“User Guide”

OK, so I come from a technical writing background. I used to write those user guides you never read (and that’s OK. They’re always there if you need them). But for this blog, I thought it might be useful to give you some Tips and Hints about how to get the most out of my blog posts.

Note that I sometimes use the Socratic Method of Learning throughout the blogs:

. . . a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions.—Wikipedia

Asking the “right” question is key, but sometimes you need to work your way through a series of questions before you get to that perfect question. So in the blog posts, I’ll essentially have a conversation with myself, asking questions and posing possible answers or more questions. But you can add to that conversation and “talk amongst yourselves” (our thanks to the SNL character “Linda Richman” for that direction) in the Comments section of each blog.

So in general, the way I suggest you use these blogs is this:

Think. First and foremost, these blogs are intended to get us all thinking. In most, if not all, of the blog posts, I’ll include questions you can consider pondering, or actions you can consider taking. They’ll appear with a vertical line next to them, like this:

Consider answering these questions:

[Question/Action 1]

[Question/Action 2]

Write. I strongly recommend that you get a notebook and start answering for yourself the questions I pose, chronicling actions you’re taking, and “Muse”-ing about new questions, actions, or reactions. A technique that has worked well for me is “writing on the Muse Stream” developed by Mark David Gerson. It’s super simple and powerfully effective, and you can read about in any of his books about writing, or you can get hands-on experience in one of his online workshops.

Share. Consider posting a Comment to share any insights or further questions you uncover.

Converse. Feel free to Reply to others’ comments, but I request that you keep it constructive, on topic, and friendly. (As the website admin, I can monitor comments and will not approve any comments that are nasty, negative, etc. I don’t want that energy on this website.)

Please know that I sometimes do research for some of the blog posts. I include the sources I use as links in the footnotes because they often contain a richness that I can’t include in my posts. I strongly suggest you read some of them to expand your experience of my messages.

And last but not least, please remember: I don’t have the answers, but maybe “we” do, together.