Archive for January, 2007

Look, this is definitely a serious blog about blogging-there’s no denying this fact. I have and intend to keep writing as much as I can to help novice bloggers, share new technologies with the professionals, and review every kind of blog out there. I am yet to write about political blogs which of course play a huge role in the International community, but let me tell you, if it’s about blogs I’ll be studying it in my research. On that note, I think the reason that I’ve shied away from political and current affairs types of blogs so far has something to do with the seriousness of the content. The world can be oh-so-serious, and I just haven’t yet had the urge to step into those often turbulent waters as of yet.

What am I getting at here? As I’ve mentioned in previous posts like ‘What can you write about on your blog?’, you can blog about any topic in the Universe. As well as the crucial and vital content-based weblogs there are a lot of people out there who are producing online journals for the opposite effect. They want to help people relax, or even better, cause you to laugh and smile. The obvious area to now pursue would be comedy or humour but on this occasion I’ve come across a genre of blogging that is closer to our hearts: little creatures. You know what I mean, children, and animals, in particular pets (those little buddies who can often be as reliable as any best friend or family member).

The best place I’ve found for the latter is ‘Cute Overload‘. This blog goes a little against my usual foray, the written word, but ‘pictures speak a thousand words’ and these photos and movies of little critters can take a load off the widest and most masculine of shoulders. There’s a soft spot in every person, and I think there has to be at least one animal category that’ll make you smile. They’ve got a section on Hedgehogs for God’s sake! The most recent photo posted on November 1, 2006 (I can’t find the link!?) is of a little dog wearing a life vest out on a boat. This is a much more relaxing picture to contemplate compared with seeing a smiling George W. Bush trying to pick up Republican votes in the current U.S House of Representation state elections, don’t you think?

The other site I stumbled across today is at ‘Lil’ Duck Duck‘. They announce that their content is ‘Birth announcements, party invitations, and holiday cards’, not my usual type of blogging preference. However, if you’ve got kiddies at home, there’s actual written content here with heaps of ideas relating to bringing up children, and photos of ‘cute’ young ones doing there thing. Again, I will have to say after reading one of the posts entitled, ‘Tricks to get toddlers to eat’, please remember that blogs are often written from the perspectives of individuals or groups of people who have specific and often individual approaches, opinions, and beliefs about life. Therefore, never assume that the text you read is absolute fact. Do your own research. Critically analyse what is written. Use your own experience to help create your views. I was especially displeased after being told about this particular supposed method of getting toddlers to eat their food expressed in the above post, ‘Bribery!! You can have a candy if you eat all of your ______.’ Sounds like a case of future child obesity to me!

I’ll get back to the serious and technological information soon. As for now, please remember that blogs can lighten up people’s lives just as well as informing them on how to deal with serious illnesses and who to vote for in the next election.

Jesse S. Somer reckons if we vote for the cute little hairy people of the world we might do a bit better than we have with the tall, good-looking, always-smiling, fast-talking, never-say-no, social ‘rulers’ of today.

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What else do you need to blog-on?

While traversing through the Blogosphere today, I came across the blog of one Khoi Vinh, a veteran blogger of over 6 years whose site is called http://www.subtraction.com/. Mr. Vinh is a well-known graphic artist who currently works as Design Director for NYTimes.com. After a brief perusal of his biography (It makes me feel more acquainted with the creator) I had a quick look through his wide range of categories he’s written about previously, and of course I had to click on the link for ‘weblogs’. Dropping down through the atmosphere of his 51 ‘weblog’-based posts my eyes came to rest on the long green grass-covered runway of this little title: ‘Music for blogging: What do you write when you listen to music in the Blogosphere?’ written on April 18, 2006.

This got me thinking…so. I’m not the only one who needs some melody beating down on the ear drums of inspiration to get the creative writing process flowing. I then had a bit of a read. Khoi likes listening to the ‘dissonant and amorphus sound structures’ of an album called ‘Quique’ by a little-known English quartet named ‘Seefeel’. When I say ‘likes’ I shall say that he literally needs to listen to this particular music to be able to write at all. Our human brains are weird. We get into patterns when we do things don’t we? (He asks readers to talk about what devices they use to get their figurative pen’s ink flowing.)

I’ve never heard of Seefeel, there’s a lot of music from this small rock of ours. There’s one thing that you can honestly say about humanity, we like to rock and or roll, jazz it up, and beat box our way through existence. Other planets don’t bother trying to tune into our radio stations-there’s just too many of them. It all comes out as one big cacophony of intergalactic noise after making the thousand light-year trip to the 12-eared, 4-eyed, Slop Beasts of Quintuplet 4 (They have their children in sets of four, of course!).

Let’s not get away from ourselves here. When I write this blog, or just about any writing for that matter, I listen to laid-back music on my earphones. I could do the all too ‘innocent’ plug for Ipods, (I won mine in a writing competition-25 words or less, don’t ask what it was about!) but that’s not my style. I’m not too into names anymore. I’m into function. I listen to Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock for the jazz effect, but I’ll also listen to some ‘World music’ like the Gyuto Monks, Tenzin Chogyal, Simon Shaheen, Dead Can Dance, Lisa Gerrard, Ryley Lee (shakuhachi), Ash Dargan and Andrew Langford (Didgeridoo), and I don’t even mind a bit of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on occasion.

I have lots of music, but there are a couple of prerequisites for ‘writing music’: They can’t have words, and generally they must be relaxed. If someone’s singing, I concentrate on their lyrics, thus no words get tapped out onto the keyboard. If the songs are too hyped-up and energetic, I’ll want to get up and dance…again, resulting in zero productivity.

Have a look through the list of comments that people left here on Khoi Vinh’s post and you’ll see the incredibly wide scope of viewpoints on this subject. Anything from writing in silence, to noisy cafes, to movie soundtracks are put into use by these bloggers. What do you do to get your creative percolations brewing? Is music the key? What else do you need? Does a partner tapping away on her laptop at electric-lightning-speed-touch-type-mania get on your nerves? Which tunes soothe your writing soul?

Jesse S. Somer often wishes he had 12 ears to hear the ‘music of life’. However, he knows the resulting ‘jumbleplex’ of the sonic orgy mightn’t do his writing any good.

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Believe me, there’s a lot going on.

I was surfing around trying to find out how many different categories of blog topics there are out in the Blogosphere when I found this unusual little blogging community at ‘Blog Ratingz’ where readers rate their blogs. Now there’s not that many blogs connected to this site, but they had quite a comprehensive list of topics to choose from when I was considering checking out the writing quality of its adherents. These were the ‘types’ of blogs that one could choose to read from:

Art and Photography

Books and literature




Diary and Personal




Financial and investment

Food and Drink

Health and Fitness

Hobby and Craft

Home and Family






Movie and TV

Music and MP3




Real Estate

Religious and faith










Ok, so there you have it: One small blogging site and look how many different topics you can write about, while being able to read others’ blogs who are also interested in the same general subject. What grabs your interest? Do you still think that it’s hard to write about something regularly? Think about your favourite passions in life…Do they fall into one of these categories? Do you have more than one strong interest? Maybe you should have several blogs…that’ll keep you busy. I don’t want to scare you. I’m interested in writing, blogging, playing musical instruments, training in martial arts, human cultures, travel, languages, magic and mysticism, philosophy, nature and the environment, gardening and growing organic vegetables, reading, watching films…and I’m only one person.

Pick up a pen or tap into your keyboard and make a list of the things that you feel most passionate about. Write about them. Share your thoughts with the world. Meet other people who think similarly to you, it’s time to join in and add your voice to the global community. We need you…all of us…together we will share our ideas until we evolve into ‘super duper planetary beings’. Trust me, there’s no shortage of ‘stuff’ out there in life to inspire. Blog the blue skies my brothers.

Jesse S. Somer just fell into a reverie of Blogospheric evangelism. This here is the written word where we can all be creators.

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A while back I read an article at Nature.com called ‘Top Five Science Blogs’ about the five most popular science blogs on the Internet (Technorati rated them by counting their links to other sites). It had interviews with the blogs’ creators giving their opinions on why some of their sites are even more popular than some contemporary News sites. However, it seems that if you now go to the above link you have to pay money to read the story. Fortunately, I saved it for prosperity and will now share a few of the quotes that stuck out for me as being important for new bloggers.

‘Weblogs written by scientists are relatively rare, but some of them are proving popular. Out of 46.7 million blogs indexed by the Technorati blog search engine, five scientists’ sites make it into the top 3,500.’

1. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/ (Ranked 179): ‘. “Sometimes, I just summarise some basic concepts as I would in the classroom.” But you are certain to fail if you write as if for a peer-reviewed journal. “It doesn’t work on the web,” says Pete Myers. “A blog’s more like the conversation you’d have at the bar after a scientific meeting.”

I like the sound of that, ‘A blog is like a conversation.’ Rather than writing a book, a magazine article, or even a traditional journal or diary-style text, people are literally (no pun intended) having intelligent conversation via this new medium.

2. www.pandasthumb.org (Ranked 1,647): ‘Being a group blog is key’, says contributor Jack Krebs, president of Kansas Citizens for Science. ‘The nature of the topic helps too’, he adds. ‘There is an interest, a hunger even, for thoughtful analysis of the issues related to evolution and creationism.’

Having a group blog can be a great advantage because you can have multiple contributors who specialise in different areas. It should also be noted that if one person is busy or has momentary ‘writer’s block’, there are others there to keep things rolling along. Always having new and fresh content seems to be an imperative for getting readers to return on a regular basis. If your subject is contentious and regularly debated upon that’s all the better! Definitely put effort into honing in on a topic that grabs people’s interest in the public domain.

3. www.realclimate.org (Ranked 1,884): ‘Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate scientist who blogs at RealClimate, puts its success down to the hot topic and expert contributors. It helps to have “a passion for explaining things as clearly as possible, and a hell of a lot of patience to deal with all those comments rolling in”.

There’s a lot to learn in just this small statement. If you do want to become a popular blogger hopefully it’s for altruistic reasons like making real relationships with others, as opposed to simply wanting to become powerful and famous. That raises the strange question: Are any bloggers actually powerful?

Having expert contributors may be a problem for some (How do you find them?), so the next best thing would be to try your best to become an expert yourself. Read, read, read, and find out as much as you can about your subject of choice. If you can then establish yourself, you may then be able to make some connections with others in your field (through comments, trackbacks etc.) who will add more knowledge as well as credibility to your site.

Passion for explaining things clearly is the key to good communication and transferral of ideas, while having the patience to reply to all of your comments will show your visitors that you see them as equals and are interested in interrelating, giving them the feeling that they aren’t just writing for nothing. On the contrary, as things develop further their commenting becomes an integral part of the group learning process.

‘Gavin Schmidt, at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, says the blog fills “a hunger for raw but accessible information” that goes deeper than newspaper articles, but is more easily understood than the scientific literature. “Magazines fill a void, but they can’t react or interact as effectively as blogs.”’

4. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/ (Ranked 2,174)

‘Frequent posting of original content is crucial to building an audience, says Sean Carroll at Cosmic Variance, which is produced by five physicists. But taking “stances that are provocative and make people think” also helps. One needs to become the place to go for a subject, he says. Citing other blogs is a sure-fire way to get their notice and maybe a citation in return, he adds. But he cautions that citation counts and rankings can be a distraction. “It would be a shame if people worried about traffic and not about having a good blog.”’

5. www.scienceblogs.com/scientificactivist  (Ranked 3,429)

‘Nick Anthis, who only began blogging in January, knows the reason for his site’s swift rise to fame. During a political censorship row at NASA in February, Anthis was the first to reveal that a key official had lied about graduating from Texas A&M University. “Before I knew it, it had exploded into a major national News story and he resigned.” After an initial spike in traffic, many stayed on as regular readers.’

So, this last lesson is to try and be the first to find out about something that really gets people excited/interested, not the easiest task to undertake…unless you’re on the front lines. Are you a relative fountain of knowledge standing at the front of a battlefield of important knowledge and information? Get blogging!

Jesse S. Somer once had work experience in a Genetics department. Don’t ask him what the pigs know, there are some secrets that are best left unsaid.

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If you’ve been around the Blogosphere even for only just a little while, you’ve probably read about A-List bloggers. Supposedly these are the most popular, linked-to, and visited bloggers on the planet. Where did this list come from? Is it accurate? At Wikipedia’s entry on ‘Blogebrity‘ you can get a little insight into the controversial list which was created by an Internet project in 2005 called Blogebrity. Here it is: After clicking down the list in an attempt to see what makes an ‘a-lister’ so popular (Is it content, style; layout?), I discovered one simple truth: they’d all blogged very recently; nearly all of them have endured over time and kept posting regularly.

After looking at many of the blogs, I came across a name that I’d read about many times when people were mentioning famous bloggers: Steve Rubel. I had a quick look down through his recent posts and was grabbed by a very short one about ‘How to prevent blog burnout.’ This interested me because many of the blogs I’ve visited on my searches have long since died on the wayside of the proverbial desert highway of eternity. In this short post he linked to an interesting News article called ‘Keep those weblogs cracking.’ at the Orlando Sentinel, as well an older post of his own (it’s always good to link back to your own previous posts to give new readers more insight into who you are) called ‘Blog from the gut of your company’. These are both interesting pieces, and for me a chord was struck relating to what makes for a good, enduring blog. The two main ideas (and they are quite simple) are about being truly passionate about the subject you are investing so much time in writing about, and about being true to yourself.

The News article mentions a popular blogger named Stephanie Klein (She’s on that a-list!) who although having been seen as being contentious in terms of her internal-life focus, has endured a long time and attracted quite a large following of readers. She believes it’s because she’s true to herself, and more importantly, is passionate about her topic: Her own life!

In Rubel’s second post he talks about how he would buy a Dell computer over another brand because of what he reads about in the blog of one of its employees. He says that it’s an interesting phenomenon that a worker way down the line of company hierarchy can give a company more integrity than the blogging ‘voice’ of a CEO. It’s hard for us to trust marketers and CEOs who have their own interest so tied into what they’re doing. An employee reeks of credence because they have no reason to write except to tell others what they feel from the heart, or the gut.

Jesse S. Somer writes his name after each post to remind himself who he is. One of his passions is to find out more about himself and the other worldly brothers and sisters around him. That’s why he blogs.

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I went to a website called ‘Bloghop’ to see what I could find out about Tag Clouds. For those of you who haven’t run into them yet, this is what a typical Tag Cloud looks like:

Tag Cloud

  a   adult   advertising   alternative   american   and   anime   art   articles   artist   asian   australia   best   black   blog   blogger   blogging   blogs   book   books   boy   brasil   brazil   bush   business   california   canada   cats   children   christian   city   college   comedy   commentary   computer   computers   conservative   cool   crazy   culture   current   cute   daily   dating   de   democrat   depression   design   development   diary   diet   digital   drugs   education   engine   england   english   entertainment   estate   events   family   fashion   female   fiction   film   florida   food   football   for   free   friends   fun   funny   games   gay   geek   girl   girls   god   health   help   high   history   home   hot   humor   humour   ideas   in   india   information   internet   iraq   jesus   journal   kids   law   lesbian   liberal   life   links   literature   london   loss   love   male   man   management   marketing   me   media   men   money   movie   movies   mp3   music   musica   new   news   nude   of   on   online   opinion   parenting   peace   personal   philippines   philosophy   photo   photography   photos   pics   pictures   poems   poetry   political   politics   pop   porn   punk   random   rant   rants   reading   real   relationships   religion   republican   review   reviews   rock   san   satire   school   science   search   seo   services   sex   sexy   shopping   site   social   software   spirituality   sports   stories   student   stuff   tech   technology   teen   television   texas   the   thoughts   tips   to   travel   tv   uk   university   video   videos   war   web   weblog   website   weight   weird   woman   women   work   world   writer   writing   york 

So, what is this huge clump of different-sized words/links all about? Well, for a scientific-type of definition you can check out Wikipedia’s entry on ‘Tag Clouds’, but I’ll try to explain things more simplistically. Tag Clouds can be used for any type of information, but as I’m only interested in blogs, that’s where I’m going to focus my attention. Look at the words in larger and bolder print, what have you got? ‘Blog, music, girl, politics, art, business, free, humour, life, love, movies, News, online, personal, sex, web, and writing.’ Is this what people at Bloghop.com who write blogs are interested in? The answer is relatively simple: Yes.

However, things aren’t that cut and dry in the Blogosphere. Bloghop.com is a blog community of sorts (one of many), and the idea of using Tag Clouds has been employed in the hope of bringing bloggers  together who write about similar interests there. Does it work? First of all, the larger words in the tag Cloud are the topics that people are writing about more. After someone finishes a post/entry they put down a list of keyword topics to tell potential visitors what subjects they’re writing about. The Tag Cloud I’ve used above doesn’t represent the whole blogging community (Technorati might be the place for that), but it does give us a rough idea about what people at this one blog community site are interested in today. I’m sure it changes often depending upon what is going on in the external world.

So, as far as we can surmise, ‘Blogs, Music, Girl, and Politics’ are the tags being used the most/being written about the most frequently. Hmmmm…Interesting. Is this site full of female, Ipod-wearing, politically aware bloggers? Probably not, but who can really tell? Does this Tag Cloud system really work for blogs? (Wikipedia mentions that it was first utilised on the Flickr photo-sharing site to describe what content lied within photographs. This of course was a hard task as pictures ‘speak a thousand words’…That’s a lot of tags per photo.) It’s a good attempt at bringing people together but I just don’t think it’s going to achieve what its creators intended without wasting valuable time, and causing some headaches along the way.

Why headaches? I’ll attempt to give you some insight.  If I write a post about, let’s say, how American political candidates are using blogs to try and win votes (Check out my favourite Texan detective-novelist-turned-governor-candidate’s blog at ‘kinkyfriedman.com’. I might just put the tag ‘politics’ after the post. Well, lots of people out there are writing about political issues. For some strange reason it’s a really popular area of interest for us humanoids. In this hypothetical situation I search other bloggers’ ‘politically-tagged’ posts and find like-minded individuals whose writing stimulates my interest as well as relating to my topic of choice.

No way, not a chance! First of all, there is such a high rate of so-called ‘political’ posts being written that the possibility of someone writing about something I will connect with is minimal, and the opportunity of finding it, next to negligible. Secondly, human beings are complex individuals; each one as different to the next as a Mac is to a PC, a carrot cake is to a chocolate roulade, a donkey is to a giraffe, as a Ferrari is to a 1970 Datsun…You get my gist. When one person’s mind decides to tag the word ‘Love’ they could be coming from a completely different mindset and topic, not to mention level of communicative ability.

For instance, a 13-year old girl listening to Spice Girls on her Ipod who has just run for her class presidency and written a blog post about how much she loves her poster of a giraffe in a Ferrari, is not going to relate to a post from some over-30-year old man listening to 60’s music on his beloved Mac Ibook, who has just written about Kinky Friedman’s Texan governor’s campaign while eating a piece of carrot cake and thinking about how much he can’t believe he loved his old long-lost material object: a 1970 Datsun. You go figure. I think the girl’s writing may also be filled with just a little bit too much complex, jargon-laced, esoteric, and verbose language for the ‘old guy’ to handle. What do you think?

All this causes people to waste their time and give themselves headaches. I don’t mean to sound judgmental or critical here, I’m just hoping that there’s a faster and more effective way of connecting to other bloggers out there with similar topic interests and styles of writing.

Jesse S. Somer wants to blog the blue skies of the Blogosphere without getting his head stuck in a tag cloud that has little to do with what he’s interested in.

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Warning: This post could be longer than usual, and is based around another very long post at the ‘Gaping Void’ blog. (You are going to have to read today.) However, it happens to be the most popular post ever written at that site, so there must be something in it, wouldn’t you say?

Today I undertook a very strange form of research; one I can very positively say hasn’t existed on Earth for very long. Today I researched, studied, and learnt from a blog: from one human being’s online journal of thoughts and ideas. This feels like a crazy phenomenon, so different from the traditional learning media of books, journals, and lectures; yet today I was deeply affected by this blog post. Let me tell you about it.

You know how people sometimes forward along an email attachment to a link, picture, or article that they obviously thought was cool, funny, or poignant in some way? Well, on more than one occasion and from different people (a rare occurrence that needed some looking into) I was sent this link to an archived page of old blog posts that were written under the general title of How to be Creative by Hugh MacLeod. Ok, so it’s not a single post that’s so long, but the now collated post is what’s been grabbing peoples’ attentions, and there’s a lot to read there, but I found it was worth it and then some, so much so that I feel like I’ve done some true research about creativity and life itself. Actually, I know it’s so.

Here’s the list MacLeod puts under the heading, ‘So you want to be more creative, in art, in business, whatever. Here are some tips that have worked for me over the years.’ I really think you should read the whole post, but I’ve quoted a few of my favorite lines (the ones that affected me the most), and stuck them in under their respective categories. (To be honest I’ve only quoted from the first ten, because if I quoted from all the powerful stuff, this post would be even longer!)

‘So you want to be more creative, in art, in business, whatever. Here are some tips that have worked for me over the years.’

1. Ignore everybody.

2. The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to change the world.

(Here MacLeod is talking about his own experience with discovering the idea to draw pictures on the back of business cards: his trademark.)

‘It was so liberating to be doing something that didn’t have to impress anybody, for a change. It was so liberating to have something that belonged just to me and no one else, for a change. It was so liberating to feel complete sovereignty, for a change. To feel complete freedom, for a change. And of course, it was then, and only then, that the outside world started paying attention. Your idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours alone. The more the idea is yours alone, the more freedom you have to do something really amazing.’

3. Put the hours in.

‘I would do something far simpler: I would find that extra hour or two in the day that belongs to nobody else but me, and I would make it productive. Put the hours in, do it for long enough and magical, life-transforming things happen eventually. Sure, that means less time watching TV, internet surfing, going out or whatever.’

4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.

5. You are responsible for your own experience.

6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.

‘If you try to make something just to fit your uninformed view of some hypothetical market, you will fail. If you make something special and powerful and honest and true, you will succeed.’

7. Keep your day job.

‘THE SEX & CASH THEORY: “The creative person basically has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, creative kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Sometimes the task in hand covers both bases, but not often. This tense duality will always play center stage. It will never be transcended.”

Or actors: One year Travolta will be in an ultra-hip flick like Pulp Fiction (“Sex”), the next he’ll be in some dumb spy thriller (“Cash”).

Or painters: You spend one month painting blue pictures because that’s the color the celebrity collectors are buying this season (“Cash”), you spend the next month painting red pictures because secretly you despise the color blue and love the color red (“Sex”).

Or geeks: You spend your weekdays writing code for a faceless corporation (“Cash”), then you spend your evening and weekends writing anarchic, weird computer games to amuse your techie friends with (“Sex”).

I’m thinking about the young writer who has to wait tables to pay the bills, in spite of her writing appearing in all the cool and hip magazines…. who dreams of one day of not having her life divided so harshly.’

8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.

‘Creating an economically viable entity where lack of original thought is handsomely rewarded creates a rich, fertile environment for parasites to breed. And that’s exactly what’s been happening. So now we have millions upon millions of human tapeworms thriving in the Western World, making love to their PowerPoint presentations, feasting on the creativity of others.

If you’re creative, if you can think independently, if you can articulate passion, if you can override the fear of being wrong, then your company needs you now more than it ever did. And now your company can no longer afford to pretend that isn’t the case.’

9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.

‘You may never reach the summit; for that you will be forgiven. But if you don’t make at least one serious attempt to get above the snow-line, years later you will find yourself lying on your deathbed, and all you will feel is emptiness.

Whatever. Let’s talk about you now. Your mountain. Your private Mount Everest. Yes, that one. Exactly.

Let’s say you never climb it. Do you have a problem with that? Can you just say to yourself, “Never mind, I never really wanted it anyway” and take up stamp collecting instead?

Well, you could try. But I wouldn’t believe you. I think it’s not OK for you never to try to climb it. And I think you agree with me. Otherwise you wouldn’t have read this far.

So it looks like you’re going to have to climb the frickin’ mountain. Deal with it.

My advice? You don’t need my advice. You really don’t. The biggest piece of advice I could give anyone would be this:

“Admit that your own private Mount Everest exists. That is half the battle.”

And you’ve already done that. You really have. Otherwise, again, you wouldn’t have read this far.

Rock on.’

10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.

‘Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece on the back of a deli menu would not surprise me. Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece with a silver Cartier fountain pen on an antique writing table in an airy SoHo loft would SERIOUSLY surprise me.’

Here’s the rest of the list:

11. Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.

12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.

13. Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.

14. Dying young is overrated.

15. The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not.

16. The world is changing.

17. Merit can be bought. Passion can’t.

18. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.

19. Sing in your own voice.

20. The choice of media is irrelevant.

21. Selling out is harder than it looks.

22. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.

23. Worrying about “Commercial vs. Artistic” is a complete waste of time.

24. Don’t worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.

25. You have to find your own schtick.

26. Write from the heart.

27. The best way to get approval is not to need it.

28. Power is never given. Power is taken.

29. Whatever choice you make, The Devil gets his due eventually.

30. The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.

31. Remain frugal.

Jesse S. Somer isn’t going to say anymore (You’ve got enough blog to read already!) except that isn’t it incredible how we can now have epiphanies about so many things brought on by a growing community of individual people’s ideas simply read on the computer screen?

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