It’s been awhile since I just wrote for my blog. But I’m back with a large list of things I plan to write about on my blog in the near future. Here is a sample.
- iPhone or Samsung? (I get asked this often)
- Apple or Windows? (and just why does Apple cost so much!)
- Forcing yourself to fail.
- Capitalism versus Crony Capitalism — 1870’s style
- The Currant State of Wishful Thinking
Today I’d like to come forward from the time I was last writing on my blog with any consistency. The time was October 2012 and there was an important election about to happen. President Obama was re-elected and half of the country was thrilled and the other half discouraged. Count me in the discouraged camp. As I contemplated the likely future it was too discouraging and negative to dwell on, yet alone write about. Above all I attempt to keep my writing going in a positive direction, even when dwelling on negative issues. It was hard to find the positive so I decided to step back for a bit.
It was shortly after the election that I was presented with an opportunity to write for the Oregon Duck sports website, FishDuck.com. I jumped at the chance and then wondered what I had gotten myself into. I now had a schedule requiring a student-athlete profile every two weeks. Schedules mean deadlines and I’ve never had to deal with deadlines when writing for my blog. To compound the problem I was not cleared to contact these kids or their parents until the University could review NCAA rules. So my material consisted of whatever I could dig up on the internet.
As of last February 11th my FishDuck commitment is complete. You can find my stories here. I had some success well beyond my expectations as well as a couple of road bumps. One of the road bumps involved a story I wrote on Oregon’s incoming kicker Matt Wogen. In introducing the reason that Oregon would use a full scholarship on a kicker I referred to the shortcomings of the Oregon kicking game last season. Oregon was essentially a field goal away from being in the national championship game. Anyway, because of sensitivity with a past article by another writer, alarms when off. I found myself snacking on fish & chips waiting for our family cruise to leave port while creating a new introduction on my iPhone.
What did I learn?
I learned that is it good to stretch yourself. Several of my articles were picked up by national sports sites. I’ll be honest, it gave me a boost of confidence to know that my writing is progressing in a way that this could happen.
I learned that writing on deadline forces you to work through the temptation to write another day. I’ve never had that kind of pressure when writing for my blog. I also learned that I can take a set of facts and in at least some cases weave together a story complete with a theme. Some worked better then others. When writing for my blog I often start with an idea and then fill in the story with facts to reinforce the idea. But I now plan to flip that around from time to time letting the facts, in large part, drive the story.
I was once again reminded that when writing for the internet that you have to have a good headline and introductory paragraph or your story won’t get read. Such is the short time span of people surfing the internet. With hundreds of options you need to give readers a compelling reason to click on your link.
I learned that if I wanted to take sports writing to a larger stage there are opportunities for me to do that. It’s good to keep in mind, but I really don’t have any aspirations to be a sports writer — Sorry Troy, I don’t expect to have the opportunity to bring you along as my assistant at ESPN.
On the other hand I really enjoyed learning about the various athletes that I wrote about. All were kids of good character and special achievers. It’s a good reminder that the problems of society and culture have not infected everyone. It is also a reminder that with hard work you can succeed.
Finally, it was nice to leave the politics and current events behind. Prior to the election there was opportunity to teach and possibly change minds. But once the decision was made it didn’t make any sense to go on with it.
However, now that there is a there is a new congress and the president has been sworn in I will, on occasion, be visiting current events on my blog. Unfortunately much of what I expected has come to pass.
- That tax-only-the-rich turned into a reduction on all workers pay checks of 2% Starting January 1st. This has reduced paychecks by $100 a month for the average American family. As a result retail sales at places like Wal*Mart, hardly a store for the rich, have plunged.
- There is no real serious effort to reduce the deficit.
- ObamaCare is now going to cost much more than anyone was told. Seven million will lose their insurance and the cost is far higher then the public was led to believe. Even more expensive then the current cost of health care. The IRS is projecting that the cheapest family plan (Bronze) will cost a family $20,000 a year.
Oh well, those are topics for another time. Meantime, I’m planning to start doing an occasional interview. Some of people you may know and some of people you introduced to for the first time.
And oh yeah, it’s good to be back.