Leave A Hole

While exploring the Web a bit last night (one of those website-link-to-a-blog-link-to-another blogroll link) that turns up interesting things, I ran across a blog from a writer who’s started an autobiographical novel.

It is written in a pretty breezy, conversational style that made reading easy, even though I don’t think it was really heavily edited or polished up for the public.  It tells of his struggles with some addiction issues, successfully overcoming them, and other pieces of his life in a very readable, straightforward manner.

It’s a personal blog, and after reading a few chapters I clicked a link to another arts blog he had mentioned he was developing for not only writers but artists in other media as well.

Upon arriving at this project he had spoken about, I was somewhat shocked – this particular person, in his early 30’s, who seemed to finally be finding his voice – was dead.

He had died about 6 months ago.  His sister and friends kept the site going as a memorial to him.

It was a jarring notion that this person who was becoming so real to me just one mouse-click ago was gone.

I never knew this person.  It is certainly a tragedy for anyone to go that young, but that wasn’t what was responsible for the strange feeling I had.  This young man had been a communicator – even in the few chapters I could tell he was able to transmit feelings and ideas in his work.

It makes you think…if you stopped doing whatever it is you are doing, would people notice?  Would they feel your absence?

Because if they wouldn’t, maybe you should do something else.

I don’t mean to imply you should chase fame, or notoriety.  Plenty of those kinds of people pass on and we don’t feel much.  They never connected with us.

But hopefully, someone, somewhere, who may not even have known us, can look at what we’ve left behind and appreciate it.  It’s the only way we have of any kind of immortality.

Makes you think about what you are leaving behind. Because if you don’t leave something behind, you are going to be dead a long, long time.

Three Little Words

Not the “Three Little Words” of the 1950’s movie with Fred Astaire and Red Skelton, but an idea I got from John over at Full Bleed Arts Marketing.

Since it’s the New Year, I found the idea of just selecting three words that act as guiding principles appealing, as opposed to a standard New Year’s resolution which has a feeling of grim determination that ultimately leads to failure.

The first one I thought of is “Engage”.  It’s easy to isolate from people around us, even online.  We are constantly in “scan” mode to handle the torrent of information at our disposal without really touching base or connecting with people or ideas we find interesting.  But information isn’t more valuable by the pound – you’ve got to dive in at some point and do something with it.

Which leads me to “Produce” – pretty self-explanatory.  It’s important to convert all that stuff rolling around in your brain-pan into something tangible and useful.

And last but not least – “Release”.  Growth is natural.  We aren’t the same people we were in 2011, for good or for bad.  Some things are no longer possible, new opportunities might have opened up.  So we need to empty our minds and closets of that which doesn’t work for us anymore so we can welcome the new.

This “Three Words” approach seems a lot more positive and a kinder way to live our values in 2012 than stating how much weight we’ll lose or that this is the year we’ll finally learn Spanish, etc.

I hope 2012 will be a positive and productive year for everyone who reads this, and that whatever your particular “Words” are, they’ll lead you back here with your input and comments.  Starting this blog in 2011 and seeing people read and respond to it was one of the year’s highlights, and I hope to keep the fun going in 2012!