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It's worth doing twice

We grow by doing things more than once. #

I spoke at a Bakery Association of Canada webinar this week and it was a fun experience. There are many, many opportunities to improve my storytelling, my presentation technique, and a dozen other things, but all in all, I’m pleased with how things went.

There is no doubt, however, that if I were to watch the replay in 10 years I would cringe. Heck, I don’t fully recognize myself in the stories I told from ten years ago.

My buddy Mandell was at the webinar (which was a thrill, as he’s a friend from my non-baking circles) and he emailed me afterwards for more details about the True Friends contest we ran at Orange Boot Bakery. I was glad to send Mandell links to some of the old blog posts about the contest. And then I took a little trip down memory lane and re-read some of those old posts from 2012 and 2013 which are in my blog archives.

Gee whiz, I sure was selling hard in many of those posts. Come to the bakery for this special! Get our Spring menu! Come to the open house!! (I loved exclamation points back then. Still do, really, but try to control! the! urge!)

Seeing all those posts in a group was deflating at first. For a moment I thought I had been lying during my talk. But as I sat with that feeling I noticed some of my favourite posts. These were the real stories, whether it was about Pink Shirt Day, or the time I baked all day in a wheelchair to see what it was like, or the posts about the World Cup.

Those few good stories, spaced in and around all the hard selling posts, were signs of a glimmer of change. As if I was chipping away at a new way to write and to share things. Those Orange Boot stories informed how I told stories in the travel blog in 2016. Not all the travel stories were awesome either, but some are pretty decent, and they informed the next phase of my writing, and so on.

Now, my first instinct was to go back and delete all the ‘bad’ posts. And my goodness there are lots of them. But I’m leaving them in place, to remind me that people change, they evolve, they become more fully formed, by doing things again and again. That in order to make some awesome things, you need to make lots and lots of average things and even some terrible things.

Just like that webinar. Hopefully I’ll do more events, so that one day I’ll look back on this week’s version and see a cringe-worthy performance with a few pockets of really good stuff. And hopefully these new events will have repeated the good stuff and improved upon the bad bits. That way I’ll know I’ve grown and evolved as a speaker.

When looking back at your work, what do you see that makes you gasp in the light of the present day? What do you see that was good, that you built upon? I’d love it if you hit reply and let me know. 💖

This Weeks Podcast: Amy Corliss #

It’s a great week on the podcast front. I have a lovely chat with Amy Corliss, who is the founder of Little Bird Bakeshop in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Amy is so warm and thoughtful. And open and honest; we talk about those dips you hit from time to time where you no longer love what you’re doing and decide to make big changes. And we talk about the times when you make a good decision but implement it poorly and have to try again.

I left our conversation full of admiration and full of hope. Excitement for Amy and for the power of resilience. It’s a good one, for sure.

Notes from the blog #

I’m still blogging every day. It’s not a habit yet. Soon it will be. Here are some of the better posts.

  • My Album of the Year. Have you heard Cat Power’s latest album? It’s a recreation of a classic Dylan concert and it’s brilliant;

  • Dead Inside, a rant on how I was wrong to think technology will save us, in light of the new ‘Ai Pin’ announcement;

  • My Daily Brain Workout, a love letter to my favourite Discord community / YouTube channel and variant sudoku puzzles;

  • On Rebuying Books, reflections on books I used to own (and regret giving up) and my formula for a $6 date night.