Introducing Doug 5.0

Eighteen months ago, my better half told me I was retired. Note this wasn’t a question or a request, it was a “demand bid” and there wasn’t an alternative.  

I’ve spent that time trying to decide what “being retired” meant to me – a writer/storyteller/creator. I even filled several notebooks with thoughts, rants and whining.

But all those hand-written words, (aided by several bottles of ink for my fountain pens and an entire sack of coffee beans) solidified the other day into something I’m calling Doug-Five-Point-Zero or Doug 5.0   Let me answer a few questions to get us started.

Where Did Doug 5.0 Come From?

I split my life into different stages:

  • Infant  1.0
  • Toddler  2.0
  • Youth  3.0
  • Adult 4.0
  • Senior 5.0

Objectives

So these notes report on the things I discover and/or experience – as a creator of a “certain age.”

Will they be useful to you if you’re not a senior?  

  • Let me ask if you intend to be one some day? If the answer to that is “yes,” you might want to stick around.  
  • Got parents?  This may help. 
  • And who really knows – being older may not be a handicap to explaining things of interest to other ages. 🙂

Other Topics?

Yes, I’ll continue to write about other topics as well from my own experience and research. That won’t change. See those topics in the website menus.

Random Thoughts On Being Retired

I don’t identify as “senior”. I’m healthy, active and curious. I still move heavy stones around as I build dry stone walls as a hobby so I’m not yet doddering around the garden.  

But yes, the knees and ankles complain when the weather changes and on those mornings, I do feel each and every year. (An active athletic life left some injuries behind.)

And yes, my age does qualify me for senior’s discounts. 

And yes, I’m still trying to adjust to this label (not sure I ever will.) 

My brain seems to function as well as it ever did – in some ways even better – but we’ll talk about how senior’s brains differ from younger folks brains in upcoming notes.

Building Dry stone walls for our garden – this one contains 50 tons of stone.

Will I research topics for readers on being retired or otherwise?

Sure, if it interests me. You can suggest topics by using the contact-me form here.

Other Topics?

l continue writing about other issues as well and you can see those in the menu.

What else am I doing moving forward?  

All of my creative projects are clearly being evaluated again this simple criteria: “Hell yeah or no.”

One fiction pen name has already been nuked and no longer exists.

Several projects have been deleted from my “maybe project list.”  There’s nothing new about this, my project list is as much a work in progress as I am.

As I said, it’s a work in progress (damn, do seniors repeat themselves?) 🙂

All the best

Doug

p.s. you can get updates when I post something new by clicking here

Goodbye Facebook

Dear Facebook

I’ve done my best, I truly have. 

  • You wanted good notes–I gave them.
  • You wanted memes–I created them. 
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Links
  • Interaction

I did them all. I followed your dictated trends. And I grew a garden author page to 5000 likes and 5000 followers. (Yes, 10,000 gardeners!) But you’ve claimed those readers as your own, so you can advertise to them.

You’ve made it clear you’ll only share my posts with 300-ish of those folks. (Yes, 300 out of 10,000.)

  • If I want to give more readers free garden information, I have to pay you.
  • If I tell them how to grow a plant, I have to pay you.
  • I have to pay you to give away free advice. Seriously?

There’s no win-win here so it’s goodbye Facebook

It’s a win-lose.

Yes, I know a lot of readers think this is just fine because they prefer Facebook over other options. But here’s the thing, moving forward I’ll treat Facebook as it wants to be treated – as an advertising function.

Note it’s better for me to advertise on Amazon where my books are sold (one click to a sale) then on Facebook (where it’s two clicks to a sale.) 

You may ask, “How can I go against the advice of thousands of marketers and say Goodbye Facebook?”

1) I hate being exploited.
2) Amazon ads work better to help me sell books.
3) Facebook is not one of my top-3 traffic sources.
4) I’m making a big project–my best and last garden in the real world – so I’m taking the time to do that.
5) I no longer GAF. I’m retired so I can write what I want, share what I want, and follow whatever online direction I want. I’m doing that.
6) Readers can make the same decision. They can subscribe to my garden updates or not – their choice.

Postscripts

WordPress has a feature to post my gardening notes on DougGreensGarden to Facebook. I’ve deleted it.

If readers prefer Facebook to my newsletter, website and they don’t purchase my e-books–they are not really a “true” fan of mine. (They are a Facebook fan.)

It is absolutely wonderful how liberating this is.

Yeah, being retired means I have time. Time to create an awesome garden and I can share it in any way I want regardless of how others behave or what Facebook wants.

Stay tuned: I believe my inner curmudgeon has finally slipped the “surly bonds of earth” and both my gardener and writer self are delighted.

Doug

p.s.  And finally, if you want updates to this blog, click here

9 Rules For A Creative Life

1) Don’t expect any rule to last forever. (Stuff happens, people change and the world changes around you)

2) Change in inevitable. (see Rule number 1)

3) You can’t follow a trend and expect to create successfully. (Trends end)

4) Lead or be led. Be the trend.

5) Just because you’re leading doesn’t mean everyone (or anyone) will follow.

6) You might be on a dead end but you won’t know until you gloriously arrive.

7) Cut your losses! Accept them. Move on.

8) When you master one technology or delivery system or creative platform, another more popular and useful one will emerge.

9) Your dedication to creativity will be tested by yourself, others and current systems.

I started writing some of these down as an exercise in my own creative life. I was/am looking for the next project that would turn on my creative juices. I note these are not carved in stone and may be (will be) modified on an ongoing basis.

I’ll get back to you about this as it develops.

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I Have A Brain

While there are days when I wonder if I do indeed have a functioning brain, I can now answer the question in the affirmative.

Not only do I have a brain, but I can share it with you. (Nothing kinky here!) 😉

I read extensively and, as most writers do, collect information compulsively.

This bit of software allows me to collect, index and share information with readers if I choose.

And I decided, what the heck, you might find some of the resources I find interesting and useful in your own life.

You’ll find the brain here. And it’s now on the navigation menu as well.

It’s rather fun what technology will do isn’t it.

The Last Year Of A Minister’s Career

One of the things I noticed in my churchgoing time was a delightful change in the tone and content of the minister’s sermons during their last year before retirement.

Understanding their time of delivering sermons was coming to an end seemed to bring out the best in them (imho) as they said exactly what they’d always wanted to say.

They didn’t have to worry about being fired (they were about to leave anyway). They didn’t have to worry about upsetting the congregation with their opinions and Mrs. Whatshername couldn’t do anything about their opinions. They didn’t have to stick to the list of “official sermons” or they could modify them to their heart’s content. This last year was the last kick at the can and the closer to the end, the better and more honest the words.

I note every church has a Mrs. Whatshername and if you go to church you can easily identify this individual. If you can’t – it might be you. But I digress.

That last year was the time I really paid attention in church (admit it, your mind wanders too) 😉

So What’s This Got To Do With Anything

I’ve adopted the idea this is my last year of writing before I retire.

To be honest, it may or may not be. But if I treat the words and ideas as if they were the last time I could say them… well…. I’m going to enjoy myself a whole lot more.

And for the record, I’m already retired or as retired as a writer ever gets.

I’m Now Writing For Me.

I’m not writing for Google rankings or using SEO (search engine optimization) techniques, I’m just writing the words that come out the ends of my fingers.

And from one morning to the next, I no longer know which words will decide to rise to the challenge. Or, even if they’ll come out. Or whether I’ll publish them.

It’s like having twenty years of writing ahead of me but with each day being my last.

The Questions

Two questions spring to my mind is 1) why I didn’t do this sooner?

And, 2) whether you have the same problem and haven’t broken out of it yet as well?

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Hell Yeah or No

Derek Sivers wrote this little gem of a decision maker and I’ve been using it in my developing retirement planning.

Essentially, if I can’t say “Hell Yeah!” with excitement to any project, it becomes a “No.” Either get very excited or knock it off the to-do list.

There’s no financial analysis, no wondering about outcomes or resources and it’s extremely simple.

If I can’t say, “Hell Yeah!” with enthusiasm for a project, it becomes a “Hell No!”

My new coffee mug from my favourite potter (who I just happen to love even more when she delivers lovely gifts like this one.)

I invite you to try this with some of your projects. Or…. (damn near anything)

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