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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Stoking The Fire And Sharpening Knives

January 28, 2016 3 comments

Over the last month or so I have been sporadic about writing and posting to this blog.  I explained a bit about that the other day.  As of today I have posted each day this week.  A funny thing happened as I watched this play out.

I didn’t have many ideas for writing over the last month.  I managed to find something to write about, but I didn’t have a strong flow of ideas that I write about.

That changed this week.  I’ve written every day.  It is almost like a faucet was turned on and the ideas began flowing again.  I captured several ideas yesterday and plan to write about those ideas in the coming days.

Why did this happen?

I think it’s like a campfire and a knife.  If you sit around the campfire it will burn nicely for a while.  It will keep you warm.  It’s comfortable.  Eventually, though, it will go out.  You have to add wood to it.  You have to stoke the fire to keep it going.  It’s the same thing with ideas for blogging.  You have to do things to keep the ideas coming.  You have to read.  You have to look at the world differently.

My son has been out of school over the last few weeks due to Christmas and inclement weather.  He has spent a lot of time with his grandfather.  One of the things they have done is sharpen their knives.  A dull knife is of little use.  They sharpened the knives to the point they would shave the hair off their knives.  It’s same with this blogging thing.  You have to keep the knife sharp.  You have keep yourself in working order so that when the opportunity comes you are read to write.

What’s the common denominator?  You.  You have to work at it.  You have to grab another log.  You have to poke the fire a little.  You have consistently hone the knife to keep it sharp.

You have to do this for yourself to continue writing and blogging.  You really need to do this in every area of your life as well.  You need to do this in your spiritual life.  You need to do this for your family.  Your career.  Your finances.  Your friendships.  Your health and wellness.  Your mind.  You have to keep stoking the fire and sharpen the knives in all areas of your life.

What are you doing to stoke the fire and sharpen the knives in your life?

My Love-Hate Relationship With The Blogosphere

January 26, 2016 6 comments

My friend, Bill, wrote a post about envy yesterday.  I imagine that we all fall into the trap of envying someone from time to time.  Not saying it’s a good or innocent thing.  Just saying it happens.

When you prowl around the blogosphere like I do, you can find plenty to envy.  It happens especially when I read some the “successful” bloggers out there.  Insert your own definition of success, of course.

The problem is that too often these bloggers, whether intentional or not, can make others feel like losers.  Well, maybe loser is a strong word, but they can definitely make some feel like they aren’t successful.

There are plenty of blog posts and articles out there that talk about how you can build your platform or your tribe, start your business, and make your fortune.  All you have to do is follow the formula from their book or their course.  Then you can work from home for the rest of your life free from the confines of Corporate America.

Except.

Except for the one thing that these posts and bloggers don’t take into account.

What if you should stay in your corporate job?  What if you are wired for that particular lifestyle?

Don’t get me wrong.  I learn a lot from these folks.  I just think they go a step too far in the direction they are fleeing from.  They create these scenarios that seem to indicate people should flee cookie cutter jobs for the freedom they espouse.  Yet, they then create the cookie cutter of following their plans.

How do I know this?  Because I’ve been guilty of it.  I’ve gotten to the point where I dreamed of what they were selling that I wasn’t focused on what I should have been doing in my career.  I’ve coasted thinking that writing these posts would somehow lead me to being something else.  The problem is that I didn’t stop to question if that what I wanted or even should do.

You look in the Bible at what people did and there was a variety.  You had shepherds, prime ministers, government officials, fishermen, tax collectors, tent makers, preachers and everything in-between.

The problem I faced, and what many of these well-meaning people missed, is what does God want me to do?  Or you.  Or anyone else.

So, yes, I have a love-hate relationship with these type of blog posts.  There has to be another way.

I say seek the Lord first.  Not just what the Lord wants you to do, but the Lord himself.

Then ask Him what He wants you to do.  Does He want you to work a day job? Does He want your day job to be your dream job?  Or does He want you to strike out on your own?  Ask Him.  He will let you know.

Then do it.  Do it with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.  Do it with everything you’ve got.

You’ll be happy if do that.  Whichever way you

What’s Been Going On Around Here?

January 25, 2016 6 comments

I’m not sure why you show up and read this blog.  I really don’t.  I have been wildly inconsistent of late.  I’ve made all sorts of excuses over the last year, but I think I’ve finally really nailed it down to what the problem has been.

First, there has been a technological issue.  For nearly eight years I have lived in a location where I cannot get good quality internet.  I have had to use some sort of cellular device to provide our connection to the Interwebs.  For the past several months it has truly been a chore to get connected.  In fact, I cannot remember the last time I wrote a post on my laptop.  Almost every post I have written for a while has been on my iPhone.  While this has worked, I don’t type well just using my thumbs and it had become a chore.  I truly didn’t enjoy writing this any longer.  I have just been going through the motions because I simply didn’t want to quit.

This changed last week.  We bit the bullet and got satellite internet.  While not the best, it is the best available to me.  And it changes everything.

This is the first post that I have actually been able to write with a good connection in months.  I’m also writing it well ahead of time.  Finally, I can work ahead of schedule with decent tools.

So, what do I expect?  And what should you expect?

Deuceology back on a regular schedule.

Hopefully the fun and joy of doing this thing back.

There is some good that came out of not really being able to write like I want.  I have had time to think about what I really want this blog to be.

There was a time that it was just a place to dump all of my random thoughts.

Then it morphed into a forum for me to grind my ax on whatever issue I was upset about.

I wanted to be a professional and mimicked whatever writer I wanted to be like on any given day.

Now, it’s time to write about what I truly care about.  So, here it is.

I’m going to focus on what I learn from the Bible.  No agenda.  Just someone who is a fellow learner like, really, all of us.

I’m going to write on leadership, vision and that sort of thing. Not from the perspective of an expert, but of one who is still learning.

I want to throw in some book reviews along the way, because I want to read some books along the way.

I also won’t abandon my movie and TV show reviews.  I may even combine some and do a series of leadership lessons from The Walking Dead.

Hang on folks.  It’s going to get fun around here again.

 

Categories: Blogging Tags: ,

I Wrote Two Blog Posts Sunday

October 13, 2015 1 comment

I wrote two blog posts this past Sunday.  This is one of them.  Sure it’s short, but something important happened.

I wanted to write.

I have struggled lately.  I’ve shared some of those struggles.  I have feared writing.  My energy level has been down.  I have worked a lot.

The bottom line, though, is that through all of this I simply haven’t wanted to write.

Sunday I did.

I can’t explain that.

I feel like I overcame some personal hurdle that I couldn’t quite cross for weeks.

Sunday it was clear sailing.  I felt fresh.

So, here are two posts in a row, albeit one that is extremely low on words, similar to the old Twitter-like Tuesday posts.

Don’t call it a comeback.  Momma said knock you out.

Categories: Blogging Tags: ,

What’s Been Holding Me Back

September 2, 2015 7 comments

Just a short post today. I really would have liked to have written something longer, but something held me back.

It’s the same thing that’s been holding me back a lot lately.

We all face our own version of what Pressfield calls the Resistance.   I certainly have lately.

After four years of Deuceology and nearly seven years of blogging, I’m facing something I haven’t really faced before.

I’m afraid to write.

I know. That sounds strange. But it’s true.

Suddenly, I’m scared to write. Even as I’m writing about being scared to write.

I’ll get over it eventually. I’m sure of it.

What are you afraid of?

Categories: Blogging Tags: ,

The Question I’ve Been Asking Lately

January 13, 2015 6 comments

I’ve been asking myself a question.  I don’t know if any of my friends who write blogs ever ask this question, or some variation of it.  I’m sure some who sit down before their screens do.  I really don’t know the answer at this point.

Is the muse still there?

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I’ve been writing one blog or another for over six years now.  Every day, for going on four years now, I’ve been showing up almost every day to write.  Lately it’s been tough.

Work has been busy.  Life in general has been busy.  Some days both have been tough.

Guess what?

I’ve never asked if the muse was going to show up so I could go to work.  For all of the busy things I’ve been doing over the last year, I’ve never once had to be “inspired” to do them.  Work and the other things in life are just what you have to do.  It’s that simply.

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I have a couple of friends who are pro writers.  That’s what they do for a living.  Lord willing, I’ll be having lunch with them in a couple of days.  I’ve never asked them, but I don’t think they sit around waiting to be in the right mood in order to write.  They don’t passively sit there waiting to be inspired.  They don’t wait for a muse.

They have families and responsibilities that drive what they do.  At least that’s what I think.  Maybe I’ll ask them over a sub later this week.

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I don’t think Jesus waited around to be inspired to do what He did either.  He broke it down pretty simply.  He saw what His Father was up to.  He joined Him in His work.

Jesus’ food was to do the will of the Father.  In other words, that’s what drove Him.  That was His passion.  That was His inspiration.

Jesus loved the world, as His Father loved the world, so much that He left the riches of Heaven for the poverty of earth in order to give eternal life to you and me.  And the rest of the of the world.

Jesus didn’t need a muse to show up so that He could get to work.  He just went to work.

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So, I sit down and knock out my 300, 400 and sometimes 500 words every day.  Why?

Because I want to glorify the Father.

Because I’m passionate about writing this stuff.

Because it’s become part of who I am.

Because if I wait on a muse, I’ll still be waiting a year or two from now.

Do you ever wait to be inspired before you do something?

Categories: Blogging, Faith Tags: , , ,

What Danger Do We Face Writing And Blogging?

October 6, 2014 12 comments

An interesting thing has happened on my blog over the last year or so.  It was not something that I anticipated, but in retrospect, it should not have surprised me.

For the past three years, I’ve grown and maintained steady traffic to this site.  Some months were higher than others, but overall, I could count on the same amount of “hits” and views.

That all changed in May.  My numbers dropped dramatically.  They stayed at a low level until last month when they climbed back to near what they were in April.  Just like I cannot explain the drop, I cannot explain the increase either.

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A lot of bloggers publish their monthly statistics.  Each month they let us know how their traffic was, up or down, and certain percentages.

I don’t say this to criticize them.  We are all free to do what we wish with our blogs.  One of my favorite guys does this.  He even publishes his top ten commenters.  I happen to usually finish second each month.

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David wanted to take a census of Israel once.  It seems that Satan whispered this idea into his ear when he let his guard down or was not paying attention.  Remember, our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour..

The Lord was not in favor of this.  It seems to have really riled him up.  He gave David a couple of choices for punishment and David chose God’s wrath for a couple of days.

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My friend Bill the Cycleguy doesn’t check his stats.  I’m not sure if he has any idea how many people view his blog on a daily basis.  He may only know how many comments he gets, which are substantial.

I say all of this to say that we can focus too much on the numbers.  We may think about them much too much.  When we do, I think we pay a bit of a price.  Gaining knowledge of our stats potentially puts us at risk of losing our writing and blogging souls.

David sought the statistics of the census as a monument to himself.  He wanted to know how great he and his army were.  It cost him and the nation of Israel.

We face the same risk.  We can seek the thrill of greater and bigger numbers.  We can forget about what God has called us to do and focus on our own greatness.

We have been called to glorify and magnify the Lord.  Whenever we turn the focus on ourselves, we fight the same battles that have been going on throughout history.  We should battle the temptation of furthering our own glory and focus on building His.

Have you ever felt danger in looking at your stats?