Archives for April 2016

Read This Post Or The Rabbit Dies

Some years ago someone asked me for advice on how to make sure readers never tired of reading our blogs.

I told them the best way to make that happen was to try to write entertaining, educational and informative posts every single time.

“But Jack, what happens if you can’t always be entertaining, educational and informative?”

“Become the Godfather of blogging and make them an offer they can’t refuse. ‘Read this post or the rabbit dies’ will become your new mantra.”

They told me they thought that was ridiculous and I said they were probably correct but pointed out a lot of ideas get passed over because people think they are ridiculous.

knowingthings

If that quote doesn’t describe blogging and social media than nothing does.

Why?

Because the one constant in this crazy world is that the posts, videos, tweets, pins and status updates you expect to do well don’t and the ones that shouldn’t do.

Oftentimes there is no rhyme or reason to it.

Doesn’t mean you don’t have the moments where those things perform as expected but there are lots of times they don’t.

And I cannot help but wonder how many times we kill our creativity by overthinking what we want to do.

My guess is that most of us didn’t do that as kids. We didn’t spend time wondering or worrying about whether our idea was good or silly.

We didn’t wonder or worry about what people would think. We just said and did.

About Audioblogging

I used to do a lot more audioblogging than I have done recently.

Ask me why I haven’t done as much as I used to and I’ll probably tell you it is a combination of not thinking about, lack of time and a desire to create a better product.

But the root of it all, the real reason I haven’t done as much is I have been too concerned with whether people liked it.

Been too concerned about whether it has been entertaining, educational and informative.

Paralysis of analysis tripped me up.

truewriting

Some days the words come easy and some days they don’t.

Some days I look at the work I have done here and wonder if I have produced anything of real value.

When those moments come it is rare for me to look at other writers and wish that I could do what they do.

I compete with myself.

The bar is always based upon what I have done, not upon others.

I set my own limits and restrictions. The hard part is recognizing when I have done it and working upon removing them.

Read This Post Or The Rabbit Dies

There is a part of me that loves the goofy stuff.  A part that would like to explore creating a silly picture/idea along the read this post or the rabbit dies line.

I wouldn’t really do it but there is a part of me that wonders how many people would take it seriously.

Would they picket and protest the blog?

Would I get to test out the theory of there being no such thing as bad publicity?

I don’t know and I doubt I’ll ever find out, but I am ok with that.

The main thrust of this isn’t about whether I would really whack a rabbit but about pushing for creativity.

Pushing for an open mind that explores ideas the same ways I did when I was a kid.

What happens when we remove restrictions and limitations?

What happens when we allow ourselves to think and act without those fears?

How do we make the impossible possible?

That is where I am focusing my energy today.

Got to run for now, back later.

Can You Live With What You Have Done?

I’ll be 47 next month and when my birthday hits I’ll spend a small portion the day making a mental list of all that I am grateful for and then I’ll grab a big yell pad of paper and write the following  at the top:

Things that I have done and things that I have yet to do.

It will be a two-column list that helps me figure out if I am on track to get not just what I need, but what I want.

There is a difference between the two and it is huge.

Somewhere in the midst of that my folks will call and I just might tell my dad about how he surprised me this weekend.

Beautiful English Landscape With Meadow And Dramatic Sky

Unless something crazy happens you won’t find me walking through the English countryside in the picture above nor will you see me hanging out with family in Jerusalem.

Heck, chances are better than even you won’t find me driving into Dallas but then again, you might.

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K and you never know what the hell life will bring. Trust me on this, if anyone has lived “Shit happens” it is me.

So I really shouldn’t be surprised by some of the wacky crap that is going on in my world, yet here I am shaking my head and wondering if I am going to say What The Fuck twice a day or just once a week.

*****

Saturday afternoon Steiner the Minor and I had a…moment.

Things are still tough there and he and I are butting heads more frequently than not. It is not something I used to and I readily admit to struggling a bit with it.

That is because historically speaking I have always been the one he has turned to for help during challenging times.

I have always been the one who understood what was going on and could help guide him through but lately my Spidey sense hasn’t been as effective at helping him walk through the dark.

Some of it is undoubtedly because the kid is going to turn 16 and has a bad case of hormones raging.

He is growing like a weed and I feel him fighting to figure out all the crap and craziness that comes with this time of life.

I ‘ll readily admit I expected there to challenging moments but I never expected to butt heads as often or as loudly as we have.

imagination

Dad surprised me because he told me he thought my instincts were spot on and then suggested I walk away and get a drink.

You don’t know dad so that probably makes him sound like some sort of Puritan teetotaler but he is not that at all.

But telling me to walk away and get a drink threw me because my old man is the guy who taught me to buckle down when things get hard and keep moving forward.

He is the guy who showed me that when life is hard you do what is required to get through that moment.

And he is the man who said that I was more challenging and a bigger pain-in-the-ass than my son.

If nothing changes he is probably right, my son is more cautious about a lot of things than I was. I was far more reckless.

Can You Live With What You Have Done?

Steiner the minor and I are in the midst of our discussion when I ask him to think very carefully about his actions.

“You always have to ask yourself if you can live with what you have done. If you can’t say yes you better not do whatever it is you are about to do.”

I haven’t told him all the stories about me and I never will. There are some things he doesn’t need to know and some things that he probably doesn’t want to know.

Children don’t need to know every good or bad choice their parents have made. There are some things that ought to be mysterious, like how you were created.

Did I mention that when I turned 45 mom told me I showed up earlier than expected?

She said it with a big smile on her face and I told her I didn’t need any more details. Don’t get me wrong. I hope my parents have some great moments and memories surrounding their personal life but I don’t need details.

Some things are best left unspoken.

Where Fire Meets Water

I have been thinking it might be time to revisit the place where fire meets water.

Been thinking that a man who is willing to pay Charon to cross the River Styx and who knowingly steps into the abyss deserves to spend more time there.

Such a man who is willing to do what is required might have more than a single story to tell and might even wander the streets knowing he started a story whose end hasn’t yet been written.

And should he be willing to make like Icarus and fly he might deserve to have his tale shared and or told, especially if he planned on adding to his list of derring-do.

*****

I tell you, this parenting crap is not for the faint of heart.

But then again when you have lived and loved hard you don’t reach a place where you can conceive of turning 50 without having learned some stuff.

I know things and maybe, just maybe I might write about a few of them.

Stick around and walk with me and I’ll let you know what happened when I rang that bell.