This Blog – No Grandiose Announcements

I’ve fought this blog in fits and starts for ages now.

I’ve abandoned it a few times, I’ve come back. I shut it down briefly, and I brought it back.

Most of the writing here is poor at best. And that’s OK. Because I can write good shit when I want to.

I think that what I’ll be using it for is practice.  A safe haven.  I think I’ll deemphasize it across my networks, and keep it fairly obscure.

That way I can post “the top 5 breakup songs” or “the top 6 ways Moby screwed his career up,” or just crap about my kids. I can write in a place where I can breathe a little bit.

That’s the plan for this.  Sort of a catch all. A practice blog.

I’ll be establishing myself, and instead of writing the things I might think, I’ll write the things I know right now.

I’ll spend a week or so trying to figure out a more “polished” blog identity. I was gonna call it “Hustle and Close,” but of all the things I am I’m an instigator.  I had instigate.me as my own domain but I gave it up like a dunce.

Sick Of Myself.

Posting every day is an interesting thing to do.

I’m glad to have done it, and eventually (not tomorrow) I’m OK to give up the experiment and the $100. I’m back in the habit of writing and shipping again.  That was the point. I have sort of rediscovered my voice/grind/all of it.  I’m reinvigorated, but the pressure to say something (anything) means that the quality slips, or it becomes more trite.

I don’t want to add my two cents about the election, APPLE’s stock price, or the Microsoft Surface.  Happens anyway.

I want to talk about how you mastered emotion to stick with boring shit.  I want to talk about my kids.  And I’m not always in the mood.  This bet (and I’m not losing).

I’ve also found a deep and abiding love for Headway Themes.  It allows gradual changes over time.  I like that.

The song:

Addicts and Artists

This moved me.  From Pressfield.

Shuck the bullshit and the games and the clever manipulation of others via charm, threat, etc.
Release all supporting cast members, stunt personnel, bit players and extras.
Drop out of the fake movie and start facing the Second Act Problems in the real film of your life.

The difference between being an addict and an artist is walking on a razor blade. I’ve spent most of my life on the “addict” side of things.  The same “negotiation engine” that gins up opportunities to go fix is attractive.  Addicts can be amazing…for a while.

My fix was never chemical, it is drama, Lord, the drama.  Grab it when I can. Pick a fight with your  family/loved ones.  Make people make choices. Make people center on me.  Me. Me.  Feed the defect in my soul and I’m willing to sell my inheritance for a cup of soup.  That’s addictive behavior. That’s  why I like Ho-Hey so much because it talks about putting that shit away.

I’m after a good, accountable life.  Not just a fix chase, but the kind of legendary life.  Anything (anyone) that is a distraction is  written out.

 

 

Headway 3.3. Review : It’s Back.

At Simplifilm, I try very hard to be loyal to the products we rep.  I also pursue products I love. So I use RescueTime, ScreenFlow, Gravity Forms and more honestly.  I come by what I’m doing from an authentic place.  It makes us make better videos.  We reject many products.

When Headway 3.0 came out, I was pumped. Grant had shown me what it could do, and I was stoked at what Clay had worked out.  I felt excited, it was incredible.  I saw the preview on Skype, and WOW.  Drawing blocks, placing them.  Fantastic.

The problem was, I couldn’t use it.  At all. I needed speed, and the setup process was buggy and bad, and it was painful and pulling teeth. There were UI problems, big and small bugs.

Oh, Headway was beautiful, novel.  It wasn’t the obvious pile of crap that PageLines is, but Headway was still  totally incomplete. It had big gaps in what it could do.  Even Clay has admitted that the release was rushed.  I stopped using it then, and had to switch.  I was disappointed in the execution.  I was not happy about the way that things worked out.

It was a big step back from Headway 2. When it released.

But, but, but.  I stayed in touch with Grant and Clay (normal client stuff).  Over time, Headway got better.  Now? It’s the best theme on the planet.

I built a site on it in about an hour.  It looked good.  The process was straightforward and easy.

Yes, there are still some details I dislike (mostly the spawning of widget areas and the cumbersome way that pages get pinned together, and how relatively hard it is to center things).  But those thins only matter a little bit.  The gist of Headway is that it’s back, it’s safe to use, and you can do “amazing” without code.

The next steps for Clay and his team should be to tighten up the interface, and UX, and to add the final compliment of blocks.

At some point, if I get to it, I’ll do a full blown tour.

Important Announcement: Nobody Cares About Your Announcements!

Every single time some blogger somewhere (usually ones that nobody reads) says “Hey, Followers: Important Announcement!!!”  I die a little inside.

I used to be that guy.

I used to entertain the delusion that someone gave a crap about what I had to say, about what I was doing next.  I used to entertain the delusions that people eagerly awaited my launch.

Nope.

I’m not 37 signals.  Nobody cares.

What people want is work, help, relief.  They want stress mitigated, shit handled.  Just handled.  People have delusions of grandeur all the time.  Do the work, shut up about it.  Repeat.

Say You Want To Be an Author (and I don’t).

I have this half-dream of being an author.

It’s kind of like being a lawyer.  I think about it sometimes, but I don’t really have it in me to go through law school.  Instead of increasing my options, for me it seems that law-school would cut them up a little bit.

Anyway, if I was going to become an author, I would do the following:

  1. Read 10-15 books that you love on the low end of the NYT best seller list.  Business nonfiction that you can stomach (let’s say Seth Godin, Made To Stick and the good stuff.).  Understand the heck out of the material.
  2. Look at the acknowledgements. A lot of people that are listed in the backs of those books are awesome. Find them online and join their communities.
  3. After you’ve gotten good attention, find some excuse to post about them.  Link back to them.  Tell them you linked back to them via email.
  4. Offer to do some free work for the person.

That’s getting to the front of the line.  Do the work, don’t be a fool about it.

Five Blogs You Should Probably Read

This year has been fantastic for me.

I stopped being über present on Twitter and I went back to Google Reader and caught up with a ton of blogs.  I have more and better relationships because I’m working at a pace that works for me. I’m still around on Twitter, but…I’m more interested in blogs. I’m learning more and getting good books to read.

There are a few blogs that you should probably be reading regularly.

They are my favorite reads when they show up in Reader.

JeffTurner.Info - Jeff has been a semi-witting mentor of mine.  I’ve learned a ton from him, and he’s part of the reason why Simplifilm will do what it does this year (whatever that might be).  Start here.  He doesn’t post all that often, but he certainly has something to say.

RyanHoliday.Net - It’s been a fabulous read.  The theme – generally – is escaping delusion – particularly self delusion.  His Reading List is excellent place start, and I’ve got a couple of books to read and I’ll finally have that behind me (I took a couple detours in neurology and economics, otherwise I would have been). There’s never been a bad post.

Feld.Com: Brad Feld is probably my favorite VC. Of the ones I’ve interacted with he’s the most responsive via email (nobody is close when you have something good to say).  His blog – and the themes of his company (the Foundry Group) have been working.  He’s probably the most intellectually honest VC out there. I appreciate him a lot.

Teenage Kicks:  It’s a rock and roll blog. It is a “fan” of rock music. They post criticism. They “get” rock and music.  Been great for music discovery, and they share the same obsession with The Hold Steady that I have.

WillieJackson.Com: Nobody this year has set a better example for me than Will.  He’s an understated force of nature.  It’s been a blast watching him go from some dude that was willing to do websites on the cheap to engineering things at the highest level.  He’s Start here, or here.

This was a fantastic year for me. There are other fantastic places to get information. Cheers to a fantastic year.