How to be Epic

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Epic picture of Ori hanging over a lava pit

A most Epic picture of me over a fiery death

My friend Elizabeth was writing that she’s not feeling very Epic.  That she had a blog post in her head, but it wasn’t coming out the way she wanted.  Sounded like she was being harsh on herself.

Most people would (and did) say “It’s ok… even writing about having nothing to say is saying something…” or “your observations are great, something that isn’t Epic for you, might be for someone else.”

My good friends can rely on me though to give a unique perspective, and Elizabeth has been relying on me to call her out on her excuses or bullshit.

So, when I read this cry for help, I had to put in my 4 cents.  So here it is, what I wrote in response to Elizabeth’s Post on not being Epic. (With italicized & colorful commentary for y’all):

you’ll listen, damnit! :)   ( Elizabeth said that despite that people would leave advice, she probably wouldn’t listen )
How to be epic:

1)Try new things every day– even if it’s a new song you’ve never heard, a new beverage you’ve never had (my kidneys just loved me when I tried “Different energy drink at every gas station”(Rockstar Triple Strength is the winner… it really works better than the rest… but god knows what you’re putting into your body.  All those things are horrific) — that was across many 3 day drives.), talk to someone you’ve never talked to (Tweeting does NOT count for this, sorry) (Elizabeth tweets a lot- finding a new person to follow and talk to on Twitter is adviseable, but it does not count as Epic.  Walk up to a stranger, and start a conversation– that right there can be Epic.  Think of Fight Club, when their homework was to start a fight with a stranger– now THAT is difficult, and would make for an Epic blogpost). That alone will give you plenty to talk about.

2)If you like something… a lot… .someone else out there will too. I was deeply moved by The Muppet’s remake of Bohemian Rhapsody, so I embedded it, and made a blog post about it. That helped a lot more people find it than if I were to FB it. Maybe muppets don’t do it for you, but the occasional humor or tearjerker, or something that resonates with how you feel.

3)(Preferred Ori recommended method)- Have an adventure! Go out of town! Treat where you live as if you were out of town. Oh wait.. didn’t I already give you some homework about that this week?(Elizabeth went to NYC, and came home, and was grumpy… and said she tried everything, but it’s not working… she can’t get out of grump.  She called me, and I gave her the homework assignment of treating where she lives as if it were out of town.  What would you do if you just landed in some place for the weekend?  Probably go find unique stuff to do. Find that local free paper, and see if there’s any shows, any parties, any events.  Try a new restaurant.  Ask people what’s going on in that area. I told EPW that I can connect her with my brother, and she can go ballroom dancing.  When was the last time you went ballroom dancing? For her, it was never) Didn’t you say it rocked? Where’s the damn blog post? I thought that would be *EPIC* – Shall I mention the text you sent as you were leaving out the door?  (had something to do with one item of clothing)

4)Your kid is frigging awesome! Write about her, and her perspective of the world… because I know that ‘Gracie, what’s your favorite part about ice skating? “that I get to fall down!” ‘ is fuel for A LOT of blog posts. I mean… that is a millionaire mentality we could all use more of. (I often act like a big kid, because why the hell should we stop believing in dreams?  Kids think that anything is possible.  They appreciate the wonders of the world.  That’s why I love sci-fi, and magic shows.  Elizabeth’s kid just had surgery after 2nd degree burns, and enjoyed the whole hospital experience. She likes talking to strangers.  She likes that she can fall when she’s learning to ice skate.  If we all had these traits, we’d take a lot more chances, get up, and try again… and we’d be quite wealthy and happy for it.)

5) (not my recommended method, but it can work) Get shitfaced, flip through the channels, and then write. You’ll tend to be overly emotional, and something will either piss you off, or will make your day. Downside- spelling errors, and you may get blacklisted, etc…

6)Get inspired. Ever notice that something may be nice somedays, but other days it’s “Oh my god! I’ve never had coffee this good!” — endorphins, saritonin…. being inspired. If you’re in a great mood, or thinking of a goal, then all of a sudden, everything is cool again (i.e. when you were in a crappy mood the other day, and I said “Call a funny friend” and then I started talking about zip-lining across a chasm (See! I know you just smiled right then!) — so… think of the next big thing you’re doing, and voila! (If you have something to look forward to – a hot date, an amazing vacation, a big seminar that you can’t wait to attend, a day of solitude, a bonus – you can think about it…. and you get excited, because the mind pictures having it, and that actually releases the same chemicals as having it.  The short version is: focus on the positive things, and the things you want.  This is why a vision board (digital is ok too… I’ll make a tutorial on how to make that soon) is so great… it gives you a daily reminder of the things you want… and gives you a place to go to look when you’re bummed.  Elizabeth is coming here this weekend, and we’re going Ziplining… That’s something for both of us to look forward to!
Ok… that rocks… no more non-epic posts, now that you know how it’s done :)
Oh yeah… thought of this recently-
7)Blog about your past. I remembered just the other day that my dad put me in a programming class at age 6…. it didn’t fully take, but I picked up some major skills. In 6th grade, I was using a HexEditor to take out copy protection from Sierra Games (cool video games– King’s Quest, etc). So… because my dad wanted to get me into computers early on, because he’s passionate about computers, etc… I am able to do all these amazing thigns I do today… which helps me stay mobile (which is ironic, ’cause my folks are just waiting for me to tell them I’m finally setteling down, yada yada yada). On my show (http://bit.ly/5EwIaH) I talked to Ingrid, and told how she was diagnosed as learning impaired, when really she only had a hearing impairment… but because of that, she had her very own bus/bus driver, special classes, and it really affected some of the ways she grew up… you get it… there’s a million interesting things in your past, and your readers enjoy knowing who you are, and what you really think… that’s why you got so many comments on Signposts and Bat shit. What did you want to do when you were Gracie’s age? My comment may get copied to my blog now, as an epic blog post :) (See? I kept my word)

Ok… now it’s non-italicized, but I’m staying in blue, so you don’t confuse my blogpost with the comment I left for EPW on her blog.

It crossed my mind that that comment would make a good blog post.  But, when her readers started commenting that they are printing it out and laminating it…. I knew I had to share it with you guys!

So… there you go… If you’re having writer’s block, or are not feeling inspired by your post– just read this again, and voila!

22 Responses to “How to be Epic”
  1. Tweets that mention How to be Epic | Couch Surfing Ori -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CouchSurfingOri, Elizabeth Weinstein. Elizabeth Weinstein said: #thingsishouldpayhimfor RT @CouchSurfingOri How to be Epic! http://bit.ly/7amZ9A [...]

  2. ElizabethPW Says:

    One of the many amazing things about you Ori is how you are so good at calling me on this stuff, especially when I am feeling all lame / complain-y / sorry for myself / bored. You're my writers-block adventure-block hero. :) Yes, the number of the things in my life that I could write about are ridiculous. And maybe that's one of the points here — maybe I'm not writing about them for a reason, because I'm chickening out on some level, listening to that normal-person-ego in my head instead of just freaking living my truth etc. Thank you! :)

  3. uberVU - social comments Says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by CouchSurfingOri: How to be Epic! http://bit.ly/7amZ9A

  4. Justin Wright Says:

    What an epic post. Tons of great ideas, some of which I think I need to apply. I've always been a big fan of visualizing and the use of a vision board (though it's been awhile since I've used one). Cheers to an awesome post!

  5. Mike Stenger Says:

    Great tips Ori! You da man! It's nice to see you reach out and help others when you can because I know you are one busy and ADOS dude ;-) At the end of the day, it's all about helping others for sure

  6. couchsurfingori Says:

    Heck… I need to read this sometimes :) It's funny how different techniques click with different people. Had some people point out to #5. Got my Zipline adventure this weekend, that should help get me excited. Gotta love the power of the internet– this was something I wrote to help one person… but then it spread. I've taught people how to use Photoshop to make great visionboard, or how to make vision screensavers… I'll have to turn those into posts too.

  7. couchsurfingori Says:

    "You're my writers-block adventure-block hero. :) " Think that falls under #nicestthingstosayaboutsomeone.You welcome :)

  8. couchsurfingori Says:

    heheh- the beauty of ADOS is that writing this WAS an ADOS distraction from something else I was doing :) It's got it's pros & cons. Glad you like it. I think I'll do more of this type of post.

  9. Alison Kramer Says:

    great post, read it three times so i wouldn't miss anything! best part for me is just how many ways there are to get inspired/excited/challenge yourself/learn new things/grow… the part about acting like a kid and seeing things with their kind of eyes is so true. i am very very lucky to have three little minds following me around who call me on my grown-up crap all the time and remind me just how cool the world really is.Elizabeth is someone who inspires me all the time. i was also feeling pretty blah about things lately, so her post really spoke to me. Then i read your comments and here i am….thank you :)

  10. Kim Redd Says:

    Loved this post as I have also been feeling not so "EPIC" in my writing. My poor blog has been neglected now for 5 months. Suggestions #1 (Try New Things Every Day) and #6 (Get Inspired) are my facvorites, though all have their uses. Thanks so much Ori and Elizabeth! Have fun ziplining!

  11. couchsurfingori Says:

    Kim- under New things every day, you can add just good ol' fashioned changing WHERE / HOW you blog. Go to a local blogging meetup, or just blog in a coffee place, or maybe by a lake. Maybe try talking to your voice recorder, and then podcasting that in a blog post, or having it transcribed. I guarantee you that you'll be excited about your blog post if you're recording it from atop the tallest building in town, or from the beach, or even from the bathroom (Yeah… well, statistically, you'd think this counts as new place to work- I've been wrong before). If you noticed, that was combining 1 & 6 — going to a place you get inspired and working there :) (I've tweeted from on top of a cliff after a crazy hike: http://twitpic.com/3s22z <– Tell me you'd write a boring blog post from that spot!

  12. couchsurfingori Says:

    Always happy to help. 3 times! Wow! Imagine how many less typos I'd have if I read my own content 3 times! I look forward to the day I have kids, 'cause I"d be jumping through the mud, etc… but have an excuse to do so :) Right now I get some weird looks).If you want an easy way to make an epic post, tell your kids what you want to write about, and then ask them what they think you should write about it…. you'll get some amazing stuff.

  13. ceci norman Says:

    Nice suggestions. I've been stuck the past couple of days on writing a few articles… you're reiterating a lot of what I go with already, but seeing it written down by someone else is a good refresher. Thanks!!It's always good to be reminded to think positively, connect with [new] people, and tackle the world with curiosity. Now, I need to make the time to write…

  14. marvelousmartha Says:

    Ori – I love how you just helping a friend has turned into helping many more people. I plan on rereading this (my laminated copy) when I get stuck on what to blog. Thanks for posting this – I am sure all of your blogging friends will start having (more) epic posts!

  15. LaConsuelo Says:

    This is just so great, it actually made me laugh out loud. There's also always glomming onto a conversation topic between others (a la you and Elizabeth) to get you ruminating enough about something to blog about. My blog's about my Mom, so when I'm stymied it's usually because I'm trying to be pithy or poignant; so I think about her and write about that. That definitely works: (i) it's about the past and (ii) it's about someone else so I get to pull my head out of my butt!

  16. Jason Moffatt Says:

    Kind of a trippy post for me. For the last week I've been having a bit of trouble being creative with my writing. In fact, today I started writing a blog post called… "Mediocre Blogging", but decided to erase it because it was only so so. The whole point of the post was supposed to be about whether or not each post had to be epic? Sometimes I convince myself they ALL need to be superb, but then shit never gets done. So it's kind of odd to read this. Cool and odd. I really don't buy into the whole writers block thing. Anyone can bust out something if they just put the paper to the pad and let loose. However, I can resonate with not publishing items because they are not up to par or not "epic". I'm like that sometimes.Heck, I have an entire book written that is beyond epic yet I'm afraid to publish it. It's too epic is the problem.

  17. couchsurfingori Says:

    "Twitter For The Shitter" is that Epic? Or we talking about your life story. I'd buy that book, if it's your life story that we're talking about here. If it's another you have written– I may be unawares.I had some time in 2008 where I was feeling pretty rotten about my blog — 'cause there wasn't much going on in my life… I was mostly still, and in workaholic mode. I"m finding it surprising that even in the RV you're not feeling the content is Epic. The invite is open for you just like EPW – if you're stuck, give me a shout, I'm sure I can find some joke or entertaining perspective to bust out of the funk.Tim Ferriss only writes once every once in a long while, and he does just fine. You reach out to your tribe way more often though, and I'm certain some of them are curious as to waht's going on if you take too long. I've been writing almost daily lately, And I often wish I had more time for video editing, 'cause there – like yourself, and your shoeboxes full of videos -is tons of content… and the stories tell themselves. Share some of that stuff, even the tame stuff is wild :)

  18. couchsurfingori Says:

    It's a beautiful thing, the internet. You can recycle a joke, a lecture, or advice, and help many. I think this has quickly become one of my most popular posts that I've written. I tweeted it with 2subjects: How to be epic / how to get past writer's block. Both seemed to bring a bunch of people. This stuff applies to not just bloggers of course. The same could apply to a painter, or an author, orsomeone who's in a funk…. 'cause "treat yourself as if you're out of town." and "try something new every day" – those are just things to have a great life… to get inspired, or to have fun every day. I think life is all about having fun.

  19. couchsurfingori Says:

    Heh- making time to write is one topic I"m not 100% certain I could make a post on how to do :) My answer is just "sleep less" when I have to do everything I normally do, AND write. Most my best content comes out in the middle of the night too… when there's less distractions / people.

  20. MargueriteCrespillo Says:

    Everytime I see your name come across Facebook or Twitter, I laugh out loud because I know it is gong to be Epic:) This post is awesome and a great reference for those brain fade days (some of us have more than others)! I have already laminated it myself! Thanks a million!

  21. TwittLink - Your headlines on Twitter Says:

    [...] Tweets about this great post on TwittLink.com [...]

  22. Tweets that mention How to be Epic | Couch Surfing Ori -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CouchSurfingOri. CouchSurfingOri said: @CliftonWilson http://www.couchsurfingori.com/blog/how-to-be-epic/ <– not 100% the same, but may be of help! [...]

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