Drawing from Experience

Killing Cool is a personal book for me. Almost every part of it comes from my own experience or the experience of others I knew first-hand. When I wrote some of the original drafts I used an impersonal, almost academic style, and as a result it wasn’t accessible and inviting. I realized, with the help of my best critic, my wife Stephanie, that I had to put more of myself and my discovery process in the essays.

The reason that I didn’t do this in the first place is that I learned to write and think from Ayn Rand. She sometimes injected a personal note into her essays, but most of the time her style was, well, objective. It worked for that writer and that audience, but not for me and mine.

And I have something different to say. As I wrote more essays in my new style, I realized that I was implicitly making a point: we all have things in our experience that would be interesting, perhaps even unique, if we tried to identify them. I don’t think Rand’s approach, for all its value in other ways, encourages people to get in touch with their impressions. So it was fortuitous that I came up with another approach that I hope will let me convey my observations effectively. I am also excited by the prospect of hearing about some of my readers’ original perceptions!

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