I send a lot of unsolicited messages. Perhaps more than I should. To prospective clients, current friends, even prospective friends. Following up, checking in, passing along.
Any present progressive verb plus preposition combo you can think of I’ve put into words. And I am at peace with this state of affairs.
Each time, I reach a point where I should just hit return and send the thing. But usually I stop and think, Hey, what if I add info. about the upcoming festival of bread…? Or wait until I finally master the Electric Slide so I can rightfully brag…? Maybe see if I can find a baby polar bear video…?
No. Here’s why. Monday night I wrote a friend. When we ran into each other she said she got engaged over the weekend. I was waiting for the next yoga class as she emerged from the earlier one. It was a two-minute conversation overheard by dozens that did not do justice to the excitement and thrill of the moment. I just wanted to write, more or less, “holy shit, congrats!!!”
Typing away, I listened to “Adorn” by Busta Rhymes, Reek Da Villain & J Doe ft. Miguel on repeat, because I only discovered it Monday afternoon. (It was a big day all around.) And I thought, wait a minute, why don’t I insert the video in order to write: “Married life will be like this. Fact.”
Or something. But you know what? That note would still be in my Gmail drafts. Because it necessitates a digital treasure hunt ensuring it’s a nice video and not a sad, crappy PowerPoint-y one with lyrics. Or still photos from a stranger’s vacation. Or somehow unfriendly to the recently engaged. And on and on.
Point is, your email can always be more eloquent or snazzier. We’re not looking for the apex of snazz. Middling snazz will do just fine. Pressing send starts the conversation. It positions the boulder at the top of the hill, it doesn't collect it at the bottom.
This holds true for higher caliber missives, too. When you’re about to press send and everything’s triple checked and attached and spelled correctly, go for it. You don’t need iambic pentameter, a music video, or links to eight relevant events presented in chronological order.
Why? Because sooner than you realize, all those links and cat videos become crutches. @@If you never send, you’re never seen. No one’s judged in drafts.@@ You can pretend you’re on the cusp of finishing something—forever! Always on the point of transformation. That’s living on an edge. Go farther.
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