No more bad art

It's going to be a few weeks of reaching deep for me.

Stephen King's advice to writers includes this important bit:

Write every single day.
 
"Once I start work on a project, I don't stop, and I don't slow down unless I absolutely have to," says King. "If I don't write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind ... I begin to lose my hold on the story's plot and pace."
 
If you fail to write consistently, the excitement for your idea may begin to fade. When the work starts to feel like work, King describes the moment as "the smooch of death." His best advice is to just take it "one word at a time."

Seth Godin blogs every damn day.

A few things converged recently in my life. We had an inspiring conversation with Jon Vroman. After I read his book, I picked up Bill Morrissey's Edson again. It reminds me a of few things:

  1. You can feel old when you're young, if you want. The story's protagonist is 37 and at the end of his rope when the novel opens.
  2. Life is short. The author died shortly before he turned 60.
  3. Share. Just as I was introduced to Morrissey by Tommy Shea (formerly of the Springfield (Mass.) Republican), Morrissey introduced me to Mississippi John Hurt.
  4. Give. Morrissey signed eight copies of his book for me one night after a concert and reading. That took some time for him, especially with a room full of people who wanted to talk to him, and he left me a nice inscription.

Around the same time, my old friend James O'Brien popped up in my Facebook feed with some new old music.

O'Brien was the first artist whose music made sense to me after 9/11. I always think about him this time of year.

His song "War Has Come" reminds me where some of my privileges lay, but also that they come with a responsibility.

It's easy to write a bullet. It does not hiss, it is not close to me. It's easy to write a wound. I've never clamped a femoral artery.

It also reminds me that art requires internal war — and is sometimes itself an act of war.

When I was on Cesspool, I was asked who my dream podcast guests were. I deferred. I've already interviewed Joan Jett and Bruce Campbell and David Clayton-Thomas and some other great talents. I said I wanted to have something to offer the Marc Marons and Joe Rogans of the world.

I've been sitting on that thought for five years, and I've done a little toward it, but not enough.

So I'm reminded, again, of John Baldessari's purge. It marked a turning point for him, but it was a calculated turning point. He didn't wake up one day and say, "Fuck this old shit I did, it was terrible!" He decided what would serve as a reminder of his past, but that didn't need to take up space for him anymore.

So I'm starting today, planning my purge. It'll probably be a weeks-long process, but it will mean improvements, I hope. In my life, in the content I produce, for the future, and for my legacy.

Onward.

More: Who challenges you?

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 74: Of hurricanes and immigrants

We talk science vs. politics, DACA, hurricanes and Jon Vroman.

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Links:
Harvey
Irma
Matthew
DACA
JKWD with Jon Vroman

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What passion and purpose look (sound) like

John-Speaking

In the early 2000s, one of Jon Vroman's friends challenged him to run an ultramarathon. That's two full marathons back to back — 52.4 miles — and Vroman hadn't ever run more than a couple of miles before.

One day on a training run, Vroman, who at that time was a successful sales coach, suggested they use the race as a fundraiser.

They had a hard time picking a charity so they did the next best thing: created one.

The Front Row Foundation works with terminally ill patients and their families to provide "front row moments" at recipients' dream events. It's not just tickets to the event. The organization makes an amazing overall experience, from limo pickups to nice dinners to meet-and-greets when possible.

Nikki, for example, suffers from HER2-Positive Stage IV Breast Cancer. She's a life-long Dallas Cowboys fan. Check out how Front Row Foundation hooked her up:

Vroman's gone on to become a speaker and coach, and is author of The Front Row Factor: Transform Your Life with the Art of Moment Making.

The book is really inspiring, and so is Jon. He graced us with over an hour of discussion over on the JKWD Podcast. Give it a listen and learn how to win a personalized hardcover copy of the book.

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 73: Show some love today

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Links:
Harvey
Katrina
Jon Vroman
JKWD Podcast

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Josh: The Podcast, Episode 72: Family eclipses politics (with or without the commas)

A brief, brief show about family and the eclipse, and maybe a little about Afghanistan.

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JKWD: Family
Trump's Afghanistan speech

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Love and hate

It's so much easier to love than to hate.

Watch a couple of Alex Jones videos, then watch a couple by Jon Vroman.

Sure, Jones has more views. But looking at them and listening to them, whose life would you rather have? The one who yells a lot, or the one who smiles a lot?

Misery loves company. It needs you to be there. Love can go solo, but welcomes you along.

Your choice.

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 71: Your racist friend. Plus: team people

Oh, Charlottesville.

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Links:
Google News Search: Charlottesville rally August 12
Jon Vroman
Joe Rogan
"Dear White People" series | Movie
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
I don't think the president has our backs
Charlottesville: Race and Terror

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More than just information

“If information were the answer," Derek Sivers once told Tim Ferriss, "we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”

If you are of a certain age, you remember CDs, and if you were early enough to the internet, you remember that once upon a time, CDBaby was the place for independent musicians to sell their wares.

Sivers created CDBaby, then sold it for a boatload of money, which he largely gave away.

He's read, reviewed and synopsized dozens of books so that you don't have to.

Information, then, is important to him, or he wouldn't have done all that reading.

But there's something more. The information isn't enough. It needs to be mixed with the best of each of us to take form, to become something greater.

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 70: Immortality, nukes and Trump chicken

We have a late-night beer, talk about living forever (or dying in nuclear holocaust — thanks, North Korea!) and give a shoutout to the Trump chicken.

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Links:
What Are the Ethical Consequences of Immortality Technology?
Wild Heaven's beers (including Emergency Drinking Beer
8 questions about North Korea's nuclear capabilities
Ray Kurzweil on immortality
Singularity University | Singularity Hub
Shout out to the Trump chicken!

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