“Oh my God, you’re perfect,” I said as I drove by her house. She lives a stone’s throw from Cottonwood Flats, the venue for the recent Gentleman of the Road stopover tour in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
I stuck my head out my jeep and lifted my Nikon. “Can I take your picture?” She smiled and said yes and never looked away.
Click on the photo and make it gigantic. I want you to see all the things I love about it. The bare feet, the spare tire. The motorcycle, the Chevy. Above all, the brunette. I wish for her all the sweet things she can find.
Most people look away, you know, when the camera invades their space. But, during the big weekend in Guthrie, all the locals were happy and nobody looked away. I couldn’t have cared less about taking pictures of bands. I wanted to see Oklahoma faces. The town will never be the same.
What is it you’re trying to say?
Since Google Reader gave up the ghost and I moved to Feedly, I’ve been doing a better job of reading blogs and a worse job of writing posts on my own. Sometimes, it’s good to take a break and step back and figure out exactly what it is you’re trying to say.
For example, there are a couple of blogs I’ve been checking in on periodically over the last couple of years. It doesn’t matter how long the span of time is between my visits because their latest post says exactly what they wrote three months ago. It’s a deafening and nauseating regurgitation of glowy self-effacement. Personal disclosures and shock-jock phrases are the de rigueur for bloggers.
They think if they abandon discretion they will prove how genuine they are. And, even if we’re not convinced, we might hang around long enough to observe the train wreck. For a blogger, that means traffic and we’ll do anything for hits, right? We’re constantly trying to figure out how to be awesome, how to go viral.
Why You’re Not Awesome
But, you’re never going to go viral and the reason is because you are not awesome. The reason you’re not awesome — the reason you’re still struggling in everything you do — is because you are using a formula that belongs to somebody else or worse, no formula at all. In the simplest of terms, you are not being yourself. You’ve become boring. And self-conscious. And contracted. And, if you must know, I wrote this post to myself.
“But remember always that the true self is never a fixed thing. You can never say: ‘Good. Today I find at last what I am really like: splendid type!’ You cannot say that because the true self is always in motion like music, a river of life, changing, moving, failing, suffering, learning, shining. That is why you must freely and recklessly make new mistakes — in writing or in life — and do not fret about them but pass on and write more. Active evil is so much better than passive good, which is just docility, feebleness, timidity. And do not try to be consistent, for what is true to you today may not be true at all tomorrow, because you see a better truth.” — Brenda Ueland, 1938
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