Tag: Gordon A. Wilson.

Inspiration from Mediocrity

I came across this blog on www.firetok.com, written by Gordon A.Wilson. Gordon and I have had many chats about writing, life, and what inspires, but I feel this blog hit the nail on the head when it comes to talking about inner motivation. Some of us who strive to write a best seller will never reach that goal because perhaps (amongst other reasons) we choose to be okay with mediocrity. Gordon has found the inspiration in this. Read on, and be inspired.

I started this blog writing about things which inspired me. The inspiration has come in so many different ways. Seeing someone trying to get somewhere is always inspiring. When I see an honest effort to get something done it just makes me feel good. When I can see this effort being made it inspires me to want to put anything I can into supporting their effort.

I work with a lot of different students, and I see every level of dedication and commitment. I have a student who I never need to prepare for because she never practices. She can make excuses for anything and everything and believe me she does. I could teach her the same stuff every lesson and I swear sometimes I do because she puts no effort into growing.

At the other end of the spectrum is a student who devours everything she comes near. She worked on learning the chords to a song so she could play and sing it. I wasn’t sure what to expect. She returned a couple days later able to play and sing the song almost all the way through. Let me explain, to the non instrument players- playing and singing anything at the same time is not the same as playing or singing. It typically is something most people really have to work at to synchronize and get right. She pulled this off in couple days. She admitted that when she got home she was so excited she played it over and over until she got it right. Talk about self motivation.

So what does this have to do with anything? I was considering asking the same question. In the course of my exhaustive research for something I was working on yesterday  I came upon a video entitled something like, why you suck at guitar. The gist of the video was what kind of guitar player do you want to be? He drew up this great analogy about being alright with and accepting mediocrity. He explained more about the amount of effort and preparation it would take to get there which is not much. He also went on to explain how much effort and essentially practice it would take to become a really good guitar player. It is an entirely different level of commitment and a completely different mindset as well. Have I answered the question what does this have to do with anything yet? No. Not really but it’s getting closer.


What does the whole mindset aspect have to do with anything? Enough that it deserves a volume on its own. A champion in any field cannot have the mindset of a failure. A champion cannot even have an average mindset. Most of the champions I admire are humble so we are not talking about braggadocio.  I am talking about confidence and vision.There are a few things I would like to be much better at. One of them ironically is playing guitar and singing. But I really desire to become a better writer. In  a sea overflowing with writers, what could possibly separate my writing from anyone else’s? I don’t know that it could. But I can tell you for certain bad writing is not the path. Writing worse or accepting mediocrity is not on the path. Becoming a less interesting storyteller certainly won’t separate me from averageness. (I realize it may not be a real word but it so fits in with the point I am making.) Mediocrity. Being OK with mediocrity. Think about that one for a minute. This is where the whole playing guitar blends in with being a writer and as far as I am concerned being a person.

I can choose to not practice. I can choose to not learn. I can choose to be petty and small. I can choose to hold onto a self destructive grudge. I can choose to substitute judgement for understanding. I could fill my days with excuses for not accomplishing any given thing. When I get done I could ask someone to tell me what it looks like from where they stand. My guess is it would look just like it did before I made all my excuses. Why wouldn’t it? Nothing changed.  I didn’t really look at the things that make my writing less than interesting. I didn’t really practice that part I am having a hard time with. I made excuses and got nothing done.


The bottom line is this. The phrase “being alright with mediocrity” is offensive. It makes me cringe. I know the sea of writers is overflowing, as is the sea of entrepreneurs, singers, songwriters and about any other group I could list. Do I think the ones who have risen to the top of their field were the ones who were alright with their own mediocrity? Absolutely not.

What is inspiring about any of this? Everything. Look I know I will never be John Steinbeck or Ernest Hemingway nor will I wait for an invitation to go on tour with the Stones. But I can make choices to take steps each day to separate myself from mediocrity. I can learn from these greats and the not so greats. I can practice at being a more patient person. I can make efforts to spend more time listening and less time talking or assuming. I can make decisions to improve that which is improvable. Working to move away from mediocrity is inspiring.

Let me introduce you all to Gordon Wilson, a resident of Mason, Michigan, an independent author, and real person I met on Twitter. So far, Gordon has published one book titled Firetok. Can you tell us a bit about Firetok and what inspired you to write this book?

Firetok is about a person who has really lived a rough life in part due to his ability to see things and events outside of the norm. He fights his abilities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a destructive relationship and bad decisions. Eventually he finds himself in situations which suddenly make sense of his unacceptable abilities. The discovery leads to a rebirth of self with the help of a somewhat mysterious man and a dog. So the story has what may be considered supernatural elements. To me it is more about discovery of self and a conscious rebirth or awakening outside of societal norms.

The inspiration well, I don’t know if I should admit this but I firmly believe there is more to life than meets the eye. I see things all the time which make me think, I wish I could do something about that. I wish I could right that wrong, take matters into my own hands. While writing Firetok I did just that. Call me a virtual vigilante.

Reading some of your recent blog posts, I see attempts to coin a new genre, Inspirational Horror? Tell us a little about what inspirational horror is, and what draws you to this type of genre?

Inspirational HorrorI started reading articles and interviews while trying to understand genres in general. You are right, I have discussed it in detail in my posts. I was really puzzled to learn how in most circumstances a supernatural element in a story will get you classified in the horror genre. This was a huge surprise. I thought of horror as chainsaw massacre, hockey mask kind of stuff. It has become so much more. So to boil it down, Firetok was this inspirational tale of people really coming out on the other side of situations which were quite awful. The supernatural elements and the dark subject matter push it toward horror, yet the overall message is that of hope, perseverance and positive change. Inspiration. Horror. Inspirational Horror. I searched around and found virtually no instances of it so I jokingly coined the phrase in one of my articles.

What have you found to be the most difficult about writing?

It’s not the writing at all. It is everything else around it. I can write all day if I have the time. It’s promotion. I am not a self-promoter, while I can promote someone else without limit. I have never been comfortable bringing attention to myself. It’s the whole “getting published” thing. The whole “query” thing. The list of things I don’t even know I don’t know yet. What I have found in the process of trying to learn how to write is that you don’t just write a book. Writing is merely the tip of the iceberg, trying to figure out what to do next is where it gets difficult.

From what I’ve read online, I can’t tell if you write full time or not. If not, what do you do? Do you have future hopes of writing full time?

I do not write full time. I have spent nearly my entire adulthood in the construction industry and only in the last couple years have moved over to the music business. It took a couple years of working pretty long hours and writing in the cracks between to put Firetok together. Writing full time has been a dream but I will admit it is a passion thing with me. At this time I cannot even imagine how that would work. Don’t get me wrong, I am open to the concept. In the meantime I spend my days helping my wife run the School of Rock in Ann Arbor Michigan, a dream job in itself.

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I see that you’ve posted many new blog posts lately. Are you ramping up your following for a new project you’re working on? Or going hard promoting your current book and writer interests.

None of the above. Firetok is something I did years ago. I am not actually promoting it at all. I read through it now and see everything I could do better. I felt I needed to learn more about all the other stuff I mentioned before I move forward with another book. Hopefully I have learned and evolved quite a bit as a person and writer since that time and my current work will reflect it. My blog is really a notebook of topics I have studied, researched or read during the process of exploration. I have had personal experiences as well as many things I have learned which make it into the blog. My wife and I have a two hour commute to work each day we typically talk the entire way. Many, many times my blog posts are essentially notes from these conversations. One day we were talking about figuring out Twitter and how to use it. I put it out as a blog post and people went nuts for it. So I was never really trying to do anything with my blog until I discovered people wanting to read it. Now I am promoting the blog itself and have been overwhelmed with the response and support I have received. So to be honest I am promoting my own education and sharing the fruits. Building a following, that sounds like a great idea.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website/Blog : http://www.firetok.com/

Medium: https://medium.com/@gordona_wilson
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Firetok

Twitter: @gordona_wilson
Lnkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/GordonWilsonA
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/GordonAWilson/
Amazon Author Page: https://www. amazon.com/author/gordonawilson

Instagram: https://instagram.com/gordona.wilson/
Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/Firetok-Gordon-A-Wilson/dp/1478334800
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/GordonAWilson

You strike me as a person that not only likes to write, but read too. Name a few of your favourite authors or books, and what strikes you about their work.

I read all the time. Lately I have been devouring articles on writing itself and genre while I figure out where I fit in it all. I do love Mark Twain. The dialect and old style way his stories read to me now, really take me away. When I was younger I read about every Stephen King book I could get my hands on. I am looking forward to the release of your book.

Tell us a bit about your book cover? Who designed it? Why did you go with that image?

I did the cover art myself. The font was something I actually painted on paper then digitized to get it where I wanted it. Firetok is a giant Great Pyrenees dog which is what you see as the base image. I wanted it to be surreal except for his eyes which I believe I achieved. There are some scenes in the book where he gets involved in some gruesome action which involves blood. I felt the overall image of the book cover reflects contradictions I was trying to do with the story. The dog looks happy and harmless yet it kind of looks like he could be covered in blood? You get the idea, and like I said earlier, there is more to life than meets the eye.

Other than writing, do you have any other unique talents or hobbies?

I would not say unique. My recent changes in lifestyle have allowed me to get back into music in a way I never thought I would. I play guitar and sing with a group of other guys my age and actually work a lot with kids where I have been able to help them achieve their goals. It is not unique but definitely rewarding. I love horses and dogs and try to be around one or the other of them as often as possible.

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview Gordon. Best of luck to your in life, and in your writing.