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Before the Bullshit Gets the Best of You

News from the North Coast

Sometimes bluest of blue, at others emerald, even the blood red of a perfect sunset, Lake Superior spreads itself out in front of me, and it seems endless. Today, as I write, it’s different still. The early morning sky is gray and white, with small patches of blue opening for the sun to shine. From here, on the North Coast of the US, the greatest of the great lakes is a steely blue-gray, ominous, like the barrel of a .45 gaping at my eyes.

And I had an insight, unusual for me, but alas there it was.

A Grain of Truth

I convinced myself long ago that in order to write, I had to have all the other little things out of the way first. I had to eat breakfast, get out and exercise, meditate for a while, watch a little news to see what was going on in the world. The usual. On many days, it would happen that a newly scheduled client would then appear as if by magic (even though I had scheduled it myself). “You have to make hay while the sun shines.” was my motto for that.

Isn’t it interesting that all of the things that hold you back seem to start with a grain of truth.

Nefarious Tricks of the Mind

As I would be ‘innocently’ doing these duties a nefarious sludge would be doing its dastardly deeds in my brain. The bullshit of the day begins to take over.

The Bullshit Does its Deeds

The bullshit, unlike Stephen Pressfield’s Resistance or Carlson’s Gremlin, doesn’t tell me not to work. Resistance is there as well; don’t get me wrong. For all I know, the BS is one of the weapons in resistance’s armory.

The bullshit is the shadow that clouds my mind.

It’s the second thought that says, “Maybe you better not write that. What will people think.”

It’s the tasks and duties that get in front of doing what I have decided is important. Even when these myriad other things are important the end result is the bullet that kills writing for the day.

It’s Hemingway’s refrigerator.

On the days that I do write, and I must admit fortunately, that it is most days, I’m disappointed in my writing. Looking back, I will notice that when I wanted to say that, I said this because it was softer, easier for people to digest. In other words, lamer.

At worst, it looks like pandering drivel, at best, it’s not bad. ‘Not bad’ is not what I am shooting for.

Okay, so that’s the outcome I’ve noticed. But it isn’t the insight.

The Insight

Sitting here, in front of this majestic body of water, with some days of rest under my belt, I realize the the best thinking I do, the time when the bullshit hasn’t quite got a hold, is early in the morning. Strangely, this is a time when my head may still be foggy, but my thinking is crystal clear. For a while, I feel unencumbered by personal and planetary toils and troubles.

I don’t know if this is true for others, but it is true for me.

So What?

I want to listen to my best ideas, the ones that are just there as I sit with my first cup of coffee. This is when I connect with what I am really thinking before it is twisted and shredded by the BS of the day to come, skewed by the news of TV, the morning paper, or the worries that will surely pile up during the day.

Now What?

The new quest for this old brain is to get the ideas down and write my first drafts before it dawns on me that I could be full of crap. I want to get as much work done before the bullshit knows I’m awake.

How about you? I hope I’m not the only bozo on the bus that struggles with staying authentic, influenced by a world of chaos and conflict. When do your purest ideas come to you?

Creative Commons License photo credit: kevindooley

About Mike

Writes for men in transition, interested in personal development, and who are excited or lost when it comes to life and all the possibilities it offers after 50.


  1. […] much easier for me to fix Hemingway’s refrigerator than to do what I mean to do. I have honed the skill of avoidance to an art form.I don’t know if you’re like this, but my mind knows exactly what to say to encourage me […]

  2. […] be at a premium. My promise to myself is to get up and write first thing in the morning. I try to get ahead of my own bs (read “my internal censor”).What’s getting in the way? My ever discharging physical batteries. If I don’t take care […]

  3. […] Your mind will try to fool you. It will tell you there is no step you can take. There is. […]

  4. […] how sad it is. I don’t even have the energy to think up a cutesy headline.It’s not resistance (but maybe it is) or the BS that has me by the throat. It doesn’t even have me by the throat. It’s more like a sense […]

  5. […] is that they exist either in the past or the future. We lose the present moment.Resistance is the bullshit stories our mind tells us when we get close to creating something great that we want to […]

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