Three Things To Consider Before Quitting Your Blog

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Writer’s Block is the culprit.  Over the past months I’ve learned, accomplished and experienced so much yet I’ve struggled to get myself to this place where my fingers are once again typing a blog post.  I’ve even considered giving up on the whole wordpress thing as life has evolved but in doing so I would be erasing seven years of this journey, 186 posts to be exact.  In some ways I wonder if it would be a good thing to light an imaginary smudge stick and let the smoke envelope my ramblings.  In so many other ways I am comforted to know that there is a chronicle of my slip into creative madness, a journal of sorts that my kids and my grandkids can use to avoid the pitfalls of the same condition unless of course they are also compelled to be Artists.  

You may also find yourself at a junction where you are considering giving up your blog.  If it has anything to do with something that you enjoy and are passionate about I offer you three things to consider before walking away.

  1. Before quitting be sure to ask yourself why you chose to start it in the first place.  If your dreams and passions have changed then by all means burn the bridge and move forward but if you still hold close the same hopes and desires as you did then wouldn’t it make more sense to keep at it?
  2. Just because you blog has underperformed in the past doesn’t mean that it can’t be an important cog in the wheel in the future.  Look for ways to make it fresh, alive and more convenient to add to.  When was the last time you changed your banner, your bio or page theme?  If your long winded posts don’t seem to be getting traction, look for  ways to abbreviate them.  Likewise, if the short one liners with a picture aren’t engaging your audience consider posting more substance, less often.  When was the last time you checked to make sure your links to your other websites and social media are current?  Chances are that if you give your blog some TLC, it will in return make a difference. 
  3. If you have any followers at all chances are there are some who have been touched or encouraged by your outreach.  They notice when you don’t post and wonder what became of you.  Some will assume that you have given up on your dream and in some way that may take the wind out of their sails.  Giving up on your blog also means giving up on those contacts.
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Recent Paintings at The Gallery

My Wonderful Father

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A Sunday at Denver’s Museum of History and Science (8/3/14)

My lengthy hiatus from this effort (my blogs) is attributed significantly to the long, long path that I was able to walk alongside my Father and Mother while in the Autumn of Dad’s life. For seven years, they had to endure difficult circumstances, one after another, all somehow related to the harm that Parkinson’s Disease can inflict. Yesterday Afternoon, Dad crossed over from this life to the next. It was the first completely cloudless day in Denver in as long as I can remember and he left this world so peacefully, so quickly that I am profoundly moved. For so long, I have wanted to write and be read; I have wanted to share the experiences that I have had in my own personal walk as an Artist and as a Son. Yet for so long, these experiences belonged in my heart and not on published pages.

My Father’s passing comes like the opening of a flood gate. I am ready to share once again and I hope to somehow kindle a flame of inspiration if even in just one person.

Even on his death bed, it would not have shocked me if my Father had awakened from his final sleep to recite word for word the following quote by William Shakespeare. “Cowards die many deaths, The Valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.” Seriously, the man had a knack for reciting poetry and singing funny songs at the most inappropriate times. This time, he did not awaken from his slumber but his words are still with me.

Before I close this post, I want to share a few thoughts about Denver Hospice. Yesterday morning, before I understood that it would be Dad’s final sunrise, I wrote the following words. Mom and Dad finally found their way back to the “Hilton”. The Denver Hospice Inpatient Care Center at Lowry Field is a living masterpiece. Oddly, the kind of place that makes you want to live. As my Dad would say, it is a “castle on the hillside”. In some ways you might think that such a place would be cruel and unusual punishment for those who find themselves at the exit door of life. Not So, I say! The architectural marvel is more than matched by the compassion, dignity and understanding that permeates from its walls. The halls echo in celebration of all that is good in Mankind. For me personally, this place is an inspiration. The Exhibition of artwork on display is incredible. Much care was given to select original works that might trigger a warm memory; that might remind one how precious life is. And then the admirable culture that dwells in the care center goes completely over the top. So different than what you will find in a hospital, where the goal is physical healing and profit. Denver Hospice defines success much differently, to create comfort for the body and the spirit. Perhaps the ultimate goal of Hospice is to mirror what we hope for on the other side of death. These are the things that have touched me profoundly, that have nudged the trajectory of my life in the most beautiful way.

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One of the beautiful paintings that hangs in the Denver Hospice Care Center at Lowry

True Confessions Of A Creative Eclectic


Every Great and commanding movement in the annals of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm ~ Emerson

Where was I when they passed out the roadmaps to creative success?  If that happened in Art School, I missed it because I was in the other building learning about statistics, debits and credits.  I’m not complaining.  In fact I feel fortunate that I wasn’t programmed with artistic shortcuts and principles as I was in business school. “Pick one thing that you like, do it well and you will succeed”.  The next time somebody hears me give that advise to one of my kids, I hope they slap me because I wouldn’t be walking the talk.  At times I feel so scattered, I don’t know what to do next.

As a blogger, I spend a lot of time reading the posts of others, looking for insights and inspiration.  Last week I read a post by JoDee Luna, the author of an innovative book called Refrain From The IdenticalAlmost immediately, I picked up on her description of the “Creative Eclectic” and I knew that she had coined a name for my affliction.

I am a Creative Eclectic.  About five years ago, I found myself enthusiastically pursuing a plethora of ambitions that I had neither the training nor the time for.  Sketching, painting, writing, producing videos and even making music on garage band began filling my free time and taking priority over getting a good night sleep.  Today, as you might gather from a visit to my websites and blogs, I’m like a kid in a candy store.  You might also realize that like a confident (or cocky) gambler, I’ve left behind my day job and I’m now “All In”.  I do have moments when I catch myself saying out-loud, “Am I Crazy?  This is never going to work!”  But somehow, some way, I know that it will all come together.  After all, the most beautiful symphonies have roots in madness.

As of late, I have a half dozen or so unfinished paintings hanging haphazardly in the studio and I’m excited to finish them.  But as life goes, you can only peel one potato at a time, and right now I’m working on my video business.  My wife and I together, have created a new blog called The Local Tourist – Colorado.  It is all about finding adventure in our own backyard and documenting those adventures through our video production enterprise.  We would love it if you would check it out.

Who Moved The Meatloaf? – 3 Things You Can Do To Find It

Pondering my next post at 10,000 feet.

I launched this blog just about a month ago in hopes of creating an outlet through which I could express my thoughts and share my art.  So far, I’m not disappointed.  I never would have guessed that I’d have 350 visits to my site, get a few comments and subscriptions and actually meet some wonderful talented artists in other parts of the country and world, all within the first month.  I’m a happy camper.  On the other hand, I’ve learned that having a “build it and they will come” attitude is a business model doomed to fail.  Floating a blog into cyberspace without taking action to drive traffic to it would be kind of like putting a lemonade stand on an iceberg.  And so, along with the blog came the realization that this 50 year old must jump on the social networking bandwagon and start beating the drum.

I can’t say that the process has been painless.  I have adamantly resisted facebook since it’s inception, joining only to spy on my kids and viewing the concept suspiciously, perhaps as a tool of “big brother”, the KGB or the CIA.  And Twitter, I really had no idea what it could possibly be used for other than to follow the likes of Charlie Sheen over a cliff.  In one short month, I have gone from zero to over 300 Twitter Followers and it is thanks to thirsty Tweeters that I’ve had to order another load of lemonade.

It has been wisely stated the “the one thing in life that is constant is change”, a truth best remembered by us mid-lifers as we try to figure out where we fit in to the new world.  The rules have changed, not for the first time and not for the last.  We are the only group of people in the history of Mankind to experience life before and after the invention of the personal computer and the internet and that makes us special, but it does not make us unique.  Every since the discovery of fire and perhaps long before that, each generation of Mankind has laid claim to the ingenuity required to adapt as the wheel of invention turned.

Yes, the rules have changed.  In the United States, masses of boomers and thirteeners are doing the “dog paddle” after swimming hard for decades toward islands that no longer exist.  World wide, our contemporaries are experiencing the same growing pains at the same time as us.  Thanks to the advent of the internet, we now belong to common human generation.   So what can we do to adapt to the new rules and find a new path to prosperity?  From a “big picture” vantage point, it is my opinion that there are simply three things that we need to do to succeed.

  1. Keep your sense of humor.  Many of us find ourselves coming home to a proverbial empty kitchen as the character George did in the movie “Pleasantville”.  “Where is my dinner?” we ask, and there is not a meatloaf in sight.  Can you keep a straight face watching William H. Macy expectantly say “ Honey, I’m Home” and “Where is My Dinner”?  Then why not get a chuckle out to the bizarre twist in the road of mankind that we are learning to negotiate?  The truth is, feeling sorry for our-selves will not produce anything good.  Finding humor in our plight is an outward expression of our acceptance of it.
  2. Open your mind.  Yes the younger generations seem to have an unfair advantage when it comes to social networking, they have been doing it their entire lives.  But, I believe we older folks have the advantage in finding the most effective ways of using the technology, after all we have been around the block a few times and experience still matters.  Yes the rules have changed, but we can still find the “meatloaf”, or something better!
  3. Get Busy.  There are other islands out there, better than the ones we sought before but we will never get to them unless we start swimming.  If you haven’t already done so, start a blog, open a facebook account, tweet your heart out, all the while keeping your goals in sight.  Something that most of us have learned in our years on this earth is that “You Can’t Go Back”.  Which means that if we want to keep moving, we must move forward.