Month: August 2009

Without words

This post has been deleted.

My apologies if this causes any confusion, but I promise you’re really not missing much. The short version is I’ve been having difficulty producing posts for this blog and I’m working on it. The meandering, hazy writing that was originally here was unable to convey that fairly simple thought.

So it goes.

I’m working on getting back into the swing of things, so until then I ask for your patience and to look for new posts in the very near future. As always, thank you kindly for coming by…

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Marketing, poetry, and a righteous Virgo

sculptureWhen it comes to music, over the years I’ve traditionally gravitated towards female artists. Not sure what it is. Of course there are the exceptions – I’m always up for a playlist of Iron and Wine, Depeche Mode, or Silversun Pickups – but for the most part women vocalists seem to resonate with me in a way I can’t quite explain.

Apparently, I like women writers, too.

There’s a site I try and visit a few times a week, especially on Thursday, under the handle of Communicatrix. The author of this blog is a lovely writer named Colleen Wainwright, and I very much encourage you to check her out if you get a few minutes. 

Okay, check her outmight be inappropriate, but you should at the very least read her blog. Seriously.

In addition to serving up thoughtful, funny, and relevant posts, she’s also a complete freakin’ joy to read. No kidding. Side note – jumping around her site this morning I stumbled across something (an older post that’s absolutely, serendipitously, perfect for a situation that’s going on right now in my life) that I imaigine I’ll be writing about soon. But that’s for later.

For now, know this: every Thursday she posts a poem. The topics vary, but the writing is ALWAYS well worth you time. Last week’s poem dealt with Marketing (what pays my bills) and one verse had me nodding my head and smiling. And even though we markters aren’t always successfull at this, her message was right on point.

Marketing
is the truth of you,
translated
into the language of them:
in the room
on the page
over the air.

You see, it’s when the truth shifts to messages or ads filled with what we marketers think you want the truth to be that we find ourselves in trouble. And it happens all too often.

Photo by Peter Rivera

How to pump it up

 muscles, weight lifting, venice beach

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “Self, I wish I were better at (insert at will)?” I certainly do. The things I’d like to be better at are many and varied, but I think it’s fair to say that most of the time my little wish, usually said quietly in the back of my head, is as far as I go to actually do anything about it.  

I’m thinking I’m probably not alone in this.

My friend Tim, who might be steadily becoming absolutely wearyof being mentioned here, has talked with me about this a number of times; generally about this blog. But first, as a few people (to include my mother) have requested I do so, I present you with a Boot Camp story:

Before I joined the Corps I’d discharged a firearm only twice in my life. Once, and even now I shudder at the stupidity, I and a handful of other knuckleheads fired shotguns into the air on New Year’s Eve. The second time occurred when my father and I went on our (only) duck hunting trip. That time I fired another shotgun into the air (hitting nothing except perhaps one of the eight million mosquitoes in the area) and shortly after we called it quits. As I didn’t enjoy hunting, or (at that time) spending time with my father, I was more than ready to get back to the safety of my room and sink into the melodies of a Yaz or Depeche Mode album through my headphones. 

And yet it’s generally the guys exactly like me, those with little or no experience with firearms, who perform the best on the firing range once trained. Instructors say it’s because we don’t have a mass of bad habits that we need to break. There’s probably a post about that idea (Tim, Russ – the gauntlet is thrown) but that’s for another day.

And while I’m certain the lack of bad habits had something to do with it, I’m more than convinced “Snap-in” was actually the key to my success with an M-16.

You see, Boot Camp provided two weeks of rifle training – one week of position training (Snap-in), and another week of live-fire practice and testing. While going through it, Snap-in was horrible: five days, eight hours a day, of sitting or lying on the ground, holding a rifle and staring off into the distance, imagining your target floating between the sights.

What I didn’t understand at the time was that I was building muscle-memory in those five days. That because of standing up, sitting down, kneeling, or lying in a the prone position, over and over, I was teaching my body the correct way to get my trunk, arms, and legs out of the equation when it came to tracking, targeting, and eliminating a target.   

When week two finally began I was a “natural.”

Okay, so how does that apply here?

Tim told me a story a few months ago about a Comic Book artist who, when asked by an aspiring artist how to get into the business, suggested that the inquiring individual draw 10,000 sketches. Yup, not a typo – that’s four zeroes. 10,000 sketches and you’re going to know your way around a drawing, was the idea. “Chops,” you could say.

So I wonder – out of all those things, those wishes that we’d like to be better at, just how awesome would we be after a week of Snap-in or 10,000 practice swings? Want to get in shape? Start tracking the miles you walk or run. Or the number of push-ups you do. Seriously – imagine how your arms or chest would look after ten thousandpush-ups. What will this blog look like after 10,000 posts?

Of course, it’s far, far easier to look into the air and wish we knew how to do this or had more talent at that and chalk it up to genetics or talent. Which will you choose?

Image by RightIndex