Blunders, boo-boos and silly mistakes made on the fly

I am acutely aware that I often make grammar and spelling mistakes in my blogs. I do apologize about these.  I feel silly when I realize I made a mistake. I have no excuses. As my favorite cartoonist Hugh Macleod @gapingvoid put it, excuses are a disease.

excuses are a disease

The intention of my blog is not to write perfectly composed articles, but to share my thinking with a broader audience than just the small group of clients, collaborators and friends in my network that I get to work with on a frequent basis. Ask me about those perfect articles and books and I can tell you which ones to buy. I collect them.

Just like the practitioners and decision makers that I support have to confront clients, decisions and complexities without always having time to perfectly prepare; so I capture conversations, arguments or ideas developed with my clients – on the fly. The point is that in the field knowledge and ideas are not always perfectly described, neatly organised, thoroughly prepared. Sometimes the best explanations happen on napkins, flipcharts or a piece of paper.

brave as those who need us

The purpose of my blog site is to help the people I work with to explain some of these concepts on the fly. Hopefully they can do it shorter than it sometimes takes me, or maybe they can even do it more eloquent. Every time these concepts or thoughts are explained it becomes easier and easier.

I found it works best to write at my client sites, on the way home (on the plane, not while driving – yet), or between meetings – and then to post these articles before I start doubting the relevance of my ideas or the insight gained by explaining something to somebody (yes, most of my posts are based on real conversations with clients out there facing complex situations). I have a huge collection of articles written in the safety of my office, far from the coalface, that I have never published because they suddenly seem less than perfect or even insignificant. It is easy to feel challenged when I sit in my office surrounded by books written by articulate scholars. I wish I could say these scholars always inspire me to write, but that would not be honest. Sometimes they do. Especially when I can connect the different kinds of literature that I have collected over time. However, often this collection makes me feel discouraged. I just have to look at the amazing content my late friend Jorg Meyer-Stamer wrote on a wide range of topics to feel like I should rather not commit anything to the official record.

I assure my readers that when the text on these blogs make it into other publication forms I usually first get an editor to fix all those pesty grammar mistakes. 

I thank those of you that read regularly, those that share your ideas with me – even if you don’t agree with everything I post. Thank you for pointing out the mistakes, the inconsistencies or your disagreements with what I post. I especially want to thank those that also take the risk of sharing their comments on Linkedin or directly as a comment to this blog, because you also take the risk of making mistakes or feeling exposed. Please don’t stop. I won’t. 

Honest feedback

I have often considered stopping blogging, just like I often wanted to quit co-producing the LEDCast (more than 1,000,000 downloads now!!) on many occasions, also due to my challenges to say ‘s’ or ‘r’ when my tongue gets tied. Somehow the workarounds when I speak have made its way into my writing.

So as long as I receive your ideas, comments, notes, emails, tweets and calls I will keep on blogging.



Published by

Shawn Cunningham

I am passionate about how organisations and institutions change in developing and transitioning countries. I essentially work between organisations, communities, industries and experts.

0 thoughts on “Blunders, boo-boos and silly mistakes made on the fly”

  1. Dear Shawn, I appreciate your openness, generosity to share knowledge and courage to think out loud. I find always many arguments not to write or finish a blog post. Your post encourages me to be less hesitant.

    And BTW I have learned from you that the “F7-button” can be put even on a flipchart.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.