Distractions, Choices and Perfectionism

As is far too often the case, I’ve been a bit remiss in writing in my blog. This will be only my 8th post for the entire year. Despite all my best intentions, what can I say? It happens! Just know, like any good friend, I haven’t forgotten you.

There are always the, what in my life are, “normal” distractions. Here are just a few, listed in no particular order:

My genealogy research.

My genealogy website.

Visits from family and friends when I’m “home” in Las Vegas (Although it doesn’t occur nearly enough)!

Reading. I’ll never get “caught up”, the list seems endless. I’ve been fascinated lately with the classic novel Little Women and its author (a distant cousin). I know… I’m a guy… crazy huh?

Watching television shows (mostly political, documentaries, real life in nature). Netflix movies… then there are all those YouTube videos that run the gamut.

Traveling… to far away and exotic, worldly places like Mahaffey, New Hudson and Pahrump, NV.

Going to the movies (again, mostly real life in nature), but I haven’t done much of that lately.

I’m a procrastinator.

I’m a perfectionist!

I’m old, I get tired.

Television personality Geraldo Rivera once said, “Life is a series of random choices, and what we make of life is what you make of those random choices.” So true and I’ve come to understand as well, with those choices come consequence. With them we sacrifice one thing for another. Distractions come at a cost to this blog.

I don’t think, especially at this stage of my life, I could write for a living. I admire those who do. I’ve had friends who do. One of my cousins has written several books and publishes a weekly column. He’s done it for years! In another life I used to write on a daily basis. Then I’d read it out-loud. I actually got paid to do that.

What an absolute chore that would be now! For me, the deadlines and pressure to produce would just be too much. Guess that comes with old age (although my cousin is older). I give him credit, where it’s due. My last self-imposed burden was in September of 2011. It was a thirty-day challenge to write a blog every-single-day. I did it, but I doubt I’ll ever do it again. It was painful. Now I write because I want to, not because I have to. Or do I?

For most anyone, writing is a laborious and time-consuming process. I think it’s worse for me. I have a friend, and former News Director to thank in-part for this. He’d often ask his co-workers about their writings, “Is it compelling?” Is it? I’ve never forgotten that and I likely miss the mark frequently.

I’m never bored with life, there is always something to do, something to occupy my mind. Lucky me, I always have ways to wile away the hours. I’m never at a loss of “what to do now?” There are a lot of hours these days to wile away.

Life is such lately I’ve been known to say, “A lot of times I don’t know what day of the week it is, and I often don’t care.” Some people envy me, they tell me so but, there’s so much more I could be doing. I miss my volunteer work with the USO and I’d like to contribute some time at the local Veteran’s hospital. I think about it anyway …

It seems I’m always writing. If I’m not adding notes to my Evernotes app, making lists,* making plans or writing in my journal, I’m working on editing and perfecting a future blog. Being a perfectionist, like Kermit’s Bein Green, isn’t easy but it’s a cross I must bear. It can be burdensome to a writer, that wants to be read. You might be surprised how many blog drafts I have, just waiting for me to finish. There are currently more than 40 on a variety of subjects. The number of times I’ve rewritten and edited what I write seems almost to be an affliction, a debilitating habit at the least.

Often I’ll be writing on my genealogy website or working on family biographies. The biographies of two uncles in particular had been in the works for several years. After dozens, possibly a hundred or more rewrites, I finally finished one of them several months ago. The other may soon be worthy of sharing. I know, to some, my interest in genealogy and family history is considered odd. I’ve been criticized for it but… it is what it is.

Occasionally I’ll turn to my own personal history and work on that (again odd to some, I know). I often think I should be devoting more time to that cause, as one never knows how much of it we have left. There are just far too many stories that need told while time is a finite, priceless commodity.

I recently came across another persons blog writing about the Liebster Award. I’d never heard of it. Apparently it’s an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. It’s website says:

Bloggers are a funny bunch. We read a lot, write a ton, scour the web for new content to consume, and even give ourselves awards for this stuff.

That’s me! All except for the awards part… but there’s always next year.

 

*Related Posts: Lists – Evidence of a Troubled Past?

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2013 in Review

The WordPress.com statisticians have prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog.  Although I didn’t post nearly as much as I would have liked I’ve had well over 40,000 visits.

Here’s to more and better blogging in 2014 and may the new year be all you and yours hope it will be… and then some!

Thanks to one and all!

Rick

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

30 Ways in 30 Days

Well here it is Friday!  Not only that it’s the last day of the month and this is my final post that completes my self-imposed 30-Day Challenge or my Month of Blogging Dangerously.  My task was to post something every day during the month of September.  So, time for some review, a reality check of sorts.

Truimphant ManI’ve tried to post on a variety of subjects (30 Ways) running the course from updating my man card to stinkin’ thinkin’, capital punishment and true confessions, all no doubt Evidences of a Troubled Past.  I made it through!  It’s been a challenging but interesting thirty days and has certainly given me an appreciation for those who post every day.

So, how’d you do?  If you managed to follow along through most of these posts during the month congratulate yourself, give yourself a pat on the back.  You deserve it.  Thank you!

Posting daily does have it’s advantages.  My average daily readers for the month more than doubled to 75 and pushed my total visitors from more than 1600 for both July and August to more than 2200 in September alone.*  Readers from 43 states and 38 countries have stopped in since this blog began on June 29th.

The one post that got the most attention this month was Confessions.  I guess people love reading about the bad and the ugly.  Someone once said taking a risk is the only way to write deadly honest prose Well I certainly took a risk and it was “deadly honest.”  Continue reading

Half-Way to Thirty

Well to say the least it’s been an eventful month for me.  Here we are, the 15th day of September — which brings us half-way to thirty.  This post marks the mid-point along my self-imposed month of blogging dangerously.  Don’t think I’ll be doing this any time soon again though.  It’s tough writing every day.  Not so much the writing part, but the part where I’m ready for others to see what I’ve created.  I’m sure it’s not easy on you the reader either, those anyway who strive to keep up.  I see myself as more a weekly “columnist” like Dave Barry or George Will.  I don’t get paid nearly as much, but there’s lot’s more time to edit and refine.  Not under the gun as often to make the deadline. Continue reading

Warm Subjects – Filling the Chairs

I just started this 30 posts in 30 days self-imposed challenge yesterday and I’m already having second thoughts.  Certainly my life, which is to say the least, a bit unstable these days is not the best situation in which one should add additional pressure, but I remain up to the task.  Your 30-day challenge — should you accept of course— is, can you read ’em all?

I’m reminded of my favorite late-night talk show host Johnny Carson who once made a statement to a guest, in a semi-condescending way.  Carson said he didn’t care that much who he had on stage with him every night, he just needed “warm bodies” to fill the guest chair.  In the same way I just need warm subjects to fill my daily posts.  But more than that I need to write something interesting and compelling enough that will bring my readers back for more.  That’s the rub!

It’s been said writing is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.  This is true. Writing these blogs never come easy for me.  Each one of them takes a lot of time, blood, sweat and yes often even a few tears. Continue reading

A Month of Blogging Dangerously

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Welcome to September!  Danger lurks ahead!  Starting today for the entire month I will write and post something here every-single-day.  At least that’s my intention … so long as my laptop and Internet access cooperate.  I know you’ll be happy to know most of these entries won’t be the lengthy extravaganzas the earlier ones have been (averaging 1000 words each). Instead they’ll be shorter and more concise.  Just a few thoughts usually at most.

It’ll be interesting how you my loyal readers will judge these shorter posts vs. the longer ones I’ve been inclined to write.  What would you prefer?  Shorter and more frequent?  Or longer and less often?  Please leave your comments below.  (If you don’t see them below, depending on how you arrived here, just click on “Comments” above the calendar.)

Let this be my science experiment for the 30 days ahead.  I hope I and my laptop can meet the challenge.

30 days … 30 posts!

The first — for this the first day of September — is just one click away.  Click >>> here! <<<  and let the good times begin!

Spreading the Wealth

“Paperweight”

Hello friends!  It’s been a long weekend.  My laptop AC adapter died early last week for a second time in just three months leaving it — temporarily anyway — a large paperweight.  Anyone who really knows me will tell you the sad reality of just how lost I am without my computer.  Every word and then some is true!  Happily relief is on the way but it might not be until next week when it’s up and running again.  Thanks to a local library I’m able to get online.

Without my not-so-trusty eight-year-old Mac laptop (whose battery no longer holds a charge) the last few days I’ve had to resort to old-fashioned paper and pen, as my overwhelming need to scratch the writer’s itch held me captive. Continue reading