Blogging Is About Storytelling
Someone asked me to explain why I love playing contact sports and I told them it touches something primal inside me.
I love the combination of will and strategy, especially when used to defeat a team that is athletically and physically superior to mine.
There is joy in knowing you won because you tried harder and were willing to run one step farther than the other guy.
I don’t ever want to lose or miss out on something special because I didn’t take that extra step. I suppose it probably explains why when I drove from LA to Texas and from Texas to LA I didn’t make reservations at any hotel in advance.
It was more interesting to me to drive under a desert sky similar to the one pictured above on my own personal walkabout than to set predetermined limits.
Watch Cookie Monster Cure Writerâ€™s Block
Sometimes the kids ask me to name a hero and I’ll tell them Cookie Monster is one of mine. In years past when they were little it got a couple of laughs but those days are long gone.
Now they just say dad is weird and I tell them it may be true and explain they need to be open to other possibilities.
Muppets can help you with your school work. Cookie Monster can cure Writer’s Block.
My 10.5 going on 30 year-old daughter tells me it is ridiculous and then walks away but the teenager sticks around because he says he suspects I am on something.
I shake my head and say I am not on anything other than life and explain sometimes when you feel overwhelmed by crap flinging monkeys and getting beat down you just need a moment to clear your head.
“Laughter is magic and it has medicinal properties. All you need to do is find a way to laugh and you’ll find your answers.”
He nods his head and tells me I might be right. I tell him it is not a question, I know things and I know the best way to get over is to go through.
Blogging Is About Storytelling & Engagement
I am listening to the chimes go off in the beginning of Time and remembering a thousand different moments that I may or may not share with you.
There is a moment late Saturday night at a pub in Jerusalem. I am standing outside under a star filled sky talking to a group of people.
The Brits and Aussies are making fun of my American accent and the girl from Scotland keeps trying to get me to turn my baseball cap around.
We are all in our twenties, single and laughing about life. We’re talking about where we came from and whether we’ll make a life in the holy land or go home.
When the chimes go off we get lost in philosophical discussions about people and places.
It is the Summer of ’86 and I am standing on a hill in Ojai, California talking about where I think I’ll go to college and what my life might look like in the future.
Two AM passes by and we rewind the cassette to talk about the lyrics. It doesn’t occur to me 29 years later I’ll sit at a computer and write anything about the moments I just experienced.
But why should it, time was an endless golden road and aside from a couple of people who died in car accidents I had no reason to think our lives could be cut short.
Now I have learned differently and even though I can’t see the finish line on the road I am on now I am cognizant it might come sooner than I think.
Time is not to be wasted.
Been thinking about blogging and the stories I tell here. Been thinking about the people who have been my companions on this journey and how many are no longer here.
Were they worn out or bored by the stories I tell here? Did they quit the blogosphere entirely?
Maybe when I stopped commenting on their blogs they stopped coming by.
Commenting Isn’t Dead
People say commenting is dead but I know it is not true. There are posts here that receive a generous number of comments and some orphans that receive none.
Some of the work I am proudest of receives no attention and some of the more ridiculous pieces receive plenty.
This is not new or different. Blogging has always been this way.
Great headlines are useful but weak storytelling kills the benefits generated by those headlines. When I actively engage with other bloggers and visit/comment upon their blogs I see traffic increase here…comments too.
How To Win At Life
The 20 year-old is faster than I am and it bugs me because there was a time when he wasn’t. When I was younger I would have had no problem keeping up with him, but the forty something man has trouble with that so he tries other methods.
“Kid, you want to know how to win at life? You need to stop running and attack. Be a man and come at me.”
It doesn’t take much to goad him into playing a power game. I win 98 percent of those battles.
Eventually he grows tired of the pounding and stops trying as hard. I celebrate in silence, no reason to let him know I manipulated him.
There are no prizes or rewards for winning a pick-up basketball game but there is the mental satisfaction that comes with it.
One more step can take you places you never imagined you’d see or experience.
Lewis LaLanne - NoteTakingNerd February 17, 2015 at 10:22 am
I love the musical interlude!
Probably because I love me Pink Floyd. I am by no means a mega-fan like Lee was of Tenacious D but I am in love with a decent amount of their music.
It’s funny that you’ve included their song here when talking about storytelling because one of the things I appreciate about albums like Dark Side of The Moon and Wish You Were Here and The Wall is that these albums unfolded as stories. They weren’t just a mish mash of songs thrown together but were instead cohesive and flowed into each other… as do the segments of a great story.
And some of these songs unfolded as great stories do as well. They remind of some of my favorite classical music pieces in that weren’t lazy 3:30 songs that had lazy beginning, middle and endings but instead were stretched out to 5-6-7 minutes in a very compelling and artful manner.
You could tell that more than average thought was put into these albums. You can tell the same thing about content you see in products and blog posts.
I know this song I’m posting here isn’t on any of the albums I’ve named above but it is still one of my favorites of their because of the journey it takes you on. It’s so cool the see the passion on display here by their drummer – passion flowing with such force that he breaks one of his drumsticks.
Here’s to the passionate story tellers of the world. May you continue to shine like a diamond. Thank you Jack for reminding me of what is important. 🙂
The JackB February 18, 2015 at 12:22 am
@MyNoteTakingNerd:disqus You are absolutely right about the stories these albums tell. There is the one the artists try to illuminate for the listeners and the many that the listeners built from their experiences with the music.
Liza Hawkins February 17, 2015 at 4:56 am
I love great storytelling (both myself and hearing others’), and I think that comments are making a come-back (beyond those blogs that *always* received comments). Great read!
The JackB February 18, 2015 at 12:20 am
@lizahawkins:disqus A good story is invaluable, never gets old. Good comments sometimes make the foundation for a good story too.