Speak Less, Say More

This is your weekly letter from me, Berin Kinsman. It’s not quite a newsletter, but a little bit more than and ordinary blog post. I publish one of these every Sunday at around 3pm EST.

Speak Less, Say More

By the end of the day, most of the ice in the lake will have melted. I’ve been watching it slowly disappear for the past week or so. It still seems strange to see people on the beach, in swimsuits and playing volleyball, when it’s only 48° Fahrenheit and the lake is still frozen. After a long winter, though, you tend to become anxious to get outside and into the sunshine as soon as possible. Even if it is still a bit on the chilly side.

Our one major outing this week was kind of a bust. Katie needs a haircut, so we got up early on Saturday morning specifically so we could arrive at her hair stylist when she opened. We walked a little over a kilometer into another neighborhood to get the earliest possible bus downtown. When we got there, her Saturday hours had been haphazardly scraped off the door. Her website still says she’s open on Saturday. That was the first disappointment.

Then we went to the spring market, only to discover they’d moved the entire thing inside the convention center. We’re used to it being outside, where everyone is taking full advantage of the nice weather. A lot of the vendors we’re used to seeing weren’t there. Being inside also meant that all of the food stands, where they fry fish over open flames, weren’t there. We’d planned to have that delightful fish for lunch. We ended up going out for pizza, which we can do any time. Fish at the spring market was special, and I remain disappointed.

This is where I make my ham-handed segue, and tell you that I’ve been thinking about expectations a lot lately. My semi-hiatus from this blog has been in the service of pursuing long-term goals, namely remaining in Finland beyond Katie’s graduation. I’ve been working on revising the business plan so I can register as a Finnish business and apply for residence on those grounds. That’s been good, because it’s made me think about the business rather than running on autopilot, and that’s led to some beneficial changes. I’ve raised my expectations regarding what I can get out of my work. A lot of thought has gone into setting expectations for my customers as well.

Some of the ideas I’ve had will naturally spill over into this space as well. Once all of the business expansion/revision and immigration requirements have been dealt with, I want to create a business plan for this site as well. I want to take the time to articulate what it is I’d like to accomplish in this space, whether that’s a commercial venture or not, and have an organized approach to achieving that. One thing that has stood out during this hiatus, though, is that I want to speak less but say more.

Conventional wisdom has always been that blogging success comes from having a regular schedule. You have a topic that you stick to, post on specific days, and stick to a certain length and style of writing. Consistency matters more than content, in many cases; it doesn’t have to be good, it just has to meet an expectation. During the hiatus, it’s been nice to not have to brainstorm ideas so that I have topics to write about to fill the schedule. Instead, I’ve been jotting down ideas on what I want to write about as that come to me.

Even though it’s kind off odd, I like this weekly, faux-newsletter format. It will likely continue to evolve as this semi-hiatus continues, but I feel like it’s moving organically toward what the blog will eventually become. This might remain a weekly thing, or go back to a twice- or thrice-weekly thing, but it will probably stay more casual like this. We’ll see. I look forward to discussing it with you, if you’d like, in the comments below.

Thanks and Gratitude

Even though I’m writing this mainly for my own purposes, it means a lot to have people make the effort to read it and leave comments. Thank you.

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