Back to the Beginning: The Juice Days

“Listen here, Pilgrim, it’s to start writing again.” (Jimbo Berkey)

Having writer’s block is one of the worst experiences that a writer or someone whose career involves writing have to battle.

Being unable to put together thoughts and ideas that you can create into a story, article, or a column, is equally worse.  I haven’t had the (physical) energy and (mental) motivation to sit down hammer out blog entries over the last several months.  I’ve been reading articles over the last few days on how to create content and writing for an audience, as a refresher course to sharpen up my writing skills (and restart my creative thinking, for what it’s worth)..

The reason for the stagnation is my growing unwillingness to add to the “noise” of the “topic-de-jour” of the day. After all, how many “reactions” to a story do you, or I, want to read/hear/watch ad nauseam? No matter how much I, or anyone else, cut through the noise and provide good, smart, and civil content that explains a topic, trolls and ignorant people will go to obscene lengths to sully the conversation with boorishness and juvenile attitudes.

I’ve been writing for a better part of eight years. I started in March 2006, as a community (non-staff) blogger for a weekly publication called Juice. After three years of writing for them, I made the leap into starting my blog. I’m confident that I’ve had more “misses” than “hits” on the litany of topics and thoughts I’ve written about. There have been posts that resonated to many, and some that I thought would resonate, but didn’t.

That’s normal for writers: experiencing highs when you’re producing kick-ass material, and bad periods where nothing seems to come out right.

Today, I was updating my resume and preparing to submit for an open position. I plugged in a USB drive that I hardly used. I remembered that I downloaded all of my old Juice blogs into the drive. When Juice changed platforms around 2008 or 2009,  I didn’t want the content to be lost and disappear forever, so I saved as many blog post my drive allowed me to.

Eight years of writing would equal at least one 500 page ream of paper. Thank goodness for laptops and USB drives.

That’s 357 pages and over 161,300 words, over a two-year period. That doesn’t include the 430+ entries I have done here on this blog site.

I started to re-read several old posts I’ve done. I have no idea how I lasted this long, or have written so much. Writing was something I seriously did not have talent for. It was trial and error, finding what works, and having an opinion that isn’t always pro and con, black or white, yes or no. 

I discovered several things while skimming through these posts:

  • I didn’t grasp the importance of brevity (I still don’t to this day).
  • Many of the topics I wrote about are relevant today as it was over 5 years ago (young professionals, civility, progress of Des Moines, etc.)
  • I had a disdain for frivolous and overblown topics (reality shows, celebrities, general stupidity)
  • We all have a “dark” side of our lives (opening up personally about depression, divorce, life’s issues).
  • There is more than two sides to a topic (different perspectives that doesn’t fit into the pro/con, Democrat/Republican frame of arguments).

There are a few more, but brevity is of the utmost importance here.

Therefore, I have decided that while I work on refining my writing and creative skills, I’m going to reintroduce my old Juice blogs on this site. There will be readers and followers who may not have read some of my earlier stuff. The purpose of doing this, albeit self-serving, is to display how I have evolved as a person, in terms of observations and writing.

There are some topics I wrote about that could regenerate an idea or story that I wanted to espouse on, but never acted on it. 

What I have learned while typing this is that maybe I do have a knack for writing.

After all, I prefer to listen than talk and to write it down, so it would make sense.

There is always a story to be told.  

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