Advice on Advice

Photo of Bill Murray which resides on my fridge.

Photo of Bill Murray which resides on my fridge.

Oh, the scrutiny, but who cares? People seem to matter themselves with things that don’t matter. What is another person’s opinion of you, to you? What does it mean? How do you feel? People can share their opinion, give you advice, tell you what they think, but really it’s all just words; just hot air brought in by the mouth, through the lungs, and then back out- vibrations touch your ears, but that’s it. Unlike you, no one else has the drive to create, to do. People can talk, but that is all they can do, just talk. You have done.

Some people don’t like Times New Roman font, I could care less. I find
Times New Roman font delightful. I used to not like it so much. Now I like it a lot. It’s easy to read, looks great when you blow it up big (like 72!), and there is a quality to it that makes double-spaced essays sexy, even if they are on mundane topics. English majors know, few others will understand. I study words for hours daily. If they are not aesthetically pleasing then they are not doing their job. It is not what is written (in many cases), but how it looks on page, screen, or tablet, how it appeals to the audience, the reader, and how it carries one through to the period. I couldn’t read blocks of shit unless it was typed in Times New Roman. I rest my case.

Disclaimer: at one point this essay was written in Times New Roman font, now, ironically, it’s probably not.

Thoughts too heavy, too deep: Many writers, artists, scribes, authors, poets, talkers, et al. may find it hard to produce. The problem comes from the outside, not from within. An artist should, at any moment, be able to embark upon an artistic endeavor, without hesitation or preparation. The artist should live, eat, sleep, and breathe art. Elsewise, what is the purpose? The artist waits, thinks on what the observer will surmise, assess, label. That is not his/her job. The artist’s job is to create, and keep producing—doing. Everything is art, really; walking across the street, buying a coffee, mispelling a wurd, using bad grammar, listening to music, reading a book, and talking about creating art is art, actually. It just depends on what kind of artist you want to be. My least favorite artist is the vocal performance artist: talk, talk, talk. They will speak endlessly at any, and every, social gathering about their ventures in the industry. When they open up, I am the turned-off artist. I typically walk away and bow. Thank you, thank you…

Fact: One day you will die and you will no longer be able to talk about the art you were going to make. Think about that.

Complaints, everyone complains. Complaining is easy, I love doing it. I would rather not do it so much, but no one else is doing it at this volume, I think. Complaining is fun, because everyone has been complained to, and everyone has voiced a complaint. It is a communal thing. Humans, we love to complain. 7 out of ten people will tell you of a bad experience (in the service industry); however, only 2 out of ten will tell you about a good experience. You remember that from training at your new job. We are hardwired to bitch about things. If I didn’t complain daily, half of what I might say throughout the day would be turned into silence- and that wouldn’t be cool, man. That would be a horrible occurrence! I wouldn’t want to do that! NO! I rest my case.

Lastly, don’t give advice—ever. Giving advice is bad. Even giving good advice is bad. Good advice is bad because it’s your opinion. And, no one cares about your opinion. Everyone has one (think of the old “asshole” saying). Also, your opinion can get you into trouble; just as your language can tell your actual motives and ideology, ask John Locke (I cite http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/locke/).

This is advice. What I learned recently is: Don’t give advice where advice is not wanted. People hate taking advice from others. As human beings we want to figure things out on our own. We want dignity, fulfillment, individuality- by ourselves. We want to feel that we are contributing to the human race, but only independently, interestingly. When someone gives me advice I usually think about something else. Immediately when the conversation begins -and we all know what that sounds like- my ears block the sound, I think of canoeing on an empty lake, just me, in the middle of the lake in a canoe. This is my serene getaway. I suggest you find one too. And then I pop back into reality at the end. My selective hearing is getting stronger, and that is only because I have learned from the best. The key is the finish. Just coming out of it can be difficult. I will usually employ a nod, or a “yeah, that’s interesting” or “that’s funny.” My go to is always “that’s funny”, because life is basically just funny. No matter what happens you can always laugh, even if you don’t want to. Laughing is good. You should try it. That is my advice. Take it from me…

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About Terry Scott Niebeling

Hello, My name is Terry Scott, a human being with flaws. twitter: @sirterryscott Buy my ebooks: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/191-4788099-1818040?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=terry+scott+niebeling
This entry was posted in @sirterryscott, Creative Non-Fiction, Essay, La Crescent, Midwest, Minneapolis, MN, Poetry, Prose, Twin Cities and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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