I’m in my PRIME!
And I want the whole world to know how, through positive thinking and the repetitious use of exclamation points, you can believe it too!!
To celebrate, I dressed in my favorite AC/DC T-shirt, jeans and smokey grey Vans. Oh, and Dos Equis underwear. Um, to clarify, those are underneath my jeans, not on top (I haven’t had that much to drink). I also took a moment to record the occasion for posterity by taking a photo. Which isn’t to say I took a picture of my butt. But I did stand next to the only other thing in our newsroom older than me (until my editor gets here), which is The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance).
As I write this, the little WordPress “quote” symbol keeps lighting up, my Twitter and Facebook alerts are chiming, and naturally I can’t help but take a sip of my coffee and think to myself:
Have my accounts have been hacked?!?
The truth is, I really AM excited about turning 47 and what the year will bring — and all of you are a big reason for that. I mean, sure, getting closer to my senior discount is pretty exciting, but mostly it’s because of you.
Which brings us to this week’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing. As anyone who reads my NWOW each Friday knows, the advice I give has been referred to by some of today’s most influential writers as “The kind of insightful writing you’d expect from someone with a Food Handler’s card,” and “The first place I turn for inspiration; his writing always makes me feel better about the stuff I would’ve deleted.”
Because today is my birthday, and because my wife sneaked some of those little airline vodkas into my lunch sack, and because I get sentimental when I drink, this week’s Nickel’s Worth will be a little different. Instead of talking about the mechanics of writing that I’ve learned through 15 years as a columnist, I want to discuss the importance of having a support system — which was something I didn’t fully understand or appreciate until I started blogging and plugging into social networks.
Last week, I wrote about the importance of getting out and talking with people, and how a good interview is often more valuable than hours spent researching online or in books.
Taking that a step further, getting “out” through blogging and social networks and talking with people — other writers, readers, anyone desperately seeking to transfer their fortunes into your bank account — builds something else you need as a writer: A support system. These are the people you think about whenever you sit down to write.
Depending on what website you’re on.
I began this blog a year ago, following through on a promise to myself that I would begin exploring social media and the world of blogging before I turned 46. I had no idea how much inspiration, support and friendship I was getting myself into. A year and 250 posts later, I have a core group of readers and writers I think about every time I power up my iPad.
But even more importantly, I have a core group of funny, thoughtful and talented people who I turn to for inspiration, support, feedback and, occasionally, a shipment of real maple syrup from Canada. As a writer — whether it’s your life’s pursuit, a way to remain sane or unleash your insanity — plugging in and connecting with like minded people on a regular basis is something writers of the past could only dream of. In the same way Kodak made photography accessible to everyone when it introduced the pocket Instamatic, social blogging has made writing for an audience accessible to anyone. Naturally, the combination has its drawbacks. Like all those “selfies” in bathroom mirrors posted on Twitter and Facebook by people who really need an image consultant. Still, the opportunity to find your voice — and people willing to listen — is worth the risk of accidentally seeing someone who didn’t realize the toilet behind them in their “selfie” wasn’t flushed.
That said, I want to thank all of you for your inspiration, motivation and support over this past year, and for making my 47th year in life something to look forward to.
And just so you know, I’m totally counting on you when I turn 50.