I have a buddy whose forte is telling boring stories. We know it. He knows it. But by god, the man just can’t help himself. He loves the attention. And we’re forced to be interested – until we aren’t. At which point we all get that empty look in our eyes that’s not altogether dissimilar to that far off stare a cat gets after licking its butt. My buddy notices this. Notices and takes offense.
In his world, no one’s mind shall wander while he’s holding court. That’s why he devised a dirty little tactic to lure us back in. It works every time. Through his cadence and the carefully thought out words, all eyes and ears return to him – guaranteed. He simply pauses (no matter where he’s at in the story) and then matter-of-factually states:
“And then I crapped my pants.”
What did he just say!? Attentions grabbed. Boring-ass story continued. Nobody is pleased with the situation other than our jaded storyteller himself. But none of us can help it cause he knows we’re all trained to tune it when we hear something like that. It’s like getting your knee tapped at the doctors or looking at a car crash. You can’t control your actions.
And the sad part is in the end, none of us will remember anything about the story except it sucked.
Now, why would I spend my first post talking about boring stories? Well, no matter what you’re writing (or creating in general) to release into the universe, I feel it needs to be worth someone’s time. Don’t just use cheap, attention grabbing gimmicks and then deliver some kind of bland, oatmeal flavored dribble. Unacceptable.
Grab someone’s attention and keep it with real, engaging content that actually has a point of view, teaches something, helps someone in a tangible way.
Makes someone want to talk to you, argue with you, learn and ask questions.
Everyone is busy. They want to spend their time with the people, places and things that add to their life. It doesn’t always mean they’ll spend time with you, but sometimes they will. So don’t let them down.
Be a productive member of someone’s life.
And that’s the long and short of it. I’m not looking to waste your time (or mine) feeding you oatmeal. So if you’re looking to fill a blog sized hole in your life, I hope this will be a perfect fit – especially if you like writing, advertising, beer, or Star Wars. Just saying.
And if you’d like to talk about anything else – I’m down. Hope to see you here again next week. Same bat-time. Same bat-blog.
(photo via The U.S. National Archives)