If I asked you to look at the buildings in the picture above and tell me which one holds the smartest and most successful people would you be able to do it?
Would your odds of success be improved or diminished if I told you that you had to close your dominant eye and hop on one foot while looking?
Don’t bother trying to answer my ridiculous questions they weren’t posed with the intent for you to say yes or no, right or wrong or to throw your hands up in despair.
You’re Not The Best Writer I Have Ever Read
A former editor of mine told me I wasn’t the best writer I had ever read and that I ought to accept his criticism without complaint.
“Ed, the next time you bully your wife into going down on you I hope she forgets why she is there and suddenly decides that your schmeckel is the greatest hot dog she has ever tasted. I don’t want to just bite, I want her to chew.”
He rolled his eyes at me and tried to cut me.
“Jack, I don’t know how you think that is supposed to help me understand you any better.”
“Ed, you clearly don’t. I didn’t say that because I hoped it would help you understand me. I said it because I am frustrated and thought it was nicer than calling you a myopic fat fuck who needs to learn about the difference between editing for style and editing for errors.”
Confession: What I really wanted to say was far nastier and more graphic but professionalism and decorum didn’t allow for that.
Bloggers love to debate and discuss how to become a better blogger and what you need to do to build a bigger audience.
Not long ago I wasÂ toldÂ again that I need to spend more time working on my headlines because people don’t read, they skim.
I posed the same question to the expert that assured me that headlines were key as I did to you except this time I waited for him to answer.
When he did he told me it was impossible to say and suggested I had tried to make him answer a question that was designed to help me prove my point.
I laughed and asked him how many times people try to convince others by not asking leading questions and then moved on to my next comment.
“I want people who read to come and spend time here. I want people who do more than just skim. I want people who think and who ask questions. I want my tribe.”
I Don’t Need To Be The Best Writer You Have Ever Read
You know the sad truth is not everyone is going to like, love or appreciate your work.
Sometimes your mother is going to read what you wrote and silently think it is not your best, hell, she may even tell you it is your worst.
Me, well as you already know or can guess, I don’t care if I am the greatest you have ever seen.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want people to like my work. Doesn’t mean I don’t want people to love it either.
Hell, I know the Shmata Queen loves almost everything I write and not just because she told me so. I know because I know her well enough to know what resonates with her.
And I know people well enough to know that there are going to be times when you hit a home run and times when you strike out.
A thousand years ago when I was in sales I was told by one of the guys that I should change my style.
I asked him why and he said it was because I was an elephant hunter and that it would be better to have a 100 good clients instead of one or two.
I pointed out that I had been in the top 5 for seven years and he said, “what happens if you lose one of your elephants.”
I smiled and said I’d go back a few more.
Readers and Writers
It has been years since that conversation and I can tell you how the other guy shook his head and laughed.
Sometimes the way people try to help you is to force you to do things their way without any regard for whether it meshes with your way.
I tell my kids there are a million different paths and a million different definitions to and of success.
I tell them to learn how to go along and get along and to figure out when to do your own thing.
There has never been and will never be a time when readers and writers didn’t write or read past each other.
No matter what you say or do you won’t reach everyone. Some of it is because your words just won’t resonate with the others and some because
Some of it is because your words just won’t resonate with the others and some because they’ll skim your posts and miss the meat.
The best and most important thing you can do is to keep going, keep pushing and keep writing.
Keep looking for your tribe and know they are looking for you too.
One More Thing
Ed, I don’t know if you’ll ever stumble upon this but if you do I want you to know I still hope she bit down…hard.
And I hope you figured you out how disgusting it was to see your fat Cheeto-stained fingers drizzle crumbs over anything and everything.
If we ever meet again I promise to bring a you a tray of Ex-Lax brownies and a beer to wash them down with.
All of my love,
A Final, Final Comment
There are are all sorts of golden nuggets floating around here.