Do The Work- The Write Way To Write


Twenty-five years ago I listened to one of the guys tell us about how to use music to supercharge our sex lives. He said that picking something like Bolero by Ravel would help us set the sort of tempo that would drive our women wild.

Naturally we told him that he couldn’t talk about sex until he had actually done it. Of course we followed that prescription up with a series of encounters that would not count including animals, blow up dolls and siblings. Yes, we were classy fools now weren’t we.

I can’t speak for any of the other guys but I made a mental note to try it. Of course if you are of a certain age you might remember Bo Derek and the movie ’10’ so this music did have a sort of association with sex that I couldn’t or maybe wouldn’t ignore.

But that wasn’t the only reason that I loved music. The how and why could easily become the topic of a much longer post but for now let’s just say that music helped me to Do The Work.

If and when you ask me to tell you what Do The Work means I’ll tell you that Jeff Goins made me think of a comment I left over at Danny Brown’s blog.  I’ll walk you through how this all works.

Jeff’s first few ‘graphs make me think about Danny’s post, or should I say the blogger that guest posted there today. He used the term A-listers and I hate it because it is ridiculous, meaningless and worthless. But don’t get caught up in my gut reaction to one piece of the post there or at Jeff’s.

You see Jeff talks about being irritated about a comment he read where a reader suggested a popular blogger didn’t have to work hard to earn his audience. That isn’t what I thought about. No, what I thought about is how once you obtain a certain level of popularity people let you get away with saying stupid shit. You can suggest that the smartest bloggers only use Macs and that they write will covered in melted Gouda and commenters will say that you are really freaking smart/

Whereas an ordinary blogger could say the same thing and they would be excoriated for saying something stupid. Of course if you suggested using Mozzarella you might find a different reception.  In fact let’s test this. I would love to see one of my readers cover themselves in cheese. If you choose to do this and are male I would ask that you approach a woman and say the following words: “eat me.”

Don’t forget to let me know how it goes. Inquiring minds love learning about this kind of stuff. And for those of you who care, I have always been good at stirring things up and causing trouble. That isn’t always my finest trait, but sometimes you need to play to your strengths.

And now for the serious portion of our post.


It is in all caps because it is of critical importance. This is a message to both you and me. If you want to be successful you have to do the work. That means if you want to be a successful writer (Jack is speaking to himself now) you have to do the work. You have to immerse yourself in this world. You have to write like your life depends upon it because it does. You need to write like your hair is on fire and do it every freaking day until you figure out how to make the magic happen more often than not.

That is a funky way of saying you have to practice but it is also a reminder that there are multiple pieces to play with and you can’t afford to play with one and not the others. Ignore the others at your peril. Do the damn work. Read. Write. Repeat.

Learn about the business end so that you can figure out how to draw a roadmap to move from Point A all the way over to Z. That is ‘Z’ and not ‘Zed’ Canadians. Yes, you crazy Canucks we haven’t forgotten about your colours, flavours and favourites now have we.

Y’all are nice people so it is easier to pick on you. You’ll just politely take it or ask me nicely to stop. Remind me to tell you about the time at the ’96 Olympics when I told Angus of the Clan McCleod that he made a nice Brit. Dude wanted to go all Highlander on me. I explained that there can be only one and that he wouldn’t want to lose his head but I don’t know if he understood. Or maybe I was the one who didn’t understand, one heck of an accent. Very cool accent.

Which leads me to make a note to tell you the story about the girl from Scotland that I met in Jerusalem. We had quite the time, no not the Ravel playing Bolero time. We talked. But we won’t discuss that now.

The Write Way To Write

The write way to write is with your voice and your style. I repeat this point over and over. Consider this fair warning that I will write more posts about this. But if my stats don’t lie people really like the posts about writing.

And that is part of why I am doing this. But mostly I am doing this because I love to write and I love to just write. It reminds me of the question that so many bloggers ask me.

How long should a post be?

The answer is as long as it needs to be and that leads me to say that it is time to sleep now. Big day tomorrow and if I am going to do the work I need to get some shut eye. But mind my words there, Do The Work is of paramount importance. If you want to become something more than you are now you need to do the work. Put the time in and become who you want to be. Do the work.

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  1. CrossBetsy May 30, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Okay. My world doesn’t revolve around writing or blogging. But I’m seeing patterns nonetheless. I finally started doing something about getting back in shape and can testify as I sit here still shaking and nauseated, that if you don’t get to work, then the work will never get done. Also, you succeed when you do whatever you’re doing your own way. I was in the middle of doing yoga (which I don’t think I like at all!) and I switched to ballet exercises. I laughed at myself. But I integrated the two and found it was easier to focus. It was more me. 
    Just like writing. No?
    Have you ever listened to Beck’s Bolero? Jeff Beck. Love his version.

  2. KimStebbins May 29, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Great post–I like your writing style!
    Btw, I am a middle aged women (though I think I am about 30 in my mind), and I remember us girls thinking Bolero would drive our men wild!

    • TheJackB May 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm

       @KimStebbins Middle age is a subjective term. I figure I’ll be approaching middle age when I hit 48 or so and even then I might still be just short of it.
      There are some good stories associated with Bolero but we shall have to leave those to imagination. 🙂

  3. Michael Wilts May 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Hmm where to begin. I guess a great big thank you is in order for addressing the Canucklehead way of spelling. Ya don’t blame us. The English still have a way of marking their territory on Canadians. Sometimes it feels like we’re being pee’d on but I digress. 
    Seriously though Jack, this post is good because it says a few things. Just write and do the work. Plain and simple. I like that. No link labyrinth to follow on the newest and best secrets to writing. So, I took your advice. Albeit a month or so after the fact from the same advice you gave me earlier on Cats Eye Writer after a question I had made there. 
    And in keeping with the opening of this post relating to music, I wrote my first post called Lyrical Procrastination. here’s the link:
    Would love some feedback if you wouldn’t mind.  The site is still being “created” so don’t mind the mess. 

    • TheJackB May 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm

       @Michael Wilts Hi Michael,
      Just left a comment. I like it and enjoyed the music quotes. The English should be blamed for many things besides bad teeth so I’ll help you with that. 😉
      I am a big fan of just writing. It is really easy to get stuck in the trap of perfection where you fail to publish anything because it is not perfect. At some point you need to just let go of that and press enter or you never get anywhere.

  4. bdorman264 May 29, 2012 at 6:38 am

    I tried the cheese gig, it actually worked out pretty well. She thought I was a pizza………..:). 
    Back in the early days it was perplexing to me to post something and get a certain kind of reaction but see an ‘A-lister’ post essentially the same thing and it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. And this was from people who commented on both posts………..Fortunately, I am much more ‘mature’ now in my online existence and don’t get bogged down in the minutia. 
    How long should a comment be? As long as it needs to be, right?
    Write on, brother!
    PS – Barry White didn’t make the love song, cut?  

    • TheJackB May 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Hi Bill,
      I have had that happen here more times than I can count. Every time it does I want to ask the commenter if they ever think for themselves or if they prefer to turn off their mind. Haven’t done it…yet.
      A comment should be just as long as it needs to be because that is all that is required.
      Barry White was on the list so was Kashmir, Free Bird and a bunch of other songs…

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