Cutting Onions

Learning about layers upon layers

The deeper I get into drafting, the more it feels like I am cutting onions.

I've had broad, surface-level awareness of many topics I wish to write about for years and years now, and felt pretty darn good speaking to them. Stringing together these topics into a cogent argument felt and feels attainable, but what's been humbling is how far off I am in truly understanding these topics. The generalist approach I take to a lot of my life—my favorite animal is a duck—only carries me so far.

These onions yield polar reactions, I've found.

Digging deeper into some personalities and "industry advice" has forced me to again confront software platitudes. Instead of saying the thing I've always said, I've had to examine my intent and the intent of the source. Do they differ? Do our values differ? Does amplifying this voice serve the purpose I expect it to? I've challenged my relationship with well-established thinking, zeitgeist marketing, and am learning to look beyond the facade and into truer, dependent, metamorphized outcomes. I've found those that came before me and had to contend with their contexts, my conceptions, and the delta that lies between them.

I've also been delighted in the hidden depth I was missing by not peeling back those surface layers of understanding. It's exciting to uncover communities thriving where you've yet to travel. Their vibrancy quickens my thoughts and helps me shape my perspectives, a simmering stew that permeates the air. It's like a whole ecosystem of subterranean organisms living under an overturned log. I don't fear disturbance from having found it in this case though.

Sorry if this has all been vague and run roughshod—of that, I have no doubt. The draft feels like that sometimes too.

But as I once heard Brad Frost say, "Now we are cooking with grease," and onions are delicious if you give them a chance.