Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My Son Was Right But I Won $40...Motivation

chuck close innovation creativity writing
Two years ago I bet my son $40 on the outcome of the Presidential election.  He looks at a great deal of data and understands the political history and process in great depth.  My position came from a gut feel.  It would be good if I could attribute my betting success to some specialized life experience from having been around the block a few more times, but I cannot.

When I started  this blog I was committed to writing every day about this odd status of not really having a job or certainly not having a 'real' job.  He remarked "you'll never do that."  His perspective on that topic also likely came from a 'gut feel.'  For a period of time I wrote daily to prove him wrong.  I lost.  Somewhere in my head I was also following some obscure guidance from other writers that encouraged simply sitting down and writing every day.  It's now clear that those writers, and those who write books about writing, write about writing every day when they are stonewalled by a blank screen.  It's sort of a 'go to' topic.  The issue is that you need 'seat time.'  Looking for motivation while not in the seat is usually a waste.  The screen is the motivation.

Writing seems to be the thing to do at this point.  Of course I've ground through quite a few texts and online seminars and so for looking for key motivations to get me down that path.  A while ago I read about a writing seminar on an island in Lake Superior with 'real authors' with 'successful formulas' for getting your work, your blogs into the mainstream.  That was interesting and the lazy part of me said "yes, wait until next summer when the ice is out, go to this seminar and pick up some good motivation and ideas and then you can start this part of your working world..."  Distraction.  Delay tactic, logical at that.  Chuck Close, noted portrait painter, offers the following real advice.  "Inspiration is for amateurs--the rest of us just show up and get to work." In hindsight that was the key to my former executive work.  I just went there, plugged away with the tools and resources at hand and did good work.  I need to simply leverage that path elsewhere.

The small business has taken most of my time that I would have dedicated to a 'real job.'  Real jobs pay real money, you sit in strategic planning sessions, construct budgets, hire and fire 'talent,' mentor, build relationships and other sorts of tasks.  Now at 66+ I find that people who want to manage money ask me what I want my 'legacy' to be.  I think that means what happens to any residual money after I'm dead.  If I contrast that with what 'real' jobs have to offer I don't find either particularly appealing.

AARP, which puts out nice magazines, always have articles and commentary about second careers, "doing what you're always wanted to do" and other consoling sorts of themes that attempt to make one feel all that much better about being unemployed.  The writing is well done but I'm resistant to feeling better about not having a real job.  This effort, this creative one, with a different set of tools (words, blank screens, intuitive and deductive melding and conflict, etc.) is likely the path.

During a late night browsing of either Amazon Prime or Netflix I came upon a series about creative design.  The first episode was about a German graphic designer, the evolution of his work, where and how he worked and the pressure of deadlines thrown into a more or less life of doodling.    The second episode showcased Tinker Hatfield, whose quote "If people don't love or hate your work you've not done all that much" I'd come across before I knew who he was.  He's designed every Nike Air, a small town guy, architecturally trained who's changed the world of shoes...and design.  It's a nice legacy.  

I'd like to leave a bit more that people love or hate.


  1. I've found that blogging is much more difficult with my 8 a.m. to 4:30 job. When I was farming I had morning, lunch time ,or late at night to blog. Now I have get ready for work and if my wife makes my lunch I can't be setting around blogging whilst she works. I is it bad form.
    I don't blog at lunch because it is the wrong environment for me to talk to my iPhone. After work I have farm work to do and I no longer stay up late at night because I do groundskeeping sorts of things all day and I'm tired. Plus, I can't blog anything negative about my job and it is the negative things that are funny.
    The Trump election is an amazing thing. Looking back I can see how it happened. People on both sides were sick of establishment corruption and picked a crazy guy over an "oligarch." Of course establishment Republicans turned on each other. Just cause I think I'm a nice guy and want an honest gubment and I'm conservative doesn't mean Republicans are not crooked rats.
    I kind of expected Bernie to be screwed because that is exactly what they did to Nader.
    I think it was close. I think Bernie would have won.

  2. Currently I'm way overbooked. Any time I take to write (I just misspelled it 'right' and then 'wright') takes time from items more urgent. Generally the urgent things are not really that rewarding. My good time to write is between 9:00 PM & 11:00 PM but that's when other things in the day are wrapping up, too.

    The election was crazy. If Sanders and Clinton had partnered up (in either combination) they would have taken it. Trump voters are going to be disappointed with the lack of followup on his promises and the likelihood of loss of rights and increased consumer costs due to import tariffs and lower ag prices as exports drop. He's crazy. The Russian thing is a smoking gun. George W. Bush talking now indicates problems in the hen house.