“… and what if I never made you walk that crooked line?”







The following exchange prompted a post, in and of itself:



Permit me to explain why that is.




I’ve said many times, my style is intentional.


I’ve also ► stated exactly why ◄ I’ve chosen the style I have.


Yet, I don’t believe I’ve ever articulated why I believe it prudent for men to revisit my work months – possibly years – after their first reading of my work.




I’ll start by saying, I was once asked what kind of writer I consider myself.


My answer was memorable, if simple.


I’m not a writer.


I just live and take notes.




See, far too many get caught up seeking knowledge from others.


Which isn’t a bad thing, by any stretch of the imagination.


In fact, as I wrote in ► my first book ◄:



An intelligent man learns from his mistakes;

a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.




However, I still believe – overall – experience is the best teacher.


Thus, like Daedalus to Icarus, I advocate the middle path.


Read what you can.


Then live how you will.


Without relying too much upon either.




There is wisdom to be found in the works of others.


But others cannot possibly know the needs of your soul, in particular.


Thus, seek the One True Path that calls to your best self.


Permitting others to be beacons—


Without ever making them the destination itself.


Since that, my friends, is yours alone.




To some, this moment may prompt the question:


“So why revisit your work at all, A♠?”


For these important, encouraging reasons:


You’ll notice the guidance you were given was more complete than you saw, at first glance.


And the other footsteps on your road are clearer than you’d realized.







3 Responses to ““… and what if I never made you walk that crooked line?””

  1. A♠,

    Going on 4 years since I first read this, but it’s encouraged me a great deal:

    “Yet, everything is telling you to be what they want you to be.

    So stop listening to the internet, the television, society and – most of all – your parents.

    Instead, sit down with a piece of paper and a pen.

    Describe the person you feel you are.

    Warts and all.

    Then look in the mirror.

    Then look around your abode.

    Then start getting rid of shit, inside and out, that doesn’t match the page.”

    Trying to be what I thought I was supposed to be led directly to the greatest personal and financial failures I’ve ever experienced. Oftimes I would make spectacular progress along a path but inevitably the fire would go out and it would all slide back into entropy. The long expensive aftermath always lasted far longer than the original inspiration.

    I spin no elaborate plans anymore. Simplicity and humility. I will not be running the world and I’m reliably informed it could cost me my soul to try.

    And you know what? Even at nearly 52, there’s still not a lot that I couldn’t still accomplish … and I didn’t really want that 10-page full-colour layout in Tiger Beat all that badly anyway 😉

    • Would you mind elaborating further on that, JD?

      All my best to you and yours.


      • Wald,

        We’ve already spoken about it in first conversation but I’ll lay out a few events here:

        1) I was so different from the rest of my family that I’ve been asked in jest by cousins if I was adopted. It was so prevalent an attitude in my youth that the expectation I was going to be an academic weighed on me long after I left high school.

        But the reality is, I did exactly one semester of Business in college and realized I didn’t want any more classrooms. So the palpable disappointment of my family was magnified by the feeling that I’d let them down and somehow sidelined my own destiny.

        2) When my gf announced she was pregnant (without discussing parenthood with me at all beforehand), I undertook to be a conventional husband and father. I still wanted to extinguish my debts and build my fortunes but my now-wife’s material expectations kept undermining that.

        So now already had the spectre of my family’s disappointment and now I had the spectre of my wife’s disapproval. It began to feel like God and Satan were both standing, cross-armed with baleful stares, daring me to screw up one more time.

        I didn’t want to admit to myself that I didn’t want ANY of this. I must just be defective. So I kept myself in increasingly stressful situations because I expected some internal logjam to finally ‘break’ and I would be as I was ‘supposed to be’.

        3) In retrospect my second marriage was more of a crusade than a romance. I was going to save these three kids, plus my little corner of WestCiv from the moral decay I saw all around me.

        Ten years of one misfortune and disappointment piled upon another. And my erstwhile damsel in distress ensuring I be aware that I was utterly inadequate as both parent and husband.

        When it finally ended I was:

        -in a firetrap apartment above an old general store
        -in the middle of nowhere
        -in the dead of a howling winter
        -two weeks before Christmas 2010
        -heavily indebted and no prospects of rescue.

        Nine months later my two biological children contacted me on Facebook and said they wouldn’t be speaking to me anymore, then blocked me.

        Not really being sure of my direction in life, I took my lead from nearly everyone but Myself. This just wasn’t going to work.

        There’s more but I’ll conclude with this:

        If you have a plan, follow it. Because using someone else’s blueprints isn’t going to build you a house that suits you. And you won’t unintentionally mislead the people in your relationships who think they’re getting something else.

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