Alone/Lonely

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of True Romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” Hunter S. Thompson

I should start by saying that being alone and feeling lonely are separated by one thing: your perception of the situation. Which, of course, can be changed, but most of the times is a subconscious decision that appears to be out of your control.

My own loneliness is a contradictory issue. I have to be alone, I need to be alone, and I love being alone. I can write, I can enjoy the silence for longer periods of time than almost anyone else I ever met. I can only find myself when I am all alone in a silent room. I go out with people, act silly and whatnot for a couple of hours, all the while longing to go back home and be all by myself. I’ve been at parties and wanted nothing more than to go home, where there’s no one waiting but the hope of finding myself again.

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Rules of Blogging

Here’s something about people who are good at something(as defined by certain criteria): they usually have no idea what they did to become good, or if they have certain ideas, they suck at explaining them.
Why?

Because most of the stuff that made them successful is what they’d describe as “common sense.” Meaning that they’re less inclined to share those ideas with the world for fear of insulting others(if it’s common sense, everyone should know about it and apply it, right?)

So here goes my list of common sense rules:

1. Persistence

It’s all about one’s mental capacity to do it and do it and do it, over and over again, until the job gets done.

It’s about facing defeat and failure and keep coming back for more.

2. Engagement

A blog is not a diary. It’s not all about you, you, you.

The content has to be engaging. People want either entertainment or information. If your posts provide neither, it’s not going to convince folks to subscribe.

Also, you’ve got to respond to folks who take the time to comment. Engagement as a means to build a community around your little space on the web.

3. Predictability

Say what?

Yeah. People like to know when to expect posts from you, what kind of posts, stuff like that.

Maybe you’ve got a Throwback Thursday that’s popular, or some other series. Imagine if you stopped doing that. People wouldn’t like it, because they were visiting your blog to read a new post in the series every week.

Making people to look forward to something is one of the most profitable things you could do.

4. Consistence

This one goes hand in hand with the previous rules.

You don’t have to blog daily, but you have to show up.

That’s the basic rule of success in any area of life. Showing up. For work, for your loved ones, for the gym, for your friends…

5. Break some rules.

Even I don’t follow all these rules. Which I know I should.

So, yeah, don’t be afraid to break some rules once in a while, just to see what happens.

Commitment

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Once upon a time was a fighter. He was  the undefeated champion, and a journalist asked him what was his secret. The fighter smiled and said that every single time he went into the ring he was prepared to die. Either he was victorious, or he’d die.
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Trails

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds”Edward Abbey

They say the top of the world is a lonely place. They also say it’s a dangerous place to be, mostly because, even though the view is amazing, you can’t really see how high you’ve climbed.

But maybe it’s all an illusion. Maybe we never reach the top, we just think we do. Maybe life’s just a road, and there are no destinations: an endless journey towards an imaginary destination. When it’s good, when it feels good, we’re on top; the world is ours. When it’s bad, really bad, we’ve reached rock bottom. And we want to go up, where nothing can hurt us anymore.

Let me ask you a simple question: the easy way or the hard way? The shortcut or that crooked, winding, lonesome, and dangerous trail? The struggle or the victory? What makes you really happy?

Who you are vs. Who you want to be

To paraphrase Hemingway, the goal is not to be better than anyone else, but to become better than your former self.
Because the truth is that there’s someone out there who’s better than you at anything you can imagine. It’s just how it is.

You can as competitive as you like, but you’ll only become bitter whenever you’ll be defeated.

The trick is to compete with yourself. To outgrow who you used to be, to push past your own limits and fears.

riskI spent most of today sleeping. Not because I was tired, but mostly because I felt like doing nothing. When I finally decided to get out of bed and write some stuff, the power went out. Ironic, isn’t it? I had spent most of my day telling myself that tomorrow I’ll have plenty of time to write, and when I couldn’t, I panicked.

There are few simple truths in life, and one of them is the fact that we rarely appreciate what we have until we lose it. Until it can no longer be. We tend to take things for granted, and when those things are taken from us, that’s when we realize how important they were.

We’ve always despised the ghost of what can no longer be.

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magic“Four years before I had written Soldiers’ Pay. It didn’t take long to write and it got published quickly and made me about five hundred dollars. I said, Writing novels is easy. You don’t make much doing it, but it is easy. I wrote Mosquitoes. It wasn’t quite so easy to write and it didn’t get published quite as quickly and it made me about four hundred dollars. I said, Apparently there is more to writing novels, being a novelist, than I thought. I wrote Sartoris. It took much longer, and the publisher refused it at once. But I continued to shop it about for three years with a stubborn and fading hope, perhaps to justify the time which I had spent writing it. This hope died slowly, though it didn’t hurt at all. One day I seemed to shut a door between me and all publishers’ addresses and book lists. I said to myself, Now I can write. Now I can make myself a vase like that which the old Roman kept at his bedside and wore the rim slowly away with kissing it. So I, who had never had a sister and was fated to lose my daughter in infancy, set out to make myself a beautiful and tragic little girl.” – William Faulkner, An Introduction to The Sound and The Fury

I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “art for art’s sake.” I’ve always considered it to be one of the most crucial stages any artist must go through.

It’s easier said than done, mostly because we feel life’s a competition. We play to win, and the pleasure of simply playing the game is not enough. Continue reading