I Came Here to Write

reading, books, SEO, search engine optimization

I have some time, I’m making time, I am waiting for my wife.

We escaped our small town today and ran away to the big city to shop, relax, eat, try and relax, eat, shop.  Something tells me the relaxing part may not come to fruition but likely the others will.

Once we arrived in Spokane our first stop was one of the largest malls in town, good planning or what. I knew it would be a good place to begin, the wife can limp around (another story) perusing all the sales etc. and I can scoot over to Barnes & Noble to look at books, and perhaps do some research.  My current ‘interest’ you see is SEO, otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization.

This interest in SEO maybe a fixation, will likely fade over time.  Heck, it may be gone by the time I leave the store, but it is with me now and with me strong. Seemed the least I could do was write about it.

It began when I read a post written by Lesley Carter at Bucket List Publications called “7 Great Ways to Improve Your Alexa Ratings”. I guess it really didn’t start there, but it was re-inspired when I read her numerous posts on ways to improve hits on your site and increasing your readers and followers. I don’t personally subscribe to that particular SEO service but I have taken part in Google’s Analytics and another service called HubSpot, a web marketing service.

I don’t proclaim to know if one site is better than the next, you’ll have to do the research and find that out for yourself, but the concept is sound I think. If you can improve your site by making small changes, by increasing links or putting the name of your site out there on other sites it can only help. I am just touching on the very basics here and there is certainly much more to it than that.

seo, books, bookstore, learning
All you wanted to know about SEO

So this bring me full circle. Here I am in Barnes & Noble, waiting for my wife and spending time searching the shelves for an appropriate book(s) on SEO.

Unfortunately I quickly become overwhelmed. The sheer number of books (and the cost) takes the wind out of my sails and I rapidly decide I will endeavour to learn most of what I need to know by getting library books and reading free articles on-line. That’s not to say the books aren’t beneficial, only that for me, right now, they are too much and too soon.

So, as the saying goes, if you can’t do something, you can write about it. Here I am, I came to write.

The Right to Write

I just picked up a book, maybe it picked me up I’m not sure.  It’s called “The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life”, written by Julia Cameron. I came across it in the book store while looking through the Psychology section for another book, read a few passages within it and it spoke to me.  It said “Buy me”.  Ok, of course the book didn’t really speak, but the content did.  I wasn’t really looking for a book like this, this being a book talking about “why” we should write, not how.  I was looking for one on other, more personal matters, depression and giftedness.

I was also looking for a book on Blogging, and quickly realized that what I needed to learn in that regard wouldn’t necessarily be learned from a book.  I can use some inspiration on the motivation of writing however, I’ll often have blank days, writers block, or the sometimes the ideas will flow but I don’t have a medium at hand to record them.  I try to jot the thoughts into my phone, and that mostly works, but later when I look at my notes I don’t necessarily have the same passion, the same drive to write, it seems I’ve lost the momentum.

She says in her book “For me, writing is like a good pair of pajamas – comfortable”, I think that says a lot, the writing should feel “right”, not forced and not necessarily always in perfect form or structure, although that is certainly preferable.  The point is to speak/write from the heart, pour your soul into it.  I’m trying.

Writing, Does it run in the family?

Well the weekend flew by and although I did get some things done I neither blogged nor wrote in my journal.  It’s interesting that when listening to the radio yesterday they were interviewing a female singer who commented about writing and journalling.  She was speaking mostly in regards to writing music or poetry but she did say any type of writing was important to keep the mental juices flowing.  I do enjoy the writing and blogging but would like to know that I’m doing something other than just putting words on paper (or blog), that I or someone else is benefitting from it.

I do know that the act of journalling is helpful, and other things I’m doing like reading or even playing Spider Solitaire are keeping my mental acuity sharp as a knife.  Ya right.  They do actually help keep my mind stimulated and I do believe I am seeing improvement in memory and motivation, something that was/is sadly lacking.  Improvement can always be made though, and procrastinating less is also showing promise.

Mom has finished her 2nd book and is waiting for the illustrations to be completed.  I don’t recall if I’ve commented much on them but she’s told her publisher she will do 5 books in total.  Her first, on poetry, the second a childrens book, the third an autobiography, four and five I’m not sure.  Writing must run in the family.

I’m off to see Gloria tonight, my visits are now about a month apart.  I do miss the chats and where I often have to remind her about things that are happening in my life, and my family and people in it, she is very helpful and most often I come away with AHA moments.  I will likely talk to her about Mo and Ay again in hopes she has another nugget on ways I can handle any “miscommunications” they have.

Here I go Again – 5 characteristics of gifted people

Here I go again, when reading a book or article and some passage or concept strikes my fancy and my mind wanders, and wonders, and I feel the need to get down some thoughts. And need is not too strong a word. I almost cannot stand it and find it very difficult to focus on the task at hand, reading to understand. I promise myself “only a quick post, I’ll just jot down some ideas and get back to my reading”. Sometimes it actually happens.

So here it goes, I’m reading an article called “Can you hear the flowers sing? Issues for gifted adults” http://www.sengifted.org/articles_adults/Lovecky_CanYouHearTheFlowersSing.shtml, on the SENG website. It talks about 5 characteristics or traits of gifted people. I can’t help but not start to think about how I fit,  I have to get my thoughts down so again I put down the book and start to post.  Essentially I’ve just put down some notes and I’ll fill in the rest later.

Later, Done – I’m going to take some literary license here and copy a brief description of the characteristics. It in no way describes the trait completely, see the article for full descriptions.

Here’s the traits in italics, and how I match up after each.
Divergency. A preference for unusual, original, and creative responses is characteristic of divergent thinkers. The positive side of the trait includes people who are often high achievers, innovative in a number of fields, task committed, self-starters, and highly independent.

I believe I do think out of the box, and I’ve been told that by a number of people in various aspects of my life.  I cannot say however I am a high achiever, in fact I’d have to say the opposite.  I have been an underachiever, note the past tense.  This is something I want to work on.

Excitability. High energy level, emotional reactivity, and high nervous system arousal characterize the trait of excitability. Although excitability and hyperactivity may seem to be similar, they are fundamentally different in that gifted adults with the trait of excitability are able to focus their attention and concentration for long periods of time, to use their energy productively in a wide variety of interests, and to do many things well.

I do not have a high energy level, although if I am working on something I enjoy I can put a lot of energy into it.  In some ways I’m excitable, I can focus or concentrate for some time but I don’t think I could say “for long periods”.  It is likely quite situation specific.  I do have a very wide range of interests and I am able to do many things, and well.  I suspect that is also a relative comment as well.

Sensitivity. A depth of feeling that results in a sense of identification with others characterizes the trait of sensitivity. Gifted people form deep attachments and react to the feeling tone of situations; they think with their feelings.

I am very sensitive, I pick up on most things quite quickly.  My understanding of women may be lacking somewhat in this area though, they are more challenging to understand.  I have few deep attachments and to expand this area of my life would be beneficial.

Perceptivity. An ability to view several aspects of a situation simultaneously, to understand several layers of self within another, and to see quickly to the core of an issue are characteristic of the trait of perceptivity. These gifted adults are able to understand the meaning of personal symbols and to see beyond the superficiality of a situation to the person beneath.

This is something that at times can be a curse, just ask my family.  Each wants me to see and take their side.  I can see each side however that makes it generally more difficult to take a side.

Entelechy. From the Greek word for having a goal, entelechy bespeaks a particular type of motivation, inner strength, and vital force directing life and growth to become all the self is capable of being. Adults gifted in entelechy are highly attractive to others who feel drawn to openness, warmth, and closeness.

I aspire to grow more in this area, to become more fully grown and aware of myself and my potential.  To become more realized is the correct term I think.

Procrastination – Gifted characteristics

Seems like procrastination and Giftedness have some overlapping characteristics. One trait that is common would be taking on too many, or too big, a project or goal. I certainly do that, I can have 3 or more books going or many projects started, going great guns but seldom finishing any before moving on, to something more important or interesting. Right this moment is an perfect example, I’m reading a book on procrastination and laying it down mid-page to blog. Dumb.

It’s a combination of attention span, self control, and a desire to get an idea to paper (blog) while I think of it.  My Iphone is handy for that, I can jot a note or couple comments to my blog and then go back to the book.  I guess I could do it on paper too, maybe a sticky note or something.  That’d be less intrusive and distracting.  Hmmm.  The overlap with my version of giftedness would be the (sometimes) poor focus.  Also having multiple things on the go.

Procrastination Book

The book I’m currently reading is called “Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now”.

A few things in it that I see apply to me are “Mediocrity Builds Contempt”, “Excellence without Effort”, “There is a Right Way” to some degree “I Can’t Stand to Lose” and “All or Nothing”.

I will elaborate more later.

Sadness Felt, and Loss of Closeness

It’s often interesting to me how the written word, and often other benign media, can have such an impact on ones mood, in this case bringing me to sadness.  It’s not only the sadness of loss, which I certainly feel, but the sadness of loves felt and missed.

The book I’m reading, fiction in this case, is Stephen King’s “Duma Key” about a construction magnate who after becoming seriously injured moves to Duma Key in Florida and takes up painting.  He produces paintings with an ethereal quality that in the end reflect past events on the Key.  The most significant of those is the drownings of twin girls many years in the past.  He sees later how that occurrence in the past has the potential to impact his 2 daughters lives in the present.  Anyway he often refers to his one daughter in particular and it’s that reference that often brings me to the brink of tears.

It draws the love from me for my daughter Ay, but not drawing it out in the sense that it was not there, certainly not, but taking that overwhelming love and drawing it out to where it’s hard to contain.  In the story the man’s daughter expresses her love freely and openly and that is something I yearn for, and miss in my relationship.  Where I know Ay loves me she seems to have that trait exhibited by many on my side of the family that makes it difficult for them to express love in the conventional sense.  It hurts and brings me sadness to not know her love in that way.

G has often asked me if our loss of Shawn has caused me unresolved emotions like grief, or anger I guess, emotions I can’t or won’t allow or admit to.  I have always answered no, but now I wonder if this loss of demonstrated love from Ay is accentuated by Shawns death, as if somehow now I need more reassurance or confirmation. Things that make you go “hmmmm”.