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Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Over the past 5 decades I've written many articles, poetry, short stories, novels, and research papers on a wide variety of subjects about everything I've ever loved to do in my life. Before, and even at the birth of the internet, buying books on subjects, reading at length, and studying my interests was not just a hobby but my life blood. I've read hundreds if not thousands of books and still use them today for reference. I also know that a person can grow tired of writing about the same thing over and over which is why having diversified interests and curiosity is a needed personal growth mechanism. Never stop learning.

I've written many articles on antique jewelry and designer vintage jewelry and collaborated on books with other authors. I've written about my experiences breeding exotic birds, studied and written stories pertaining to malacology (or the study of seashells), tropical horticulture, scuba diving, Spanish galleon salvage diving, saltwater tropical fish and invertebrates, and global warming effects on coral reefs. I've written about my life in the Florida Keys, life as a US Merchant Marine living at sea, and life growing up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay. I've also written a great deal about people I've known, places I've been, and curious events that happened to me and others.

Despite all I've written and published, I never aspired to be a famous writer or attain any wealth from publishing. Thats not what writing is about.

Writing is about sharing experiences. From an early age, I was taught to always write what you know and don't pretend to be an authoritarian on things you don't know.

Self-publishing is also permanent. Long after you leave this world, what you write online or publish, will be around forever.

I express this because when the world wide web first began, no one ever foresaw the coming of social media. In my educated opinion online since 1985, social media is a complete and total waste of time. It kills time and at best and is merely a strange psychological experiment into the minds of other people.

For the vast majority, nothing done on social media has great importance in the grand scheme of your life, or what you accomplish during your life online. Yes, I will agree it helps in some ways to assist in careers and business, but for the vast majority it doesn't create a permanent legacy.

The really great thing about writing is you don't have to interact with anyone. You get to be alone with your thoughts, feelings, and desires and discover yourself, by yourself.

You can interact with those who help in polishing your skills, but also know that no serious writer ever pays any attention to critics. When you write an article, a story, or a novel, it is what it is. You can make revisions later or change it completely, but it is yours and yours alone. You own it, so learn to write well. The main reason I'm writing this article is to convey this message: No matter how much you trust your computer or the cloud, always keep printed out paper copies. Put them in an old suitcase or filing cabinet but always keep printed copies.

One of the dilemmas I had long ago was a shortage of paper to write on. Sure, today you can go to stores and buy notebooks and legal pads, but that wasn't always the case for me. But what I write on has to be special to me. I like notebooks that I admire and speak to me. I carry them with me. They are special to me when I start writing my first rough draft.

I designed, printed, and published blank notebooks of my own and have them all over my house, in my car, and even a couple on my motorcycle. If you don't want to make your own, there are tons to choose from on Amazon.

Notebooks are a place to keep your ideas written down. Ideas can be fleeting. What you think of one day can elude your memory the very next day. Jot it down when it comes to you, always. I'll also tell you a very hidden secret about writing. Your brain has triggers. Triggers that bring memories and ideas forth. It will happen when you do certain things, and you'll begin to notice it.

For me, every time I get in the shower, or I'm submersed in water, that's when floods of ideas coming rushing in at the speed of light. Within 10 minutes after getting out of the water, I sometimes can't even recall what I was thinking about! That's how powerful a trigger can be! It accesses a part of your brain that you do not use in every day normal thinking! There is also one other hidden rule of writing. Never write when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Writing in that manner can throw you down a rabbit hole of writing that is not you and cause utter confusion when you're sober. Always write with a clear, focused mind. Hemingway didn't do it. Neither should you.

Don't be afraid to explore the world of self-publishing as a hobby. It is a great skill to carry with you lifelong. You can print your own copies at cost and give them away as gifts too. You can even write an admirable story about someone you know and surprise them with a published book.

There are tons of resources online and a few of my favorites are Draft2Digital, Canva, Amazon, and Book Bolt.

In my spare time, I not only write and publish stories, but I also publish blank notebooks for writers to get started. I also create my own cover art. I'm always thrilled to put a great picture of a friend on a cover and give it to them and their family or friends as a gift.

All of the images on this page are linked to some of the blank notebooks I have for sale on Amazon.

Always trust your gut when you write and in all of life, not your heart or your head. Write about what inspires you and don't worry about what anyone else thinks about it. Your gut instincts will never lie to you, whereas your heart and your head, often will.

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