Surprising + Compelling

A few weeks back, Derek Sivers dropped a bomb on me that made me question everything I’ve written and has made it HARDER to write every single day:

People only really learn when they’re surprised. If they’re not surprised, then what you told them just fits in with what they already know. No minds were changed. No new perspective. Just more information.

Derek Sivers

Thanks, Derek.

I hadn’t been optimizing for “surprising”. I had been focusing on putting thoughts into the world, processing what I am going through, pulling out the principles, and sharing those. Now I have to focus on being SURPRISING too???

But, of course, he’s right. If I want my writing to be remembered, or remarkable, or compelling, or share-worthy, it needs to have “something” about it that makes it stand out. Calling that “something” surprising makes perfect sense.

Yes, it’s making writing every day harder. But it, hopefully, is making it better because I care enough to keep working at it.

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