Creativity

I am finally convinced that I am a pretty creative person as my mind constantly wanders into unimagined areas of thought. In my retirement years, I have done a pretty good job of cultivating my creative processes.  But I am always looking for ways to unleash my creativity to new areas and levels. When I ran across this article from the New York Times it gave me a different way to think about creativity.

2018-02-07_11-09-43.pngWe all have fantasies or, if you prefer, ideas. I will give them a different word: “Seeds.” These seeds are the germ-line of books, short stories, songs, the faces in a painting. Sometimes, when the idea is for a gadget that might, say, keep that guy in the car next to you from texting and driving, it’s the seed of an app or business. If it’s a doodle made during a boring corporate meeting, it’s the seed of an art project; the mixture of the barbecue sauce with the onions and the lemon might be the seed of the next, great slow-cooking invention…

Another quick tale to make the point: A family friend once told me that, in college, he was curious to find out whether he was creative so he picked up an easel at the store. He painted for 10 minutes, put down the brush and declared himself not remotely creative. But he went on to make tens of millions of dollars as an entrepreneur. He had mistakenly conflated artistic creativity with any type of creativity. But not all creativity looks the same, and it doesn’t take the same name.

via How to Be Creative – A year of living better Guides – The New York Times

I have been retired from the corporate world for a while now and therefore have a lot of time to create “seeds” and indeed I have created many of them. It is not as if I didn’t do it before but then as the bible says the seeds mostly fell on rocky ground and quickly died. Being able to concentrate on something as long as you want is one of the premier joys of retirement.

canstockphoto14469250These seeds when they come are now quickly written down and then planted in my brain to see if they sprout. Sometimes my desktop looks like an advertisement for post-it notepads. Sometimes my mind is so filled with seeds its hard to do everyday things. 🙂 One of those seeds that ended up being a five-year project as documented in my blog RedLetterLiving.net.  That is where I studied how Christian organizations did or didn’t follow the words of Jesus.

Of course, most of the posts here on RJsCorner also started as seeds. Looking at the current standings, I have 3,240 published posts, 35 drafts/seeds in various forms of completion, and a dozen scheduled posts. That is a lot of creative seeds as far as I am concerned!

I have about 20,000 photos now that I use my creativity to take and enhance. Many of those now reside in my Flickr account and many are here on RJsCorner.

Not all creativity looks the same. What do you do with your creativity??

 

Writers Should Make People Uncomfortable..

One of the axioms of  writing is that it should make people uncomfortable. If it doesn’t then you are not stretching the horizons of those reading your words.  Even before I heard this it was in my heart. One of the foundations of RJsCorner is that I try to get people to think outside their boxes to other possibilities.  I am constantly looking for ways to stretch my horizons and I think everyone else should do the same. Being stuck in place is one of the primary causes of where we are today.

Why do I think that maybe I can make a difference? In many ways I am considerably different than most who likely read my words.  I just see the world differently than the average guy. Part of it is because of my Aspie characteristics, another is because of my deafness.  I am in the sub-one percent of the population.  That, and my total life experiences gives me a unique view of the world.

People getting out of the established venue is something that is becoming rarer and rarer.  With the explosion of the Internet it is just too easy to sink down into a given political mindset and almost be totally ignorant to other views of the world. It’s too easy to just turn on FOX or MSNBC and ignore the rest. I have seen that far too often when I visit some of my high school classmates.  It’s hard to believe that I once saw the world as they still do but my experiences since those years long ago have given me a different perspective.

I am not shy about putting forth my spiritual views nor am I hesitant to talk about those who fall in lockstep with a particular religious doctrine that I think drifts away from the foundations of their beliefs.  I am not apprehensive to  talk about how evangelicals have poisoned the church of Jesus by their radical “survival of the fittest” attitude when Jesus spoke almost totally about being your “brother’s keeper”.

I know I write things that make people uncomfortable. The evidence of that is my somewhat limited viewer counts.  I am told that I should stick to one particular niche. Instead I cover such a wide variety of topics.

Writers should make people uncomfortable in order to expand their readers horizons…

 

 

I Am Just Not a “Niche” Guy…

TL Banner  For my weekly bio post I thought I would talk a little about my blogging processes in particular but more generally about my thought processes which due to Aspergers is probably different than yours. Many of the more successful blogs around the Internet are niche blogs, that is they concentrate on one particular topic. Many that I read are of the retirement genre. Their readers pretty much know what they are going to get when they go to their sites. As they say like-minded people like to congregate together, especially during these trying times so they don’t want any surprises and especially disagreements.

2016-12-09_20-20-37.pngWhen I started RJsCorner in 2008 my intention was to  join them and concentrate on how I was coping with my retirement that was then eight years in. But things pretty quickly moved beyond that topic. Simply stated I just couldn’t seem to stay on topic as watched the world spinning outside my door. I admit that I often get something in my brain and it stews there for several days before coming to the surface.  My “question everything” attitude simply did not allow me to stick to one topic.  Everything means everything after all. So, of course RJsCorner rather quickly evolved into a broader venue.

I have found that it is pretty hard to get a large dedicated audience when you jump all over the map of life’s issues as I do.  You are bound to cause hurt feeling when you say things that some of your readers may fundamentally disagree with. Unintentionally hurting other people’s feelings is actually one of the characteristics of Aspergers. Maybe that is why I kind of MUST speak my mind in an unfiltered way to maintain my sanity.

As my “About Page” says I blog about the many things that I am passionate about; things that make me want to leap out of bed each morning to get involved. Empathy is a strong part of my life so talking about how others are treated is one of my major topics here.  Traveling and photography have become a centerpiece of my retirement years so I proudly show off those topics as well.  That is true especially now that I have finally got my self made micro-RV on the road.

I am a high level thinker on many topics it seems and I hope I talk about at least some issues that you find interesting . Logic is something that is a part of my prime directive so I often post about when things just don’t seem logical and in the political sphere lately many things don’t seem logical.. 🙂

Many of those who read me are bloggers who have many more viewers on their blogs than I do. That makes me a little jealous, but their regular visits here tells me I must be doing something right. I am a blogger’s blog.  In the end I blog primarily for myself or so I tell myself that. But your complimentary comments on occasion do stroke my ego.  Thanks for that. We all need our egos stroked once in a while…

Old Guys Just Aren’t Very Popular on the Web…

Old Guy Writing.png

Being the beginning of a new year I am going to try and get some things off my chest so maybe I won’t fret about them all year. This is one of those posts. Take it with an ounce of truth and a pound of jest. 🙂

Maybe I should erase my “About Me” page here as it probably quickly pushes some people away from my blog site.  If I made up a story about being  a troubled teenager or maybe a struggling artist I would probably get more readers and especially more “likes”.

I run across so many blogs that are so shallow in content but have a zillion “likes” that it almost makes me vomit sometimes. How can someone who talks about what they had for breakfast have more readership than me? Part of it I guess is that these bloggers have 1,000 “friends”and each feel compelled to make their presence known. That seems to be the most sought after thing to many kids today. The more “friends” the more important you are or so they think. They spend hours a day focused on putting themselves out in front of everyone else in order to gain another friend or two.

I know being an old man I am probably somewhat typical in having less than 100 “friends” on Facebook. I just take the “friend” word more seriously than they do. I also  write things here that take a little thought to absorb. Maybe too much thought for many who browse the Internet constantly and can’t spend more than 10 seconds on a post.

I try to keep all my posts limited to 500 words or so because I personally can’t stand the blah, blah, blah of others. If it can’t be read in a couple of minutes I usually do no more than skim it. I suspect that others do the same to me. Maybe I am not that much different from the kids in that regard?

One of my lofty goals with this blog is to try and educate younger generations  with stories about my life. I kind of show them, via my life stories, how not to do things. I  also want to encourage them to find their passions in life and especially to live outside of themselves. But I suspect many really aren’t interested in that sort of stuff yet. I probably wasn’t at their age.

Closing this post with the original thought it seems the only time old guys are popular on the web is when they are talking to other old guys about retirement and other “old people” things like aches and pains, and living on Social Security. No one wants to take the time to listen to us old people who were born before computers and cell phones. After all what could we have of value to teach them??

Even though I don’t get many “likes” I will continue to chug along here at RJ’sCorner with my daily posts. Like several of my heroes  including Teddy Roosevelt, I just have to write even if no one reads the words.  It’s just what I do… but I hope there are at least a few out there reading it.

Looking Back…

2015-12-11_13-28-53.pngHere it is the end of another year and time to look back to how I spent it.  So here goes:

Blog wise I made a decision about mid year to start things over again. It might not have been too obvious to some of my readers here but I abandoned my old blog of five years and moved it here in order to start fresh. I also wanted to incorporate the five blogs I was then running into one and to do some basic changes.  With that decision I left 300+ hard won followers on the old site. Some followed but many didn’t and in some ways that was a good thing. I now offer a much more varied content of posts that I enjoy creating more and I hope you guys enjoy them too.  I believe this new place more accurately reflects who I am and how I feel about things.

2015-08-07_13-42-40In looking back at my 2015 “To Accomplish” list from the start of the year I found that I actually did about 80% of the items on that list. Many were aligned with doing a more freestyle type of living. Less structure has meant more freedom to go with the flow and after some initial pain I am a happier person now.  I have always been a list maker so giving that up was not easy. I also vowed to do more “out of the box” thinking and be more creative.  I think I accomplished both at least on some level.

2015-12-11_13-37-15.pngI vowed to somehow suffer less depression than I have in previous years and I am glad to proclaim that has happened.  I just don’t fret as much about  things in life that I can’t really control anymore. I don’t let things get me down as much now.  That doesn’t mean that I quit think, talking, and especially writing about them here on RJsCorner but now I put that into a new perspective.

uRV-crop.pngI have spent about three years taking my old pickup truck with its over sized cap on the back and turning it into my personal micro-RV (uRV).  When I announced to my wife that I would be taking frequent overnight trips in it to do my own thing she was not thrilled about it. She even made the comment “I guess our marriage is over then!” But after some reflection she grudgingly accepted that I needed some time to myself to pursue things that she is simply not interested in. I took a few trips this year and will do that even more frequently in 2016. I think our marriage is actually healthier as a result.

2015-12-11_13-45-09.pngOne of the big accomplishments for 2015 is that I managed to get my wife on board with taking a vacation to Disney World. Up till now she has been adamantly opposed to the idea. For some reason she just doesn’t like Florida and thought that Disney World was for kids and not “old” people. I think she now acknowledges that she married a kid who is still a kid even in his seventh decade of life.  So next Spring I will be doing some extended reports here about my experience with the make-believe world of Disney.

It has been a good year, a healthy year and even though I will not be making out a New Years list this year I look for 2016  being even better.

I wish you all a happy, satisfying, and hopeful 2016…

 

 

Rising Again…

2015-07-23_20-48-10This blog has been in a three month hiatus due to me just getting tired of the political dialog. I have made some basic changes to prevent that from happening again.  One thing is that while I will continue to allow comments, at least for now, I will not reply to many of them.  I know this is not good blog etiquette but that is the way it has to be for me to continue here and keep my sanity. This is my longest running blog and has over 2,000 posts so it has become an important part of who I am.  While I will be drastically trimming down on posts about politics I will continue to occasionally post in that venue. There are many other topics included here that I didn’t want to abandon… so here we go again…