Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Renting a Condo in the Land of Regret

I wrote and published my first blog on August 10, 2004. Thanks to the archival power of the Internet, it still exists. I think I’d preached a bad sermon and was making amends for my wondering speech with the written word.

Fourteen years, two cities, a country, multiple jobs, and even more blogs later - I am still blogging. Now every day.

The land of regret is not a place where anyone should live. One of the few times I’m tempted to rent a condo there is when I think about writing.

I wish I’d started writing a daily blog a long time ago.

Sure, I’m writing largely to a void. But I don’t care. This is making me a better writer. It’s honing my craft. It’s making me write (and publish) whether I feel like it not. I have a deadline. I have to keep it. It’s making me better.

I wish I’d started figuring out how to write books before now.

By the end of this week, I will be a solid 10,000 first draft words into a book about leadership. I have a couple of novels mapped out after that’s done. But, if I had started doing this in 2004, I’d have hit my 50’s with a decade and a half of experience. I wish it would have started sooner. I found a book about pirates that I wrote when I was eight. Here’s what was on the inscription:

My name is Bernie Anderson. I am 8 years old and my Birthday is November 1st. This is my first book. I am going to have a lot more!

Now I’m 51.
So much for those 8-year old ambitions.

I wish I understood the Ira Glass “Gap Theory” much sooner.

That is, the gap between taste and ability produce to taste. Watch this video. It gives you the basics. I remember writing things. Stories. Poems. Even non-fiction articles. I’d look at them, think, “this is crap,” and proceed to stuff it in a drawer or throw it away. Delete from the hard drive.

The problem is that’s not how to get better.

Have you ever watched the first film directed by Steven Spielberg? It’s not awesome.

Terry Pratchett’s first book (The Color of Magic from the early ’80s) is great, but not near as elegant and complex as Snuff - which he wrote much later.

Nothing you make today will be as good as something you may make in a year. Or in ten years. Your best work is still in you. So keep working.

Rent Don’t Own

I may occasionally rent a place in the land of regret. But I’ll never buy.

Because the best time to start a project you care about may have been 20 years ago.

The second best time to start that project is now.