…he’s no good at being uncomfortable
so he can’t stop staying exactly the same
— Fiona Apple, “Extraordinary Machine”
The only way to know your true potential
is to explore what lies beyond your comfort zone.
— Sally Hogshead
Change is good — new people, new places, new experiences. But it can also be hard — new people, new places, new experiences. My initial reaction to change tends to be resistance, so I fear I’m more like that first quotation. But it was thinking like the second one that lead me to apply for this job in the first place, so change can’t be all bad.
The biggest change, however, is not the job itself, but how I approach and actually do it. My previous few jobs were in advertising. Before that I worked as a journalist. The thought of writing in the open leads me to make quizzical Scooby Doo noises. Those jobs were all about secrecy and protecting information before it was meant to be released. And that makes sense in those worlds. But we do things differently at Mozilla, and that’s pretty awesome (more on awesome in a future post, by the way).
So the question becomes: how? How do you create copy in an open environment? How do you synthesize opinions and feedback from a huge, passionate community? How do you satisfy everyone? The answer, of course, is that you don’t. You can’t. This job is about making choices as much as it is about writing. They can — and should be — informed choices, informed at least partially by the thoughts and wishes of the community, but sometimes they’re going to be unpopular ones. Not everyone gets their way. Not everyone will be happy. At least not all the time.
I’m not saying I’m going to be right all the time, either. Part of making those choices is a willingness to be wrong, to learn, adapt and change. That’s how things get better. And that process starts right here.
I don’t plan on sharing every last bit of what I’m working on, but I will ask for advice, opinions and feedback from time to time. It might be on a specific piece of copy or a larger piece of overall Mozilla puzzle. It might be bumpy sometimes, or uncomfortable, but it’s all part of the process of learning, changing and being OK with that — even embracing it from time to time.
Thanks for reading.