Undead is not dead. It is also not alive. But it makes for a pretty compelling storyline.
If things are not going according plan, the hardest part is to know when to keep slogging on and when to hang it up.
Take this blog for instance. Since its launch early last year, my readership has erratically bounced up and down within a relatively narrow – and frankly, unimpressive – range. It never seems to gain any meaningful traction.
Late last year, I wrote what was intended to be my last post. It is done and ready to go. I even picked out the perfect song to headline it to wrap it all up with a pretty little bow.
The thing is, though, I cannot bring myself to post it.
Just when I think it is time to eject the disc and put Persistent Beat back in its case and on the shelf, something will turn the volume up. A reader will reach out to share a personal anecdote about how my last post spoke to them. Or I will pick up a few new subscribers after a protracted lull.
I had a grand vision that this URL would become a place to spark thought, introspection and meaningful discussion. At scale.
While the audience is much (much, much…) smaller than initially anticipated, there is still something here. It is working; just not like I expected.
That’s the thing about the decision to persist and forge ahead or to pack it in. Sometimes the answer is not so clear. If you fail to meet your initial vision, maybe you need to rethink what exactly your version of success actually is. To give it the time to metamorphose into its final state. Whatever that might be.
And it does not always require a downwards revision. Take Post-It Notes, for example. They were made possible by a missed mark. A failed outcome. And disappointment.
In 1968, a scientist at 3M was tasked with the development of new glues. “We wanted to develop bigger, stronger, tougher adhesives”, he said. “This was none of them.” But six years later, his failed attempt was paired with a better problem and went on to become one of the most notable products for the company.
Not to worry; I am not declaring my blog the next breakthrough-in-waiting. I am not that conceited, and I have not gotten ahead of my skis. But if I am being intellectually honest with myself, it was never really about scale. It was about impact.
And that, I have accomplished. If only at a microscopic level.
That final post is still there. Written and waiting. But it might be a while before it sees the light of day.
Total Zombie by Day Wave
It is not surprising that I once again dipped into the Day Wave well. I love this band. A lot. This song is a great example of what makes the group so great. Dreamy, well-written lyrics laid out over a beautiful musical score. Give it a listen. You might find yourself downloading everything they have ever recorded. It happened to me.