To Follow Trends or No?

Even if I  knew the names of these guys above, I wouldn’t tell you. I’m just too nice of a guy.

But, if your Twitter feeds looks anything like mine, you are inundated with advice from every corner. 6 Words To Avoid When Writing a Short Story! 18 Rules for the NEW Social Media! 5 Essential Trends in Exercise Marketing! It’s all hype. Most of it is the same old junk repackaged by a ‘content marketing’ genius. Some of it is good. Some of it bad. Most of it is mindless filler intended to get you to click your mouse. Do yourself a favor, and avoid clicking. It will be back again for you if you really think you need it.

But remember this: the tried and true – the thing that works –  is a hard sell. Want to lose weight? Then consume fewer calories than you burn each day, every day. You will lose weight. It’s a law of nature. But, no one wants to buy a book with that title. Want to be a better writer? Then write more. And when you are done, write even more. Write until your fingers ache. There is really no other way to improve than to do more. The now infamous guitar player Ted Nugent was asked once how to practice and improve as a guitar player. “Practice until your fingers bleed,” was his advice. Who pays for this advice? Who clicks on an ad claiming that “We Will Teach You French in Only Five Hours a Day!”? No one. Ages ago my classical guitar teacher told me that I could be a good player if I would commit to practicing for eight hours a day. I still don’t know if that was a compliment or a sarcastic slam.

I’m not saying that everything new is bunk. Nor am I saying that everything old is genius. What I am emphasizing is that you should invest the time to know the merits of what you’re investing in compared to your long-term goals.

Llook at the sad souls here. I guarantee that they were trying to look the part. A manager or publicist told them that this is how they had to look. Go with the trends! Forget talent! Forget singing ability! Or magic or whatever they were doing. “Look the part and legions will flock to you!”. And maybe they did. For a night or a month or maybe for a year. And maybe it was a fantastic year. Maybe it was worth this hideous picture. But if you are looking for something lasting, then it’s tough to beat whatever has worked for the successful who come before you.


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