If you ever go to Guncan-Gima, the site of a Zen Buddhist temple, you will be surprised to see that the extraordinarily beautiful building, which is situated in the middle of a vast forest, is right next to a huge piece of waste ground.

If you ask what the waste ground is for, the man in charge explains:

‘That is where we will build the next temple. Every twenty years, we destroy the temple you see before you now and rebuild it again on the site next to it. This means that the monks who have trained as carpenters, stone masons and architects are always using their practical skills and passing them on to their apprentices.

It also shows them that nothing in this life is eternal and that even temples are in need of constant improvement.’

Similarly, as a technical writer destroy yourself and re-invent yourself every five years. Start writing again if you have become a tech lead. Start reviewing again if you have been a writer for too long. Become a team leader if you have been reviewing for many years.

Staying and doing the same thing for very long will result in stagnation. You will become lazy and complacent. Thus, you must destroy what you have and think you have achieved and start afresh. You need constant improvement.

If you are truly adventurous, leave the technical writing profession and become a chef or a musician or an architect! Who knows you may get to design the next temple at Guncan-Gima!

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