16 May 2012
So when is the best time to write a book (or give a presentation or start a blog or…) on a subject you're particularly interested in? While you're learning! Putting words on a page isn't a commitment (trust me). You'll be able to add to, edit, and refine your ideas along the way–but only if you take the time to write them down. Also, there's a certain amount of fidelity to your thinking that fades over time; write in the moment and you won't lose the burrs and barbs that stick with readers. And, if you share what you're learning with others along the way, all sorts of people and projects will present themselves; you'll have more information and learning experiences than you could have imagined-- all while you're curious and enthusiastic, all while you're a student of your subject.
But, if you wait until you're an expert (which you'll never feel like you really are), one of several things will happen: One, everything you've learned will seem mundane and not worth writing about. Two, you'll be so bored of the topic that writing a book on the subject will be the last thing you'd ever want to do. Three, your interests will have led you to new, entirely different subjects. Or four, your interests will have led you to a new perspective from which it's no longer possible to write about the things you learned.
I'm proud of the book I wrote, and the card deck I self-published. Others have found them quite useful. But, had I waited until I felt competent about the subject (psychology and design), these things would never have been created; my ideas would have never taken a form that could be shared with others. These things would have been another casualty in the lineup of ideas I'll never work on.
It's human to create and learn. Doing isn't a commitment, it's just a step that keeps your ideas in motion and your options open. What are you working on? What are you learning? What are you creating?