The Lonely Blogger

shareasimage 8 1024x796 The Lonely Blogger
Yesterday I told you how I spent money I didn’t have because my heart believes I am going to make something special happen with the product/service I bought with the money I don’t have.

Today I offer you a quote and a picture that are tied into that product and the dream of the future. It is fitting to do so because today I feel very much like I am standing on the outside looking in…again.

Except this time I am far more cognizant of why I am standing on the outside looking in. This time I am doing it because I have reached a turning point in my journey and I can’t go any farther without acknowledging certain truths about it.

It is the point where you close your eyes and say you have perfect faith you are going to figure it all out and you are going to do so in a manner that is unorthodox and untraditional.

If the Hogwarts Express were real this is what you would feel when you pushed your luggage full speed at a wall knowing that you won’t hurt yourself because magic would transport you to the other side where you’d find yourself waiting for a special train to take you to a special place.

Ask me if I am frightened and I will nod my head. Ask me why I am doing this and I’ll tell you there are some things I know in my heart that aren’t the kind of thing you explain with logic or reason.

That is the rub and the riddle right there.

It Hurts My Heart

This afternoon my son told me he has another group project to do in school. I listened as he told me about how he feels like no one wants to be in a group with him and it hurt my heart.

I don’t know if it is true or his perception. I don’t know what to think here because I know it is possible he is correct and it hurts my heart.

My son is a beautiful boy with the kind of work ethic, good spirit and kind heart we all should have.

Sometimes I wonder if he sees and senses the turmoil inside my own heart and the uncertainty I try to hide behind my eyes. I don’t know if it would help him to hear me tell him why it exists and to try to explain what is going on because there is a lot there.

The kids have never gone hungry other than by choice. If you don’t like the food on your plate and choose not to eat that is your decision, but no one here has ever skipped a meal because the cupboard was bare.

He is aware that I am interested in moving us with a lower cost of living. He knows that he doesn’t get every thing he asks for but that is no different from times when I have been flush.

There is no reason for he or his sister to expect to get everything without working for it. Gratitude doesn’t come from never having to earn things. There is a balance I want to try to achieve between giving, getting and receiving.

I told him this weekend I feel like I have finally really figured out what I want to do and am doing my best to make it my career. Told him that he doesn’t have to make a decision now about what he wants to be or do and that he is not locked into one thing as an adult.

These are truths I believe but there are moments when I think about what kind of doctor or lawyer I could have been. When you hear me dream about what kind of baseball, football  or basketball player I’ll readily concede these are dreams, but I would have been good at practicing law/medicine.

Some say they think I would have made an excellent litigator but wonder how I would have handled representing someone or something I didn’t believe in.

But when I think about practicing law I like to picture myself as a scholar of Constitutional law. Something about that sounds both noble and interesting.

Old Doc Steiner would have gone to war with the insurance companies about the right way to practice medicine or so I like to think. He would have fought to give his patients the very best and railed against half ass measures.

I could have been those men and done those things except they didn’t have enough of the magic that words and storytelling have for me.

But they might have provided a more stable income and deeper pockets and maybe that would have helped mitigate some of the craziness and maybe my son wouldn’t feel as he does now, or maybe he would.

The joy of being a teen in middle school is that the carousel of life feels even stronger than it normally does.

The Lonely Blogger

You know writing can be lonely business and that sometimes you feel like some sort of social outcast. I don’t know why my brain works the way it does nor do I spend much time trying to figure it it out.

I am who I am and you will like me or you won’t. Or maybe you’ll be really lucky and love me and be loved by me. Woohoo, secret messages, but I digress.

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There is truth in this.

Maybe the memories of the scars is why I choose to walk down this path or maybe it is because I am taking what comes easily to me and trying to do something with it.

I think what some people fail to recognize is I don’t spend all of my time picking and poking at these things. Most of the time it happens when I choose to write about certain things. It is like I flip a switch and the projector of my life starts flashing images at me to choose from.

It is an old fashioned projector I see in my head, the kind we used in schools. I can hear the clicking noise it makes as the film rolls through, see the bright white light against the wall/screen while the teacher feeds the film into it.

But I don’t remember it all, don’t remember everything with complete perfection.

Some memories have faded and some haven’t.

Some of those that have gone away come back to visit upon occasion, surprising me with their unexpected arrival.

The funny thing is the more I move into the future the harder I start digging into the past because those moments and memories are filled with story fodder.

So in order to move ahead I have to go back. Sometimes the contradictions in life just make me shake my head and smile.

It Is Not An Illusion

12 segundos de oscuridad It Is Not An  Illusion
The tick-tocking of the clock is pushing me to write faster so that I might finish this post before the time comes to shave, shower and change into proper clothes for Thanksgiving.

I am torn about dressing up for a day when we are supposed to give thanks for what we have and who has it with us because it seems to me comfort should play a role.

That is not to say I can’t wear something other than shorts and a t-shirt and be comfortable but some days that is what I really want because it is how I prefer to be.

Suppose some people might look at this moment and ask me what the hell I am doing on the computer when I should be preparing for what is to come and I’d answer that when the mood to write comes I answer the call because you never know what your muse will provide you with.

I am operating under the presumption that I’ll produce something worth sharing. A post that has meaning, insight and worth.

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”― Robert Frost”

It is not an illusion is an expression I have used a handful of times to describe certain moments or situations I have found myself in.

When I finally break through the wall that has prevented me from publishing I’ll use it again to describe the feeling I get when I find out that people actually read my words and follow what I have to say.

Or at least that is what I think/hope will happen.

You never really know which group you’ll fall into and for whom.

I have no doubt there will be some who read my words and put me into Frost’s second category but if I have my way you won’t ever find me in the first group.

That is because I operate off of  the you miss ever shot you don’t take theory. I think that line can be attributed to Wayne Gretzky but I am not positive and since I am short on time I’ll let it stand.

Swing From The Heels

In the days in which I was an active baseball player I tended to swing from the heels because I knew that if I got a hold of the ball I could hit a home run.

I felt like that every time at the plate and like most home run hitters I struck out more often than I connected.

But I hit a bunch of home runs, didn’t matter if it was a good pitch or a bad one if I got a piece I gave it a good ride.

That swing from the heels mentality has been with me my entire life. It is my default setting. If I am playing football and I am a linebacker I want to blitz because I feel like I can get that quarterback every time.

Yet age has softened that approach somewhat because I have learned to enjoy mixing things up a bit and doing the little things that lead to victory too.

Maybe it is because I have learned that sometimes success comes from grinding it out and not worrying about making a big play every time because you can win by other means too.

I suppose if I had the time I’d flesh this out and talk about how much I have come to enjoy doing the things that cause plays to develop. The chess game that goes with it all is enjoyable to me too, but time is short.

Write Under The Write Conditions

Consider this a placeholder, a note for a post I want to write about the myth of only writing under the write conditions. That write  condition for me is where I am at, within the few moments I have, with the tools I have at hand and the understanding that I can write now and might not be able to later.

It is why I take posts like the one you are reading now and this one and work at them on a regular basis because my goal is to teach myself to give my best whenever, wherever and however.

Because when you do that you are always prepared to take that swing and even if you go to the default swing-from-the-heels mode you are more likely to make contact because you are ready.

And maybe, just maybe you’ll find yourself saying it is not an illusion from a place that serves as your perfect writing spot/environment because you did what you had to do to make it possible.

photo by: Libertinus

Good news Chicago, I Voted…Twice

2008 elections live via nytimes Good news Chicago, I Voted...Twice

Good news Chicago, I Voted…Twice and I don’t even live there.

Some of you will get the reference and others just won’t. Don’t ask me to provide an explanation because I am not paid enough to worry about whether the people reading my blog understand what they are looking at.

Hell I am the guy who says Stop Worrying About Whether Anyone Reads Your Blog and it is clear I take my own advice.

We are in the middle of November and much of the blogosphere is involved in the Nanoblowmedaily event in which we are all supposed to blog each and every day.

I used to do that all the time but as of late had fallen off of the wagon, of course I have around 5 blogs I maintain so the blogging daily thing doesn’t hold the same weight for me as it does for others.

But I like the idea of it because the ultimate goal here is to take over the world and I figure that if I write a few posts it will lead to minions and groupies who can help me meet my dream.

And if that doesn’t happen it should help me become a better writer and that is priceless to me.

shareasimage Good news Chicago, I Voted...Twice

You might gather I don’t take much seriously and that would only be partially correct.

Sometimes I just need to let loose and not give a fuck, damn or a shit about all of the things that occupy space inside the gaping hole between my ears.

If you were standing here I’d tell you to come close and whisper in your ear that I refuse to let my writing be dictated by the blog authorities. I won’t limit myself to playing the game so that I get involved to the conferences and am given swag.

Won’t do it because I can’t. I am unshackled, unfettered and often times unfiltered.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care if others focus on writing the kind of posts that generate 1 million shares, 87 comments and accolades from others.

It is a smart and sensible way of going about your business but it is not how I operate. Doesn’t mean I can’t or I won’t but for the moment it is not how things are.

As I told my friend the esteemed Mr. Peebles of  I Hope I Win A Toaster

I only know fear and action, not too much middle ground with me. Simple man with simple pleasures.

It is too bad The Shmata Queen isn’t there to describe to you how sparks of electricity fly off of me and that sometimes I have too much energy to hold still.

When those moments come I find million of thoughts and ideas flying through my head and I start moving because there is too much energy to just hold still.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t or am not focused. Doesn’t mean I am out of control or that I can’t stop it because I can but I choose not to. I think of it as the creativity factory running full bore and I just run with it because some of my best ideas come from those moments.

Sometimes I come up with ideas for stories I may write and sometimes I have ideas for apps I want to develop, inventions I want to create or trips I want to take.

That factory needs permission to run full speed as often as possible and without delay. One of the biggest challenges we face as adults is not sharing the thoughts and ideas that come from that place because we fear people will think they are stupid and or that we are weird.

Well, I just don’t care if you think I am stupid or weird unless you are a prospective employer in which case you can think I am weird provided you believe I can get the job done. icon wink Good news Chicago, I Voted...Twice

Don’t Kill Your Creativity

I am a writer and a marketer so I am paid to keep my creative juices flowing but that doesn’t mean I don’t ever worry about whether I am lacking good ideas or concerned that they are dumb.

Yeah, that is a bit of a contradiction from before but it demonstrates the internal battle inside my head. I firmly believe in the importance of unlocking the 6 year-old boy that lives inside my head because he believed anything was possible and while I know there are limits I also know there is reason to push the envelope.

If you are old enough to remember the analog age when we didn’t carry smartphones and not every house had a computer you’ll probably agree that we didn’t imagine life would look like it does today.

Part of the reason we are in this place today is because someone believed people would take a cellphone and want/need it to do more than just call people.

Someone took a risk and it paid off.

Maybe one day that will be me. Maybe one of my crazy ideas will take off and lead who knows where. I can’t wait to see what happens.

There is joy in the journey.

photo by:

Should You Blog For Comments?

avast maties  the black pearl is in port Should You Blog For Comments?
The Dread Pirate Robert is in search of Comments.

An interviewer asked me to share my dream job with them and I said I wanted to be The Dread Pirate Roberts. They laughed and told me it was inconceivable and I said I do not think that word means what they think it means and we laughed some more.

It gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you feel like you have established a rapport with someone and I figured it would provide some sort of bonus or extra credit for getting the job, or so I hoped.

As it turned out I didn’t get the position but I didn’t worry much about it because there are a million jobs out there and a million different paths to success.

Not long after I sat in a different interview and when I got the same question I provided the same response except the interviewer had never seen The Princess Bride so they just gave me a dead eye stare.

I didn’t want their to be an awkward silence so I provided the reference and we moved onto other questions including what is the most important metric for measuring success in blogging.

The interviewer listened to my response, thanked me for my time and extended her hand. When I asked why she was cutting it short she told me it was because I didn’t understand that comments were the most important part of blogging and she saw it as a fundamental flaw.

Should You Blog For Comments?

I politely expressed my disagreement and refrained from telling her a blog is the whole and the posts are the parts and went about my way.

The 17 long time readers can provide you with references to prior posts in which we discussed why comments are not as solid a metric as some people want them to be.

Comments that don’t advance the conversation, demonstrate interest or provide substance aren’t evidence people like what you are writing or that they actually read it. They are just proof someone posted a remark and sometimes it is not someone, but something that did so.

But like so many other good things in life the answer to whether you should blog for comments isn’t always yes nor is it always no.

We touched upon it briefly in a recent post and in this particular context I do see some value.

“Comments are down throughout the blogosphere adding to the loneliness a writer sometimes feels.”

Most of the time I don’t worry about getting comments because writing is an involuntary exercise like breathing. If I don’t write I won’t die but on the Steiner scale of crazy I move from a 5 up to a 3 or so I guess.

I’d tell you to ask my dear Shmata Queen but she starts at 3 so she wouldn’t notice the difference. Just kidding dear. icon smile Should You Blog For Comments?

Anyhoo, I cannot say I don’t want comments or never think of them but writing can be lonely and it is very hard to maintain perspective about our own work.

I can’t ask people if they remember where they came from and talk about comments and writing in general because it is tied together for me. If you go back to the dawn of time when the Shmata Queen and I were both blogging she is the one who tipped me off to comments and statcounters.

It is kind of funny because she never liked that kind of stuff and I did. She is the one who initially pushed me to really begin focusing on writing again so if you love my words you can thank her and if you don’t you can blame her.

See how neatly I tried to avoid responsibility. icon wink Should You Blog For Comments?

The Reason Blog For Comments

The reason if such a thing really exists is comments provide a writer with feedback about his/her writing. It helps you understand if what you are publishing is crap that people hate or crap that people love.

There is merit in feedback and sometimes it can be both helpful and useful. Except when it isn’t.

Yeah, that is a contradiction but blogging/writing is filled with such things. I received  feedback about You Shouldn’t Blog About Sex On Halloween and a A Partial Tale of Two Liars that lends itself to this discussion.

Several people said they really enjoyed these posts and a couple asked me to expand the two liars story. A couple others told me they thought the Halloween post was a waste of their time and that I should look for a new profession.

It makes me think of a Tolkien quote.

“There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go.”― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Once you put your words on a public page you are inviting commentary and since writing is subjective you should plan on receiving colorful comments.

And those comments don’t always show up on current posts, you’ll find people reach back into stuff like The Jerry Seinfeld Blog Post and complain that it didn’t read the way they expected or wanted it to.

Sometimes I make a point to send those people an invoice for their complaint and a note that there is a cancellation fee that you must pay if you choose to stop reading.

But what do I know about any of this anyhow. I am just a guy who thinks Blogging Doesn’t Need To Have A Point.

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Apple’s You Moan While iWatch Is Exceptional

e550 with telescope finder Apples You Moan While iWatch Is Exceptional
The new Apple iWatch while you moan is destined to be one of their best selling products. Call me what you will but I have a hard time believing I am the only person who hears iWatch and thinks of a different sort of product than the one Apple is selling.

Don’t know about you but when I hear people gush about the iWatch and Apple products in general it reminds me of how people go crazy about bacon. I like bacon but I am not one of those people who wants to populate my home with a plethora of products that smell or taste like bacon.

That is the sort of thing that makes me want to start selling Bacon Products That Don’t Taste Like Bacon. If you know me well you know I am the guy who thinks about How To Use 5000 Pounds of Bananas To Terrorize Noisy Neighbors.

Or maybe I am just the guy who loves to write and has fun coming up with all sorts of different headlines and topics like A Dad Blogger Teaches You To Cook the Perfect Steak- A Post People Will Read.

Yeah, I have been pumping out posts that are populated with links to older posts quite a bit lately, but that is because these posts are like my kids and I don’t play favorites. The older guys need a chance to catch some fresh air and be read again, wouldn’t be fair to just keep them buried now would it.

Brands, Businesses and They Stories they/we Tell

I spend a ton of time thinking about storytelling. I think about the stories brands/businesses tell as well as the ones we as people share. Good stories fascinate me which is probably part of why I spend so much time thinking about what stories to share here.

Some of them are pure fiction  and some are filled with more truth than is comfortable to think about.

Most days my favorite way to write is with a set of headphones on and music that moves me accompanying the pounding of the keys. Today Toby Keith is playing Bullets in The Gun and the words are flying from my fingertips.

I like Toby because most of his songs tell a story and his videos do too. Reminds me of being a kid and the days when we were supposed to shout I Want My MTV!

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Been through a half dozen interviews the past few days. Spent ample time being asked to analyze campaigns, offer thoughtful criticism and or commentary about the ways people do business and done my best to dance in the fire and not fall in the flames.

That is my way of acknowledging that although I am unfiltered in my personal life I am filtered in my professional. That is because I don’t have enough cash in the bank to retire. Can’t waltz through the office without any regard for the consequences of my actions and that is something I think about more often than I used to.

Probably because I spend so much time writing copy and or helping out with social media efforts. We live during a time when people actively hope brands will make a mistake. They look for the misguided tweet, the Facebook flop and or Google gaffe.

It doesn’t take much for the villagers to grab their torches and pitchforks and storm the castles. I sometimes wonder how much rage is real and how much is manufactured.

We live during unforgiving times. It is part of why I caution my children to be careful about what they do and how they do it online.

It is not just because of the digital footprints they may leave for discovery for later but because we have to be prepared for what happens today.

Ask the PR professionals about the crisis communication plans they have created just in case the CEO or another company representative says/does something offensive and or stupid.

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I look at my stats and see some of the people I have spoken with have come to the blog to visit. Some of them are actively poking around to see what is here and I can’t help but wonder what they think.

Have they found golden nuggets of goodness that make them think I am a creative force for good that must be part of their team or do they see signs of decay. Do they read posts and wonder what the hell is going on with this guy?

Ultimately I shrug my shoulders. I am not here to be all things to all people. No one can do that and I am not interested in it. I am at my best when I am partly reserved and not conflicted about what I can or cannot do.

It is exciting this moment in time. There is an electrical charge running through me and I feel energized, changes are coming.

Should make for some good stories, time will tell.

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