People often ask me if I could draw for them, or write for them, or code for them. I refer all that business to other people. Here’s why.
You see, some people want to learn how to fish. These are the people who want to learn more about sketchnoting or Emacs or other things I’m interested in.
Many people want to buy fish. They don’t want to learn things themselves, but they can build on what they buy.
Most people just want to buy sushi. (Or fish and chips, or whatever.) Already prepared, no work needed, yum. They’re too busy to cook. They don’t want to know the details. They just want good stuff.
I want to learn how to fish for rare fish. The kind of fish few people bother with because you have to go into uncharted waters. Interesting, elusive fish, almost too smart to get caught. I want to learn how to ask good questions and share what I’m learning.
I want to be part of a community of enthusiasts who swap tips and stories. I want to find other people who have gotten bitten by that bug, and I want to help other people discover the joy of exploration. That’s why I’m not selling any fish. I’m focusing on learning how to fish rare fish, and teaching what I’m learning. My top priority is to learn how to fish. But I’ll take the time to teach you to fish because I want to be able to learn from you someday.
Sure, I might be able to learn a little while catching fish for other people. I know from experience, though–both mine and others–that it’s too easy to get used to that. You forget there’s a world beyond the fishponds. Better to force myself out there, while I can.
At least for the next three years (the rest of this 5-year experiment), I’ll be out fishing. That is, drawing, writing, learning, playing – somewhere out there, where few people get to go. What would wild success be like? Plenty of stories, maybe a few mementos, and a great community to keep exploring with.
Thanks to Evan Smith for the nudge to explore this metaphor!
(Note: I don’t know anything about fishing, and I’m not planning to add it as a hobby. But I do like cooking, though, which might explain some things.)
Tell me what you think!
- What can I help you learn how to fish?
- Are you looking for rare fish too? Let’s learn together!