HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Chan790 » Journal
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU
Page: 1

Chan790

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: NYC
Home country: Right Coast of US
Current location: CT, previously DC, but forever a Brooklynite.
Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2005, 10:50 AM
Number of posts: 17,104

Journal Archives

How to be awesome.

Actually it's advice for anybody: iconoclasm, edginess, confidence. Look at what you do, what the personal standards are, and push yourself closer to the edge. Stay this side of being a lout. Honor once lost, is never regained. Be honorable in all you do.

Don't grow sideburns, grow muttonchops. (Then shave them off after a week, they look like shit on anybody but Elvis and Civil-War officers...but first...grow them. They make anyone feel like a badass, note the feeling...that feeling, that swagger, it's what you're after.) Anything worth doing is worth doing bigger

Take fashionable risks. Wear narrower ties, complementary patterns, buy good dress shirts in non-standard colors. (Always own at-least one crisp pressed brightly-white dress shirt though.) Slimmer-cut designer suits. Do the things that you think: "I wish I could dress like that." I have a lawyer friend that wears Italian driving moccasins and Sperry Top-Siders to court among the wing-tip crowd. A casual shoe or sneaker in dresswear says "Fuck you. I'm impressive enough that I don't need to wear uncomfortable shoes for the likes of you." The richest most-powerful guy I know wears ratty plain-old Converse All-Stars with his suit; who the hell is going to tell him he can't?

Look good, feel good. Nobody loves a boring inactive slob. Do something daily that is fun and active. Shoot hoops. Play tennis against the side of the garage. Hell, chase the mailman barking your head off, it works for the dog. Find the one small bar in town that serves sangria and has a mariachi band with a dance floor. Not only will you get your exercise...the women tend to outnumber the men about 6:1...and it's better if you can't dance because they'll love to teach you. Personally, I've been needing to be taught how to dance for several years now and have rarely gone home alone.

Do interesting shit because you can. What's interesting? Who cares. Do things because they're there to be done and you might enjoy them. You might even meet someone else who does not suck while doing it. Perhaps at this very moment the next Mrs. dawg is preparing to run the length of Africa and you'll never meet her otherwise. Perhaps not, but if not at-least you've gotten an experience out of it.

One skill everybody needs to know is--How to be a conversationalist. It amazes me that nobody has this skill and so many people are daunted by it. "Hi, How are you?" "Fine. And you?" "I'm awesome. I just won an encyclopedia in an raffle." "Have you read anything interesting in the encyclopedia yet?" Really, is that hard? People dread having to talk to other people. If you can't have a conversation, there is no helping you. There's a great book on the subject, thankfully, called "The Art of Conversation" by Catherine Blyth.

Devise a mantra. Mine is: "What would Cary Grant do?" Of course the answer is always drink gin-drinks, engage in recreational-sex and look classy & stylish doing it...but it never hurts to ask the question. It's helped me discern that real men don't wear casual dress-pants with polo shirts unless they're golfing. Also, golf is a sport for men that want to dress like dorks. Also wit, charm and confidence excuse all manner of poor behavior. (except dishonor.)

Do what you do. We're all good at something; do the shit out of it. Look good doing it. Display no modesty whatsoever about what you're good at, but always in "bite-sized" portions. Accept praise humbly. Always acknowledge the contributions of others as central to your success.

Don't go to the dark side. Mid-life crises are for posers. Don't buy the sports car that screams "I have no self-confidence" when you drive it around in golfwear. Don't chase (wo)men half your age because you want to feel younger, chase (wo)men regardless of their age because they intrigue you. Don't pretend to be awesome, be awesome. Do or do not, there is no try.

Create a time and space to write in your routine and stick with it.

It's advice from Stephen King's On Writing which is this really great book about writing, specifically the process of writing...not what goes on the page (there is admittedly some of that) but how he gets into the mindset to write, how he finds his writing space, a funny anecdote about how he bought this big honking desk and the fancy-assed chair to stick in an office only to find he was creatively-stunted by it (he ends up sitting in the corner instead.), how he tackles writer's block. It ends with him explaining how his need to write saved his life after the hit-and-run accident.

I highly recommend it. It's one of those books that if you can't find in the library, you can almost certainly find at your local used-bookstore for around $1 in hardcover, I've worn-out 3 of them already. Given away two more.

But back to what I was saying. Find a place you're comfortable to write. Set aside the time for it daily, tune out the distractions, stick to your schedule. Even if you feel blocked or like you can't write, move on to something else, just write...a page that read "I can't write, I have nothing to write about, I'm so blocked,..." was the genesis of The Shining supposedly.

Mine:
Every morning from 8-11, I sit on my exercise ball in front of my crappy old desk and write. Notes, brainstorming, outlines or research by-hand, prose on the computer. Rain, snow, Armageddon, the promise of sex if I just come back to bed, medical emergency...I'm there or I'm writing where I am. I have a simple mantra handwritten on a piece of paper stuck to the ceiling over the bed for when I don't want to get up to write. It reads "A writer writes." Not "writes well." or "writes commercially-successfully." just "writes." As long as I get up and write, I feel justified in telling people I'm a writer. When I finish something, I take a vacation. I allow myself a few days off...and most of the time, I end up writing because I feel clogged-up and tense if I don't.

I'm not really a fan of King's work, but as a potential writing instructor/guru he's a lot less bullshit than some people working in that field.
Go to Page: 1