Spell Checked and Approved.

We are rapidly finishing our first week with the new “leaner and much improved” Creative Endeavors.  A dedicated effort has been made to shorten the posts, and try to make them more interesting and not so verbose (keep them under or around 500 words).

It aint been easy … But it seems to be working.

Or it was until this morning, when I got a two page Email telling me basically … “that I suck.”  And I am fairly sure, this person is not hitting the like button any time soon.  Ceste Le Vive … Or for our Spanish Readers …. LaVita Loca.

Such is life.

As we approach 1.2 million visitors on this site, I am prone to think back to a long time ago, or rather, to a point in time that seems like a long time ago, when we first started.  Not knowing a whole lot of about any of this, we just kind of rolled up our sleeves and dove into it headfirst.  It was not easy by any means (something I am sure most of you can readily relate to) and at times, it was a real head scratcher.

One of my first comments came from a “English Professor” from some prestigious body of education back east.  He read my offering for the day, then promptly entered into the comments section “Now, that was depressing.”  Not very encouraging and it did tend to irritate the fizz out of me, but we kept on chopping and watched where the chips landed.  (Ironically, we are still here, he is however, long gone.)

He did show me something tho.

He illustrated to me the power of the comment, how it can be either for good or for bad, how it can make a day or drag one down.  It showed me that you should always make your comments “positive in nature” and that you should make a concentrated effort to encourage and not tear down.

This week, for instance, I read a post that had 4,773 words in it and the author was lamenting the fact that only 4 people had “liked the piece.”  I am somewhat surprised that they even managed to get thru it, yet alone liked it.  Yesterday I read where someone was saying “that the Oklahoma courts aloud someone to do this” which we all know should be “allowed” but over and over, there it was, “aloud.”  In either case I did not respond or try to correct … It is not my job to do this, it is not YOUR job to do this.

You want more readers?  You want more comments?  Then develop a kinder gentler attitude online and help a person up.  Encourage instead of discourage, you will be better for it, and in the end, the one on the other end of the line, will be too.*


*In case you are wondering, this came in at 515 words or thereabouts.  If you are not completely satisfied, please let us know, and we will cheerfully refund your purchase price and all shipping and handling.  It is after all the very least we can do.

8 thoughts on “Spell Checked and Approved.

  1. Well, I for one happen to “like” your blog. I’m also a firm believer that one should “do what he/she feels” unless it’s something un-lawful or does not make any common sense !
    I’ve learn a long, long time ago, that people who complain (like what you’ve listed) have that right to use the “off” button, “delete” button, etc. etc. if they’ve read past the first couple of sentences and feel that the afore mentioned blog is not worth their time ! It’s a “thing” with alot of people that they just have to get their little “nudge” in there to rankle the writer or whatever; if it make ’em feel good HOORAY ! At least you have the good manners to answer in the way you feel is proper.
    Keep on keepin’ on there Don, and I reserve the right to just move onto the next story, if the first couple don’t interest me !!! (ha ha)


    • I agree to a certain extent. My rule of life is this: “If it feels right, then it is okay, if it doesn’t feel right, maybe it is time to take another look at it.” Healthy criticism is a good thing, and if it is well intended, I really do not mind it. Often it will lead to definite improvements, and that is always a good thing.

      I chose to take the approach to a shorter post and I feel right now that it is working out well, the numbers seem to indicate that it could go either way, some like the long pieces and others do not. That is what makes a world. Our goal in the very beginning was to make Creative Endeavors a friendly little watering hole, a fun place to visit and so far, that has worked.

      We only shut it down one time in four years, when it got out of hand. Like we have always said, “take what you like, sift thru it, use it and throw the rest of it away.” Sending our best is the very least we can do.



  2. All right BO, you asked for it so here it is. A little back ground. I first encountered you on the BCN web site and found your contributions humorous to me and made a point of looking for your posts. Then I found that you had a web site and started checking it daily (which I still do). With that said, what I expect from you is for you to enjoy what you do and have fun with it. If, at the same time I can find some enjoyment in what you do, that is what I call a win win situation. Fortunately for me (or what some might think is unfortunate) you and I seem to have the same sense of humor and I look forward to reading your entries. To me, things that you find humorous, I do to. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be coming back. But the way I look at it, what I find here that keeps me coming back really doesn’t make any difference, this is your house. It is yours to do with as you see fit. It is for your enjoyment and yours alone. I am glad that you still find enjoyment in doing this so I have the privilege of reading it. I was sorry to see you leave BCN because I thought you added a lot to the board, but again, it doesn’t make any difference what I think or want, you gotta do what you gotta do but thanks again.

    Hope you can understand what I am trying to say.



    • Ironic, I got a call just yesterday from another bus nut and he was asking me to come back to BCM because he missed “my stories.” (His expression) I again told him that this was not going to happen, that I was content to do my thing over here and would remain a reader of the boards but not a contributor.

      Most everything that I have tried has worked in the past six months. I cut back on the amount of posting, now I post when I have something or I feel like posting. I do not feel compelled to put up something each and every day, and that has gotten rid of a lot of issues for me. I try to mix it up and keep it interesting, and have found that a shorter piece seems to be easier for me to compose. This allows me to do other things, and that has helped.

      Really Tom, if it wasn’t fun to do, then it would not be worth the effort. In my case, I do not do it for money, wealth or fame, I do it because I like to do it, and as the wife is fond of saying ….. “It keeps him out of the Honky Tonks and beer joints.” Put it into a post in here somewhere, “My fame is vapor, and my riches take wings, the only thing that endures is character.”

      Thanks again for you well written comment and the encouragement, it made my day.



  3. It’s so easy to criticize others. I think we do it to prove our own superiority in some way. I occasionally find myself wondering — not often, because I spend very little time paying attention to the trolls — what these folks believe confers upon them the authority to make weighty pronouncements such as, “You suck.” I mean, I’ve spent half a century honing my craft, and the best you can come up with is “You suck?” I’m supposed to pay attention to that? Oh, puh-leeze!

    Parenthetically: I was reading E. B. White’s obituary in the New York Times yesterday evening. (OK, so I was 27 years late getting around to it; what can I say?) It made me think back to the dozen or so copies of “The Elements of Style” that I’ve worn out or given away over the 50 years since it was introduced to me, and how much writers (in English) as a whole owe to him, Bill Strunk, and a few others.

    I like the shorter pieces, but there’s also a place for the longer stories that you do so well. Apparently, the population of a medium-sized city agrees with me.



    • Hey thanks for your well written reply Bill, coming from you, I appreciate it. He had a lot more to say than “you suck” but I firmly believe y’all don’t need to hear it or read it. One woman in particular was kind of gnarly, but I just don’t give ’em an audience.

      I am finding that the shorter pieces are good and if I feel the need to share something of more substance and length, I will surely do it. It appears that it could go either way, some like the long stuff and there are others that appreciate the abbreviated versions, so it is a good mix, and in order to be successful at all this, that is important, being able to mix it up and keep it interesting.

      As you are well aware of my friend, I appreciate any and all help that I can get. You have been with me since the very beginning on a lot of this.




  4. I appreciate your blog posts. Each of us has something to offer, it’s what fascinates me about meeting new people. We all have something to offer, and while we may not always agree, I still listen and respect every person’s desire to express themselves. I might learn something. I’m open-minded to listen and decide for myself whether I agree. As for negative comments, I’ve had a couple on my animal rehabilitation. I didn’t take the comments personally, but did feel they had a negative twist to them. Most of the time people are either ignorant (I don’t mean that as a put-down but rather as being uninformed) or they have had their own experience and they’re passionate about it. Voicing a “you suck” is never wise. People who spout off negativity only make fools of themselves.


    • Why thank you, I note that you have been doing a lot of reading here lately. I get the good and the bad here, if you chum the waters on a regular basis, well, you just naturally expect a shark to show up every now and then. Most of the time, I read them and then trash it. On some days I do well and on others not so good, this was just one of them I suppose.

      Here lately I feel I have been giving the “word count” too much attention and I am going to stop that. I am just going to keep suiting up for the game and trying to hit one out of the park every now and then. Everyone it seems “thinks they are a critic” but few have the talent, drive or the desire to contribute to the collective mix we all share.



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