Even at the age of eleven Minamoto Yoshitsune made a vow to restore his clan to its former exalted position. The monks entrusted with his education found this youth 'a listless and unpromising pupil when they tried to drill him in the Sutras.' The abbot discovered that there was 'only one way of keeping him out of mischief and this was to read Sonshi [Sun Tzu], the great Chinese military classic, and such works to him. Then he was all attention.'
My writing on the Web later led to a book. As mentioned in the last blog post, Sonshi.com celebrated the 10th anniversary of our Art of War book, "The Art of War -- Spirituality for Conflict" published on March 1, 2008.
During its production, I can still remember my editor Mark Ogilbee telling me the publisher reviewed my writing and was impressed by it. That apparently was a huge compliment since (1) he knows many outstanding authors and (2) he was rather stoic, not the sort of person who praises others.
Frankly, I never thought my writing to be all that great. My secret is simply I write as I speak in business: to be clear and to be understood easily. Miscommunication causes many problems and I want to prevent them as much as possible.
I'll let you in on another secret. When I was a freshman at the University of Washington in Seattle, my writing was so bad that the professor had to sit me down and explain to me basic grammar rules.
It wasn't always like that though. As far back as elementary school, I was writing full stories. I loved to write. However, as I grew up, I wrote significantly less. Other things were of greater concern. Like cars and girls. So the less I wrote, the worse I got.
Fortunately, as I progressed in college, I wrote more. Pretty soon I was back on track. After graduation, it was on to working in companies and communicating clearly via memos and emails. There was no excuse for not being professional because the efficiency and effectiveness of projects depended upon it.
Nowadays, I write because I want to share with others my experiences, not necessarily to get things done. I want to share with you what I saw or learned. That means, then, that I must possess experience or knowledge worth sharing with you, even if it's only for entertainment value. At the very least, it forces me to constantly step out of my comfort zone.
Therefore, if I stop writing, I have stopped learning, improving, appreciating. That's just not me. It's not the life I want to lead, either for myself or for others. My goal is to write such that even a listless Minamoto Yoshitsune (like me) would be "all attention." That was the skill of Sun Tzu's writing.
So I will strive and continue to write, hopefully as often as I can.
"A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song." Chinese proverb