Why So Serious?


While laboring over my upcoming new book, I caught a glimpse of myself immersed in oxymoron land, that special place where contradictory elements become one and the same (and for whatever reason I immediately flashed on that classic line from the Joker in The Dark Knight). My need to share this is based loosely on the assumption that everybody probably experiences this particular conundrum of sorts. Here I am, drowning in mine. To Wit:

Damn, I hope I didn’t overdrive this point. My paragraphs are all too long – they’ll see that and back off from wanting to read them. Is this chapter title clever enough? I’m being way too preachy. Should I break all of this material into ten mini-EBooks? Wow, am I just creating a mass of rehash? Am I using too many big words? Why am I doing this when my 20 year old son tells me; I won’t read a book – I’d rather go online? I’ve read time and time again (for my website) that everybody loves to see beautiful landscapes – maybe I should put a bunch of them in my book. (I’m getting weaker by the moment) And by the way – how the hell can anybody write a twitter book? That’s an oxymoron in itself.

The contradictory elements, as I see them, are as follows:

Is writing this book a serious undertaking – absolutely!

Should I not be taking all of this so dead seriously – absolutely!

Two things come to mind that I believe goes across the board for anyone tackling a big event in their life. Forget about all the incidental details and just try to focus on getting better over time, and in the immortal words of Groucho Marx: “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.”

I could bring in twenty quotes about balance here, but I think you get my drift. Taking on serious personal projects much less trying to look at reinventing yourself in some manner is serious business. But if you don’t keep a sensible perspective on it, it will end up being like trying to read War and Peace on your iPhone or going to Walmart on Black Friday. Staying focused is paramount. But when you lose it and start questioning everything, don’t beat yourself up or drown yourself in meaningless rehash. Just move on to something else – you’ll know when to come back to it.

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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

  1. Tobin Cooley
    6 years ago

    Great perspective, Jake. Reminds me of the sparring concept taught in martial arts in which you have a clear idea and motivation to do something, but hold the idea lightly so you can stay balanced.

  2. Mark Wright
    6 years ago

    Your job is not to please your reader or tickle their ears, but to help them. Sometimes it may sound preachy, too long or obvious. Stay the course & write what’s needed. All the while, HAVE FUN!

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