There are still empty seats at the table

Just about exactly four years ago today, we launched SearchAmelia and during that time we wrote and published close to 8,000 articles, stories, essays and weather forecasts. In statistics that breaks down to an average of almost 6 uploads a day, each and every day of those 4 years.

Looking back at this enormous task I got somehow reminded me of a story I once read about Dwight D. Eisenhower who early into his presidency was asked for the name of his favorite author. “Harry Sinclair Drago,” said Eisenhower.
The reporters looked puzzled. They obviously hadn’t heard of Drago and there were no iPhones then to quickly look up the man’s credentials, even though he’d written several classics of western fiction, including Suzanna: A Romance of Early California and Whispering Sage.

So in line with what reporters do when caught in a moment of ignorance, they asked Eisenhower for his second favorite. “Bliss Lomax,” replied Eisenhower, which generated more bewilderment among the media pundits. But if nothing else, this proved that Eisenhower was consistent, because Bliss Lomax was a pen name used by Harry Sinclair Drago.

Drago used at least eight additional pen names. He needed all those names because he wrote a lot and on various topics. Over the course of his career, he wrote short stories, screenplays, articles, and more than a hundred novels. More than three full-length novels a year for 30 years.

When Syracuse University announced that it would be the custodian of Drago’s papers, some 15 linear feet long, the thing that seemed to fascinate reporters the most was the amount he wrote. So one of them asked him: “How did you write over a hundred books?”
Four pages a day,” replied Drago.

Obviously we write a lot too here at SearchAmelia and yes we use a variety of pen names as well. Over the four years of our existence we have offered a line up of several hundred advertisers, artists, professionals, politicians, bankers, musicians, community leaders and contrarians to submit stories for publication, but with little lasting success. Essentially because most people consider it a chore to write down their thoughts, beliefs, opinions or fruits of their professional accomplishments. On a weekly basis we receive requests via the website for article submissions, yet we find it amazing how few people can actually organize themselves to submit something of value and quality on a somewhat regular basis.

Distractions are always around us, ready to take our focus hostage.
On October 3, 2009 I wrote an essay titled The Ballad of the Clock and the Compass about this, in which I tried to explain that it is OK to respect the clock on the short term, as long as as the ultimate direction of where you’re going is guided by the compass of your life.
Be at all times mindful that the clock creates the powerful seduction to Multi Task, often leading to digressions that take you far away from moving steady in the direction you have set on your personal compass.
Many people believe there is a fancy, complex answer for being productive and multi tasking is the way. However, it’s simply “just doing it” and staying focused that really gets things done. Yet Multi-tasking seems so much more fun in today’s society, even though nobody ever gets done with their workload or even enjoys old fashioned satisfaction in accomplishing dreams.

Rhythmic  steady beats multi-tasking every time.

We’ve attracted a nice following over the years, whether it was because of Judie’s daily weather forecast, our “Award Winning” Event Calendars or essays about life, finances, internet marketing, politics or accomplishments. And the reason we keep on writing every day is, because it gives satisfaction. The first time someone leaves a comment or sends an email to react to one of your stories is magical. When someone praises you, you feel good because your brain produces a chemical called dopamine. When you praise yourself by checking off a completed action step, you get the same physiological result. As you achieve one small win after another, you find it easier and easier to take the action steps that generate the wins. Keeping score is a wonderful way of moving things along on your life’s compass.

At the end of every day, Ben Franklin would ask himself: “What good have I done this day?” You can ask the question: “What have I done today to move my life and career forward?”

Remember that success is almost always a process. Most people don’t achieve big things in one quick move, they get there one bite at a time. Quite similar to the little riddle: How do you eat an Elephant? Answer: One bite at a time.
Anyone has stories in them; work stories, travel stories, dining out stories, school stories, sports accomplishments, announcements, requests, entertainment and just life,  and we at SearchAmelia would love to hear them. Stories about how your life went off the compass track or how you got back on.
If you have a story, we have the audience.

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