Tag Archives: writing

I’m back. Umm, do you remember me?

Putting the blog in moratorium, then coming back held many lessons.
First, I missed the BHE community. It was, and continues to be a group of pioneers who enthusiastically explore, experiment, write and share.
The second thing I learned is that I was not missed. A few friends and colleagues  wrote on the occasion of my last blog in 2010 with helpful advice about battling burnout.
But after that . . . nothing. I didn’t take it personally. During the few years I posted I received tens of thousands of hits. But when I stopped, the audience went elsewhere. I know, in marketing, you don’t quit a project and then plan to pick it up again and regain your momentum without some struggle.
But that never bothered me. I’m in the enviable position of writing because I want to, knowing that the folks who will benefit from it will find it.
But it was a very real reminder that we’re expendable. In fact, more than ever.
Cause for panic? No. It makes me want to –more than ever– do the best I can do. To develop the best content and write in the simplest most dynamic way I can and contribute to the field.
I do this now, realizing that we are operating in the continual now. And when we’re  done, we’re dust, blowing lazily in the wind as life goes on.
In a way, everything I just said is true.
In another way, as I found out on July 4, it may be utterly false.
I’ll tell you why in the next post.


My Bogged Down Blog

I haven’t written a blog here in weeks.

The words stopped.
I do three blogs. One is a fun, personal one. One is for Mansfield University. And this one.
I’ve done 208 posts on this blog, a few hundred on my personal one and one a week for the MU Blog which I started last summer.
And without any warning, I crashed. I had no energy to write, and worst of all no interest. No ideas. Nothing to say.
Writing is a way of life. It’s also an addiction. It’s also a way of sharing (or exposing) yourself, your feelings, your ideas, your hopes, dreams and disappointments.
So I’m doing what all addicts do. I’m confessing. “Hi, my name is Dennis and I’m a writer. . . . .”
In the dead zone of non-writing, I read — novels, articles, nonfiction, news, blogs, op-eds– filling the vacuum with the thoughts, ideas, dreams and disappointments of others, seeking a community of intellect and emotions.  Most importantly, I guess, is that I’m seeking  company.

I’ve found literary inspiration in These Lovely Bones, human inspiration in Temple Grandin’s Animals in Translation, which is giving me insight into animal behavior and autism.  I find anger and delight in news articles and reader responses on Huffington Post.  I quietly cheer when I watch YouTube clips of Stewart and Colbert. I watch the original Twilight Zone for its blend of a good story with simple, powerful camera work and famous actors at the beginning of their careers.  I occasionally listen to Rush until I feel myself wanting to rip out my car seats with my teeth.

I’ve talked about my radio and podcast habits in a previous post.

All things are natural, with their own rhythms.  When a well runs dry, you wait patiently for the underground water table to fill it again.

Mine was as dry as dust, but it’s filling again.

I can feel it.

It’s nearly there.

More Words & Phrases I’d Like to See Dead

Back in January I did a post on Words and Phrases That Should be Buried.

I’m on Rant 2.

“Literally” is still the most overused word.  It is the Ramen of our vocabulary.

Here are more additions:

Wrap my head around it. I never got this phrase.  It conjurs up something you’d see  watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon.  I think this image came from an aging hippie suffering one too many acid trips.

Getting eyeballs is  overused in the worlds of advertising, marketing and the Web. It’s a disgusting image, conjuring up pictures of those bloody eyeballs you see on low budget horror films and Garbage Pail Kids trading cards.  “Getting eyeballs” still doesn’t address getting the mind behind the eyeballs to concentrate on the message.

Silos. I’ve just starting hearing this in office conversation and I’ve seen it a few times in writing.  It’s one of those words that creates an appropriate image.  (See yourself as dried corn nestled in your own comfortable silo not wanting to communicate with the corn in the other silos).  The image was used as early as 1989 in the context of “vertical silo syndrome.”   Now I hear it on campus as in “departments are silos,” not caring about other departments.  It’s going to wear itself out fast because it’s an easy concept for lazy speakers.

Butts in seats.  Kind of like “getting eyeballs.”  Butts in seats, of course, is filling seats with people.   So why can’t we say we want to “fill seats?”  We’ve broken humans into butts and eyeballs.  Not a pretty picture.

I don’t know wherecreepy edged into the national daily dialogue but it spread like The Blob in a microwave.    It probably evolved from “it creeps me out.”  I suppose it’s popular because it’s fun to say and is easily inserted into any kind of description of something somewhat distasteful.  I think it’s adolescent and no one over the age of 18 should be using it.

Unfortunately they do use it.  I heard a middle-aged secretary today relating a story of a couple accidents in which two friends in different parts of the country died about the same time.  “That’s creepy,” she told the other secretary.  “Don’t you think that’s creepy?  I just think that’s really creepy.”

I crept out, wrapping my head around a silo of sanity, keeping my eyeballs straight ahead and my butt far away from any nearby seats.


Please send in your candidates for instant death.