It is a little after 11 PM and I have returned to feed my addiction, like a junkie needs their fix I am back at the keyboard to engage in my nonsensical ranting and raving, non sequitur city. This is the place that really does call to me and here in the dark is when I most appreciate it.
The house is quiet and the night provides a certain comfort and perspective that daylight does not afford. During the past week I have received many interesting comments and questions about a variety of topics that I have addressed. I figured that now is as good a time as any to try and respond to them.
My responses to your Questions. What makes a good post?
One of the readers asks what makes a good post and how I come up with my material. The beauty of this medium is that so much of this is subjective, there are few if any universal standards that can be applied.
The obvious answer is that you need compelling content. And this is where subjectivity of the audience comes into play. Some people like modern art, some hate it. Some look to Van Gogh and others to Pollock. The trick is trying to understand what your readers are interested in and then find a way to present those things consistently.
In my case I always focus on things that interest me because I can bring a certain passion to my description, an energy to my writing. History, science, current events, relationships, Judaism, politics, and comedy are all things that interest me. And I am especially interested in looking inside myself at the darker aspects of myself.
And I think that if you can find those things that interest you and then tap into the passion it becomes easier to present that in a format that conveys your interest and excitement. If you really are interested in trying to develop a regular and consistent circulation of readers you must have that.
How do you find so much to write about?
I am a 5-year-old boy trapped in a man’s body. I haven’t lost my curiosity for life and since my children were born I have become more curious and more interested in the things around me. Why do we do what we do, what happens if we press this button, will this feel good or hurt, who am I and what I am doing here…….I think about all of these things daily and it just comes out of me. There are so many things that interest me, I can’t find time for everything.
You speak about falling off of the derech, what is that all about?
The people that read this blog come from a variety of backgrounds so I’ll try and make this short and sweet. It is a term that Jewish people use to discuss the way in which we should live. It is more typical for the more observant Jews to use it and some would claim it to be only for those who are Torah observant and Shomer Mitzvot.
Now, I can guarantee that there are going to be Jews who have no familiarity with this term and there are going to be readers here who are scratching their heads and wondering why I am explaining this so poorly. And that is part of what I love about Judaism, it caters to asking questions and there is a rich history of not accepting pat answers. Not to mention a rich history of our wrestling with each other and pointing fingers about who is wrong and who is right.
In reference to myself I am someone who has flirted with becoming more observant over and over. I currently do not keep Kosher and am not Shomer Shabbos. But I have wrestled with becoming so for years and years now. There are things that I find very attractive about making these lifestyle changes and I have come quite close to doing so.
However I do not like change and I move very slowly. And in this area I do not want to make these changes in my life unless I can do it and feel like it is something that I am totally behind. Right now I have a few issues that have made me halt my progress, but they have not stopped my growth.
I may yet reach a point at which I choose to take the necessary steps and make them a part of my life, but I haven’t hit it yet. And this is why I say that I have fallen off of the derech. One could argue that I am standing next to it and just watching, but I wouldn’t characterize this as having turned my back upon it.
Jack's Shack December 12, 2004 at 2:51 am
That is solid advice and I agree with it. But I have to tell you that with a size 11.5 EEE foot it is awfully hard to take baby steps. 😉
Anonymous December 11, 2004 at 10:40 pm
Baby steps jack… baby steps. You have your whole life to get there and nobody is anxious for you to actually ‘arrive’ but you… so what’s the hurry?
If you want to make changes in your life, pick the direction (it actually sounds like you did this some time ago). Now start taking those baby steps. The whole point is that when you look back over your shoulder a month… a year… a decade from now, you will see the change… a decade of baby steps taking you in the direction you wanted to go.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that ‘the derech’ is just that; the road… the journey. It is not a destination.