My Five Best Articles of 2019 (Plus an Outlier)

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A look back at my output in the past year

In Match of 2019 I started writing here on a more serious level. I had written a couple of pieces in years past but had basically forgotten them. However, in March I revisited Medium, learned about the Partner Program and started looking at what other writers were doing here. I discovered a community bound together by writing, though the individual perspectives varied wildly. When I first started doing essentially random pieces, I had no plan, nor did I have any expectations.

Contemplating Psychedelics at 64

This was easily my most popular story, which interests me because it deals with hyper popular subject, mind altering drugs, and a less popular subject, aging. Like several of my favorite pieces this started as a rambling dissection of the thought process that led me to acquire some mushrooms in anticipation of revisiting experiences I had left behind forty years earlier, from an older perspective. It kind of kicked off a series of pieces about initiating change in your sixties.

Rice and Bean Life

This one is very stream of conscious and it got a lot of attention but few people read it through. I learned from it that actions speak louder than philosophy here. Readers like actionable advice or action-based stories.

My Train Trip Across America: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This is my favorite piece from 2019. Last month (November 2019) I fulfilled a bucket list item, crossing the country on Amtrak. I had expectations, many of which proved wildly wrong. I found myself in a very sketchy situation that I still think about, which led to some fairly dark observations about our society. The trip was a real journey in the sense that I returned a changed person, which was really my goal- to shake things up. But the shaking was not anything I saw coming. Beauty and despair.

How To Avoid One-Hit Wonder Syndrome

This one fits into the practical category, advice on building a body of work. You might see it as a pushback against those who think fame or money should come their way faster. No artist who holds up over time does so without an intense amount of work. A painter like Basquiat, who died at 27, left thousands of paintings. A writer who has a hit on their first book often fails to follow with a second. I really wrote this from my perspective of having created bodies of work in several mediums including music, writing, and business.

Hacking Neuroplasticity: Incremental Change and Upheaval Change

This one has not been particularly popular, but it spells out a process I’ve been exploring for keeping life interesting as a creative. Game-changing actions, like tripping or getting way out of your comfort zone, can push big life changes, but incremental changes like breaking old habits and installing new ones are just as important. Both require a conscious decision to explore how we live and actively work to improve it. These kinds of things become less intuitive as we settle into life. That settling is no longer enough for me.

Silent Walking: A Mindfulness Practice

As a Buddhist in the West, I realized that finding time for meditation and contemplation in our society can be challenging. So I wrote about a practice I started doing as a kid, using silence and walking as a way to focus. Like forest bathing, this technique is ancient and speaks to a part of ourselves we can all relate to. I hope you enjoy it.

Written by

Novelist, Tech Marketing Writer, Growth Consultant. I have been a professional writer for over 20 years- 8 non-fiction books and 1 novel, many articles, etc.

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