the Life videos, you may have thought 'Man, this guy really overshares.' You've seen me on the toilet. In the shower. You know my bowel habits.

So it may come as a surprise that I've been struggling with writing about personal stuff.

Some of you know I'm writing a book on meaningful productivity at the moment. (You can join the special mailing list where I'm sharing the journey here). And even though I've been oversharing on the internet for years at this point, writing personal stories in a book feels like the ultimate narcissim.

My instinct is to feel that I should give readers scientific, solid, evidence-based content. Why would anyone care about me and my life in a book?

On the other hand, I found Alex Banayan's book The Third Door so fantastic because it was so intensely personal.

Here's a fun quote from Paul Gallico that illustrates the point:

It is only when you open your veins and bleed onto the page a little that you establish contact with your reader.

I was discussing this fear of writing about myself with my writing coach, Azul, last week.

He said that he's seen this pattern play out many times with the authors he's coached. Everyone struggles with writing about themeslves. But writing a book is already an exercise in self-centredness, so you might as well fully lean into this feeling. The writing we find the most enjoyable, is the personal kind. Massively oversharing, is actually a way to be more engaging with the audience, apparently.

So while I try to rewire my thoughts on the matter, my question to you is: are you holding yourself back from something because you feel you're giving away too much of yourself?

Have a great week!

Ali


My Favourite Things this Week

1 - Article - I was recommended this article called What Makes Work Meaningful — Or Meaningless by my friend Paul Millerd. If you've ever been tempted to explore meaning in your life, this is a brilliant start. It definitely made me think about the differences between meaning and happiness, how to approach working with my team, and further fuelled my love for reflection (as the main way to access meaning at all). Definitely worth checking out! 

2 - Book - I'm rereading Steal Like An Artist (again). There's fresh insight and inspiration every time I touch this book. It's based on the idea (to quote the book itself): \"What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.\"

Quote of the Week

"If you have one person you’re influenced by, everyone will say you’re the next whoever. But if you rip off a hundred people, everyone will say you’re so original!”

From Steal Like An Artist, Austin Kleon. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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