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I seem to have misplaced May

posted Jun 4, 2019, 2:18 PM by Colleen Getty   [ updated Jun 4, 2019, 2:25 PM ]
Oh Lord! I missed May. I fell asleep like Rip Van Winkle or perhaps a wave just swept me away. 

Since September 2016 I have somewhat consistently contributed to the same blog—despite still not fully understanding what exactly the blog is supposed to be. It sometimes reads as a press release about events to come or in the past. Other times it reflects on the process and challenges of working to support a community of writers. Still, there is a third blog form that takes on the appearance of just thinking aloud (or on paper) for the sake of creativity or philosophy: poetry, essays, or pieces from fictional works of my own. 

Whatever the form the blog entries take, they have always shown up once a month at a minimum. This year, however, a moment in May was nowhere to be found. Perhaps it was that Black Hole that we all saw pictures of in April. Seems suspicious that an image of a Black Hole shows up in April and then May goes missing. However it happened I’m sorry to have broken what had been a concerted effort towards consistency.

Consistency has been the secret sauce in establishing The Room to Write in my own life and as an organization. Consistency seems to be one of those ingredients that must exist in any effort. It can aid in keeping a mission of any size a bit more predictable and achievable. A schedule can be a very important tool in life. Reliability and consistency cannot be had without some sort of schedule. If you perform a task or work in a career presently that you want to continue to work in—be consistent and reliable about your business. 

While writing this, I think of (strangely enough) McDonald’s. I can’t say this is exactly an endorsement since I can count on only one finger how often I’ve been there in the last few years—but McDonald’s is doing something right to still be in business. There was a time when I could think of nothing more exciting than biting into a Big Mac and fries, but times have changed. With this in mind, I decided to take a quick look at the history of McDonald’s while writing. It seems no coincidence why I thought of their business model when stunned and disappointed at my omission of May in what had otherwise been a reliably consistent blog.

Here’s what I found at the McDonald’s website (https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/about-us/our-history.html): “In 1954, [Ray Kroc] visited a restaurant in San Bernardino, California that had purchased several Multimixers. There he found a small but successful restaurant run by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald, and was stunned by the effectiveness of their operation. The McDonald’s brothers produced a limited menu, concentrating on just a few items – burgers, fries and beverages – which allowed them to focus on quality and quick service.” It went on to say, “Ray Kroc wanted to build a restaurant system that would be famous for providing food of consistently high quality and uniform methods of preparation. He wanted to serve burgers, fries and beverages that tasted just the same in Alaska as they did in Alabama.” 

Well, The Room to Write is no McDonald’s, but there is something to be gleaned from the idea of focusing on a select number of things and doing them in a quality way, consistently. This is quite possibly one of the most difficult challenges in this modern day. Each of us is doing a lot of things, but are we doing them well? Luckily for the blog—summer is approaching. That is when the world slows down for me—just long enough to catch up (if even by just letting it lap around me only to appear lined up where I left off). There is a benefit from trying new things and setting out in new directions. There, too, is a benefit from sitting back to see what worked with an intentional focus on doing what was done well going forward. The trick is that we cannot always discover what we did well until we’ve tried lots and lots of things first. Go figure.

So, here’s to trying new things and grabbing hold of those things that resonate and reverberate within us in a way that gets our attention. Here’s to ignoring what the world is doing around us (or saying we should be doing) for periodic intervals in order to see and hear what we are doing. It’s no easy task to do what we believe to be worthy and in keeping with our character. 

Here’s to consistency, quality and success in whatever it is we set out to do!