Ricky Midway: What’s this?
Tom Leu: An ongoing column or essay in the format of a Q&A. I’m calling it Conversations with Tom.
Who’s asking the questions?
Ricky Midway (that’s you); the interviewer and my alter-ego. He/you represents all the voices in my head asking the tough questions.
Okay… and you (Tom Leu), are answering these questions that I am asking?
That’s right. With brutal honesty, humility, and (hopefully) humor at times.
Don’t you think this sounds kinda pretentious and weird?
To some it will. Absolutely.
But you’re doing it anyway?
Because some will think it sounds kinda pretentious and weird, and therefore get their attention, and doing so will piss them off. And because some will find it clever and compelling, and doing so will intrigue and inspire them.
Has taking this approach to writing and content creation taught you anything about yourself?
Yes, unexpectedly for me, this format really frees me up to say/(write) things that I may not say or write within the context of some of my other writings. And that’s very attractive and fun for me.
So do you think you’re a good enough writer to pull this off?
I think so. I consider myself a decent writer; though I’ve never actually written anything “noteworthy” yet. So I don’t know if that qualifies me as good or not.
Unless one’s writing has been legitimately published by a reputable (and often sizeable) book or periodical publisher, it doesn’t really count, nor matter (they say)… therefore not noteworthy.
So who are “they” that get to determine what is “good’ and what is deemed “worthy?” And how does one go about getting that job?
That’s a good question… I guess it’s those people in any industry who decide what gets mass produced and what doesn’t. I’ll call them the “Keepers of the Content Contingency” or the KCC.
So only something legitimately published qualifies it as noteworthy? Don’t think I agree with that.
It seems that way, though I know a lot of exceptions exist. But not only does a writer’s work have to be legitimately published for it to really count; this published work also has to be consumed (i.e. purchased) by some pre-determined (large) number of people to validate the writing’s relative worth by financially justifying its existence. Then and only then can one be truly considered “a writer.”
So who made up these requisite rules of writing? Members of the KCC?
(laughing) Most likely. But ironically, I’m fairly certain that whoever it was probably isn’t a “real” writer themselves.
Now that’s funny! And likely true.
It’s actually kind of sad if you think about it.
These supposed “experts” in any field are certainly not the final authority are they?
No, of course they’re not. But they are the gatekeepers to a certain extent. This is why we (the writers, artists, content creators) have to understand the relationship between creativity, contribution, and commerce. You see, only YOU (the creator) can truly decide what is “good” regarding creativity. And only OTHERS (the consumer) can truly validate what is “good” regarding contribution. And then for commerce to truly exist requires an “agreement” between YOU and OTHERS.
So is that what this column is about? Communication? Creativity? Contribution? And the Psychology underlying it all?
Yes, that’s a pretty good overview summary. It’s an ongoing conversation and commentary where I talk shiFt about life and the Lifestyle Initiative Training that results from embracing the many principles of personal development that exist within the Communichology™ of Pop Culture. It’s a process.
Wait, so what is Communichology™?
Very simply, it’s an approach to studying human behavior from the vantage point where communications skills and human psychology collide.
You already said that.
I did, didn’t I?
I’ll take that as a compliment.
You should. Your whole approach here sounds rather insightful, exciting and fresh.
Well, that sounds like a good ending note to this initial conversation.
It does. Guess I’ll “talk” to you soon…
**More Conversations with Tom archives.