Pressing Pause

I talk about rest on this blog a lot. Whether that is making choices on time investments or simply pulling the plug and chilling out, rest is a critical component of productivity and happiness.

Well, it’s finally time to practice what I preach.

I’m so very tired, friends. I could list all of the major projects (not to mention surgery) since I had my last recreational vacation in the Bahamas, but why bother? I’m not a walking stat sheet, just a dude.

The point is my batteries must be recharged.

This weekend I will begin a two-week vacation in the southwest United States with my immediate family. As part of this break, I intend to spend minimal time online. You could say I am putting the online life on pause; work, book, Soleil pic of the week, etc.

I will still publish three blogs a week here, but without commenting. Perhaps Friday the 27th I’ll shoot up a pictorial from the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley.

When October comes, we’ll pick back up and venture forward with Exodus and work.

Thank you for your support.

Life with a Scarlet Letter

This blog post is running in support of my Punish Geoff Fundraiser: CivilinationPlease consider a donation to support better online conversations. At the time of publishing, we have raised more than $3,000 for the Civilination Academy.

Long-term readers know I have attempted to evolve my language to become more mindful of others. Part of that reparation is learning to live with that negative reputation publicly — my proverbial Scarlet Letter — and handle new disagreements.

At SxSW two different people informed me how a person was telling everyone what an A&^hole I was every time my name came up. It’s no coincidence that this person is someone I wrangled with on here and elsewhere. He’s not the only one. So the damage continues long after the matter passed.

The way I see it, I have two paths; one is to leave the interwebs, walk with some shame, and live a quiet life as a marketer behind the scenes. As entertaining as that seems many days, this path lacks courage.

Part of  acknowledging the problem for me means moving forward in the face of it, and continuing to exist in the ecosystem, albeit in a more productive fashion. I have things to say, and can contribute to the larger conversation.

To do that, I have to accept the repercussions. For me, that means openly acknowledging my mouth, and acting more responsibly. A tainted reputation means you have history. You can’t run from history. You can only openly acknowledge it, make your amends, and live with the outcomes.

I counsel clients who have public errors to do the same. There is no pushing issues under the rug. In fact, that exacerbates the problem.

So you own it, and accept your scars. You let your new actions speak for themselves, good or bad.

New Disagreements

8178189548_3473ceb3a0

While I have stopped taking people’s name in vain, so to speak, I do still have disagreements. And you know what, sometimes I feel like I’m right, and I won’t yield.

I’m not going to hurt someone’s reputation directly, but I won’t openly encourage folks to engage in negative actions towards me just to people please.

I was wrong in the past. That doesn’t mean I’m interested in becoming a public or private punching bag as a penance. Change necessitates a more moderated approach, not a complete pendulum shift.

Instead, I choose to detach, distance or ignore. I suppose I have become colder, and less passionate or emotionally invested in issues. I’d rather not feed the negative, instead walking away and turning to a more productive activity.

People that receive this cold distant shoulder can easily say, “Hey, he is the same guy.” And that’s fine, it’s part of living with the scarlet letter. I have to take those hits. Folks can say what they want, but believe me, all parties are living easier without my proverbial cannon locked and loaded.

It’s the path I choose to walk so I can stay public and look myself in the mirror with comfort. As time evolves, I am sure my approach will change, too.

How do you handle the impact of your past errors?

Featured image by ErinJane7284

My First Novel, 19 Years in the Making

3662851326_655c3530d7_b

Image by Vindaloo

Over the past few months I babbled about a secret project in blog posts now and then. It’s time to lift the curtain and reveal the project. I intend to release a science fiction novel at the end of summer.

Here’s some more babble for you. Exodus (Book One of the Fundamentalists) has been 19 years in the making. Nineteen fricking long years.

But first let me thank Patrick Ashamalla and A Brand New Way for this incredible new web design. It’s a responsive design offering unique experiences for the traditional web, tablet and mobile visitors. Check it out!

The new site accommodates Exodus with both its own section and RSS feed. The book will be available for purchase in both print and electronic editions, and will use the RSS feed to publish each chapter over a course of 70 days. Empowering people to read the book for free is a side benefit of independent publishing. If you want a preview copy in late July/early August, sign up for book updates, too.

I hope you enjoy the new experience, and thank you for continuing to read my stuff. Now, onto the book…

A Tale of Two Decades

8748706126_4f1a801c6e_b

Exodus is the opening salvo in a science fiction trilogy that centers on the themes of utopia in a technological dark age, and the disruptive power of religious fundamentalism. In later entries to The Fundamentalists, the power of technology and principles of freedom are examined as the narrative progresses through steam punk to hard science fiction.

Exodus was first drafted in 1994 as my senior creative writing project at American University. My literature professor and mentor told me I’d be crucified if I published it. It has been refined six times since then, including a near miss with a publisher in 2004.

I believe Exodus has always been a keeper, one that just needed more wisdom as well as the ability to effectively deliver a captivating product.

All of this effort — an effort that is now finally coming to fruition — was necessary. Without it, I don’t believe the product would have been ready. Without the business books, social media marketing experiences, and yes, failed attempts to find a publisher nine years ago, I would not have found the courage to release book myself.

Reading Guy Kawasaki’s A.P.E. and C.C. Chapman’s Amazing Things Will Happen were the final pieces of motivation. The creative war fought within ended, and the final push began last January. I hired editorial support, and the rest is history.

Exodus may still fail. I know that. But I’ll be damned if I don’t follow my heart’s passion, and release this book.

I probably won’t blog about the novel itself again until August, but if you do read it, you’ll see some essay themes threaded in the text here and there.

Sign up if you’d like private updates. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Once again, thank you for continuing to read me through the years.

Slights and Chalkboards

Image by rebekaburgess

A colleague has been struggling with some negative talk on the back channel and asked me how I deal with it. When someone slights me, I use that resentment to drive me further, finish hard projects, go the extra mile, and get up when I fail.

This is the famous chalkboard moment. Sports teams often use slights and trash talk to go out and hand it to the opposition.

Michael Jordan admitted a similar fueling approach when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Jordan was criticized (justly), probably because he said he did it to prove all of his critics wrong. He also revealed several resentments toward players that were in attendance.

Continue reading

Is Existing Online a Quest of Loneliness or Giving?

Lonely
Image by Den Den

Do you sense a lack of clear meaning in this online rat race? On one hand, existence stands in its purest form, reasons to be online, missions of the niche! Then we dilute existence with digital records of ice cream trips, Nike Fuel runs, and manufactured savoir faire.

Self determination now exists at its ultimate zenith, coupled with a bizarre sense loneliness.

YouTube star Jenna Marbles reflected recently in a NY Times article that with all of her online fame and popularity and friends, she finds herself in an odd state of loneliness. We have many boys and girls trapped in their own online bubbles now.

Continue reading

Falling in Love with Writing Again

8612045212_0f57b008b0
In its purest form, writing offers artistic value to our world, inspiring people, making them think, debating ideas, and challenging norms, even in marketing. The creative side of the profession, the part that speaks to the soul, demands better than a top five list or a mechanical landing page.

A blog post should contribute a small nugget to a professional’s life. An essay should revolve around an idea and debate its merits, pros and cons and leave the reader spinning with their own interpretations. A book should leave a reader enchanted with dream and vision.

And by books, I’m not talking the trade books many of us bloggers tout as our professional mantras, rather books of grander scale and intent. For example, a novel that offers societal commentary. Or even a great history or nonfiction accounting of some facet of life or place.

Writers achieve full potential when they touch others, catalyzing minds with ideas, conviction and passion. That requires effort and thought on the part of the crafts(wo)men.
Continue reading