I listened to a Seth Godin speech at Digital Summit Dallas recently. He said he thinks people should blog every day. Of course, the first thought that came to my head was probably the same of everyone else’s. What would I write about? How would I think of something to write about every day? But I think there’s a writer in everyone. It’s just that not everyone has taken the time to try.
Something happens, I think, when the keys are at your fingertips. At least, for people who are supposed to be writers. I imagine it’s like someone who can play piano. Lots of people can play. But not all of those people take the time to sit at their piano and allow something new to come to the surface. I bet that’s the way it happens a lot of the time.
I listened to a Tim Ferris podcast with A. J. Jacobs, a New York Times best seller. Jacobs said he always needed to take 30 minutes to sit and write in order to get warmed up. He also said that 90% of the time whatever he wrote in those first 30 minutes would be absolute crap. But all that crap was worth it to get to the good stuff.
I heard something similar in a speech by Mort Utley. There were two children. Twins. One was a cynic. He hated the whole world and everyone in it. The other was an optimist. He loved the whole world and everything it had to offer. The parents, concerned with the wild difference in personalities decided to take their children to a child psychologist. The psychologist examined the children and said he had never seen two children, especially twins, with such different personalities. So he decided to run a test.
He took the cynical boy down to a room that was filled with toys, candy, and everything else a little boy could want. He said, “Son you have a good time we’ll come back and check on you in a bit.” He took the other boy down to a room that didn’t have a thing in it, except for a big pile of horse manure in the middle. He said, “Son you have a good time we’ll come back and check on you in a bit.”
He went back to the room with the cynical boy in it, and the boy was just sitting in the middle of the room, hadn’t touched a thing. The psychologist asked the boy, “Why didn’t you ride on that rocking chair?” The boy replied, “I was afraid I’d fall and hurt myself”. They psychologist asked, “Well why didn’t you blow up those balloons, that’ve been fun”. The boy said, “I was afraid I’d hurt my mouth”. The psychologist asked, “What about the candy over there, that would’ve been good!” The boy said, “I was afraid I’d get a stomach ache.” The psychologist thought, well this boy seems to be in pretty bad shape. Let’s go check on the other one.
When the psychologist opened the door to the room with the optimist, he couldn’t believe what he saw. The boy was covered in crap from the neck down. The horse manure was all over the ceiling, all over the walls, he was slinging it everywhere. The psychologist asked the boy, “Son what in the world are you doing?!” The boy replied, “With all this horse manure in here there’s gotta be a pony somewhere!”
Sometimes you have to wade through the crap to get to the good stuff. This is the first blog post I’ve written in quite a while, so it’s likely to be crap. But oh well, how bad could it be. Half the material in this post I stole from other people. How does the saying go? Good artists copy, great artists steal. Gotta love Picasso.