Monday, August 15, 2011

Don't Do What You're Told!

Don't tell me what to do!  I'm not going to listen.  Go ahead, up the ante.  Tell me I can't do something.  See what happens.  I'm defiant, I'm a writer.

One year ago I started this blog despite the skepticism of one of my friends.  "How many ways can you relate the Rubik's Cube to writing?  You can't create enough new content to sustain an entire blog."

Ha!  How dare you question me?  I will prove you wrong!  Popeye had his cans of spinach to get fired up, but all you need to feed me is doubt.

They said it can't be done.
Erno Rubik doubted anyone would ever be able to solve his newly invented cube.  He worked at it for over a month before he finally worked out a solution.  Look how things have changed.  It can now be solved in less than six seconds.  And some cubers can do what was thought to be impossible:  solve the Rubik's Cube blindfolded.

Defiance breeds greatness.
I'm grateful that Rosa Parks didn't listen to that bus driver in Montgomery.  Thoughtful acts of defiance can grow into ideas that can change the world.  Would there be a Civil Rights Movement in the USA without Rosa Parks?  Probably.  Eventually.  But certainly not without defiance.

LaLaLaLaLa, I can't hear you!
I'm happy I didn't listen to my naysayers, just as most children are happy their parents didn't wait until they were ready to have kids.  Somehow I'm still here.  Happy Anniversary, Blog!

Rather than get discouraged by negative comments, I get motivated to journey on.  I write because writing is challenging.  I know I'm not going to change the world with my blog, but I'm going to keep doing it on my terms.  Maybe this is my last post, maybe not.

Are you going to do what you're told?
Are you a writer?  Have you ever been told to get a "real" job?  Why should you?  Because that's what everyone else thinks you should do?  Com'on!  Stick your tongue out at the world and say "pbthhh!"

I want to read your future, award-winning material.  I want to learn and experience your Earth-shattering ideas.  Despite the odds, despite what other people tell you to the contrary, what are you doing as a writer?  I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Are You a 'Writer', Writer?

Why haven't I published a How-To video for solving the Rubik's Cube?  Good question.  After all, the theme of this blog almost begs it.

Just search for the Rubik's Cube on YouTube and you'll find various videos offering their favorite methods for solving the cube.  In fact, you'll find over 20,000 videos.

So many methods for beginners, intermediate, and advanced cubers!  Yet, most methods require memorization of complex notation and mathematical algorithms.  Should I take the time to deliver my drop of wisdom into the ocean of knowledge?  Can I even be considered a "cuber" worthy enough to preach my gospel?

Yes, actually.  On both accounts.
I can teach my easy-to-understand method to solve the cube and it doesn't require memorization.

What makes a cuber a 'cuber'?:
I have always been a cuber.  But what makes a cuber a 'cuber'?
What's the distinction?  I used to be just some guy who liked challenging puzzles.  I always have been.  But now I'm a 'cuber'?  What happened?  I haven't won any competitions.  Admittedly, I don't have any popular tutorials published on the web. 

I have learned from others, though.  I have studied concepts.  And I have learned new things by solving very different types of twisty puzzles.  Through a combination of dedication, humbleness, and confidence, I have gained a certain amount of credibility.  I'm a 'cuber', cuber because that's how I define myself.

What makes a writer a 'writer'?:
I have always been a writer, (said just like every other writer).  But I didn't consider myself a serious writer until recently.  It has nothing to do with publishing credentials or literary merit.  It's all about how I define myself.  I don't write articles for Writer's Digest, nor do I make millions of dollars writing subpar prose like Dean Koontz, but I am a 'writer' writer.

I consider myself a writer with credibility.  One reason is because I have a unique perspective that I may not have had before.  Just like my 'cuber' alter ego, I have gained credibility through dedication, humbleness, and confidence.  My unique experience writing can benefit other writers.  Just like I can benefit from every other writer out there, (including how to sell books like Dean Koontz).

One secret weapon teachers have in their arsenal is to ask the better students to tutor other struggling students.  This actually benefits both students.  By helping the struggling students to understand topics they have already mastered themselves, their own learning tends to be reinforced.  It can also give them fresh insight on the topic and make them an even better student.

The thing that's really exciting about writing is there are no rules.  Some may not consider the ├╝ber-prolific Nora Roberts to be a 'writer' writer on grounds of literary merit.  While others may not consider an unpublished author to be a 'writer' writer simply because they are unknown.  It doesn't matter.  Every writer can offer wisdom to other writers.

So share your writing tips with others.  Don't worry about your word counts or publication record.  Don't worry if you suffer adequately enough for your craft.  Prepare something to teach to others and you'll learn, or at least reinforce, writing concepts.  Do that and you'll become a 'writer', writer.

What do you think makes a writer a 'writer'?