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Erik Hare

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Member Since: Mar, 2007

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Blogs by Erik Hare

Leading and Learning
2/18/2008 6:18:00 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]


Itís the day after Presidentís Day, the strange little wannabee holiday that fills in the space between Dr. King Day and Memorial Day. Itís a good time to reflect on leadership and what it means, and thatís the kind of mail Iíve been getting lately.

Thank you for your piece on George Washington Carver. You made me want to look up more background information on him, and he really was a great scientist.

You are most welcome. I wanted to say more, but I thought his spirit was the most important thing to comment on. I should have included a link any one of the fine biographies that are available, as they all list his many achievements. But you can find them on your own. What matters to me is that we still have a lot to learn from him. His approach to life and learning was a constant ballet of curiosity and amazement. Thatís good science, good art, and a good life all at once. Leading by example is one of the most powerful ways to lead.

I liked your blog on Latin America. Since I noticed that you only respond to e-mails with a question in them, Iíll ask one now: is Latin America going to start beating us out?

I led with the non-question about Dr. Carver just to confound you, so not everything has to be in the form of a question. This isnít Jeopardy. But that routine has gotten pretty old lately, hasnít it? Now Iím asking the questions Ö

In all seriousness, I do think that this is Latin Americaís big moment. It may seem strange to say it this way, but these nations did not succeed in staying together because their populations were relatively small and isolated. Mexico was once everything from Oregon to Panama, and Gran Colombia was once everything south of that to Peru and the Portuguese territory of Brasil. They split into tiny pieces largely because communication was difficult and the population centers had little in common.

One hundred years on, the problems became growing population centers with pervasive poverty, corruption, incompetence, and interference from the USofA. People had settled the continent, but the patterns were erratic and unconnected. That is changing, meaning that the time of BolŪvar is at hand. Can they work their way out of the situation? I think there is every reason to be hopeful given the tremendous resources that they have and the new spirit of cooperation. Two hundred years after independence, they finally have all the elements in place to control their own destinies. Perhaps they will even lead us yet. Britain never thought weíd run the world when they were done with it, after all.

I donít see how a writer can be so hard on writers in general. You must have gotten too many rejection letters to be so bitter.

Not at all. I havenít sent out queries to publishers or agents for two simple reasons: I know perfectly well that I donít understand the industry, and I really donít have anything finished to shop around.

I never set out to be a ďwriterĒ. I wrote ďDownriverĒ because I felt like it, and I can still show anyone the quote I got to have 12 copies of it printed at Kinkoís for my family. It turned out that it cost about as much to get it printed nicely at AuthorHouse, so I did that instead. Some other people read it and liked it, so I started actively pitching it. During this process I learned that I made many mistakes, including going with a less well regarded ďvanityĒ press and not even trying to shop it around to publishers.

I decided I should learn more about the industry to find out what it takes to do things right the next time, should I get around to it. It seemed reasonable to learn this stuff before I wrote anything new, since it might improve my writing or influence what I write in some other way. Iím not looking for checklists of ďtipsĒ, Iím looking to understand how some writers are chosen and others are not.

During this process, it has become clear to me that most of the industry that I have encountered is never going to like me, or more importantly what I have to say, no matter what I do. I will never be one of the ďcool kidsĒ. That shouldnít bother me, but I do think that there is an important role for literature in our world Ė a role that has gone utterly neglected in what appears to be a race to be more cool than the last author. I always lose that fight, but more importantly our world loses. There has to be another way, and Iíve decided that Iím as good a person to figure that other way out as anyone. Thatís a fight Iím willing to lead, if my leadership is helpful.

Thatís the mailbag for the week. Please keep your letters coming, even if they arenít in the form of a question. Call me bitter, call me angry, call me a complete idiot if you like; itís all good. Send them to wabbitoid47 at yahoo.com and I promise you a response of some kind. Thanks for reading!


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More Blogs by Erik Hare
• Let the Real Games Begin - Sunday, August 24, 2008
• Soul Mate - Friday, August 22, 2008
• Breaking the Code - Tuesday, August 19, 2008
• The Investment Express - Sunday, August 17, 2008
• The Verse of a Song - Friday, August 15, 2008
• Generic Politics - Tuesday, August 12, 2008
• Reductio ad Extremis - Sunday, August 10, 2008
• I'll Have it Bronzed - Thursday, August 07, 2008
• Lotsa Vacation - Tuesday, August 05, 2008
• Generations: Re-Invention - Sunday, August 03, 2008
• Happy as a Pig. Just a Pig. - Friday, August 01, 2008
• The D Word - Tuesday, July 29, 2008
• Writing Bubble - Monday, July 28, 2008
• Munchie - Friday, July 25, 2008
• Ode an die Freude - Wednesday, July 23, 2008
• Citizen Journalism - Monday, July 21, 2008
• Truth of the Cottonwoods - Monday, July 21, 2008
• Barking at the 'Net - Saturday, July 19, 2008
• Brasilian Way - Thursday, July 17, 2008
• Leadership - Tuesday, July 15, 2008
• No Safe Harbor - Sunday, July 13, 2008
• Open Yer Mouth - Thursday, July 10, 2008
• 15 Second Politics - Tuesday, July 08, 2008
• Nice Work if You Can Get It - Sunday, July 06, 2008
• Fly the Flag - Thursday, July 03, 2008
• Housing Bubble, Toil and Trouble - Tuesday, July 01, 2008
• Depressing Events - Monday, June 30, 2008
• Ein Kunstlerleben - Friday, June 27, 2008
• IRV - Wednesday, June 25, 2008
• Convention Wisdom - Monday, June 23, 2008
• 500 Year Floodplain - Thursday, June 19, 2008
• Desaparecidos - Tuesday, June 17, 2008
• Write on! - Monday, June 16, 2008
• Techno High School - Friday, June 13, 2008
• Urban Return - Wednesday, June 11, 2008
• Strategic Planning - Monday, June 09, 2008
• The Team - Thursday, June 05, 2008
• The Obvious - Tuesday, June 03, 2008
• Hung T-Bar Ceiling - Monday, June 02, 2008
• Brightest Bulbs - Thursday, May 29, 2008
• Regional - Wednesday, May 28, 2008
• Vaca - Accion - Monday, May 26, 2008
• Narrowing - Thursday, May 22, 2008
• Scale - Tuesday, May 20, 2008
• Invisible Hand on the Pump - Monday, May 19, 2008
• Ancient Music - Friday, May 16, 2008
• Electric Motion - Wednesday, May 14, 2008
• Comments? - Monday, May 12, 2008
• In the Translation - Monday, May 12, 2008
• Still Over - Very Over - Friday, May 09, 2008
• Hear the Quiet - Tuesday, May 06, 2008
• Enlightenment and Excess Sugar - Tuesday, May 06, 2008
• Cola Warriors - Monday, May 05, 2008
• Urban Core: Life - Friday, May 02, 2008
• Fantasy and Perspective - Tuesday, April 29, 2008
• Net-Work'd - Tuesday, April 29, 2008
• Urban Core: New Urbanism - Monday, April 28, 2008
• Urban Core: Lessons - Friday, April 25, 2008
• Urban Core - Wednesday, April 23, 2008
• But Fear Itself - Tuesday, April 22, 2008
• You've Got a Friend in Pennsylvania - Monday, April 21, 2008
• Cultural Catholic - Friday, April 18, 2008
• Taxing - Wednesday, April 16, 2008
• Light & Fluffy - Tuesday, April 15, 2008
• Work - Monday, April 14, 2008
• Human Barometer - Thursday, April 10, 2008
• Bad Girls - Tuesday, April 08, 2008
• A Good Meal on a Dreary Day - Tuesday, April 08, 2008
• One Year On - Sunday, April 06, 2008
• Not at Any Price - Friday, April 04, 2008
• Winning Through Acting Crazy - Wednesday, April 02, 2008
• More Press(ure) - Tuesday, April 01, 2008
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• Anything is Possible - Thursday, March 27, 2008
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• Generations: Institutionalized - Sunday, March 16, 2008
• Generations - Thursday, March 13, 2008
• St. Patrick's Day - Tuesday, March 11, 2008
• Blinding Daylight - Monday, March 10, 2008
• It's Still Over - Sunday, March 09, 2008
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• Fit to Print ... and more! - Thursday, February 21, 2008
• Letter to Sen. Clinton - Tuesday, February 19, 2008
•  Leading and Learning - Monday, February 18, 2008  
• Dr. Carver - Sunday, February 17, 2008
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• Britney - Sunday, February 03, 2008
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• Bestsellers! - Thursday, December 27, 2007
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• Eyes of a Child - Tuesday, December 18, 2007
• Solstice - Monday, December 17, 2007
• Glory and Promise - Thursday, December 13, 2007
• Desperate Cry for Attention - Wednesday, December 12, 2007
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• MEA Weekend - Friday, October 19, 2007
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• Crappy Cars - Friday, August 10, 2007
• snafu - Wednesday, August 08, 2007
• J.S. Bach - Monday, August 06, 2007
• I-35W Bridge - Friday, August 03, 2007
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• Prof. Powers - Thursday, July 26, 2007
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• Authorial Omnipotence - Monday, July 16, 2007
• Conveyance - Thursday, July 12, 2007
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• Tropopause - Monday, July 09, 2007
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• ex Machina - Thursday, June 28, 2007
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• Blogosphere - Sunday, June 24, 2007
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• Make No Small Plans" - Tuesday, June 19, 2007
• Telling Stories - Monday, June 18, 2007
• Community - Thursday, June 14, 2007
• Minor Leagues - Tuesday, June 12, 2007
• For the Kids - Monday, June 11, 2007
• Wurst Writing - Thursday, June 07, 2007
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• Numbers Game - Monday, May 21, 2007
• Elected Attorney General - Friday, May 18, 2007
• Car Free - Thursday, May 17, 2007
• Cold Front - Tuesday, May 15, 2007
• Fortune Telling - Sunday, May 13, 2007
• Distant Voices - Friday, May 11, 2007
• Value - Wednesday, May 09, 2007
• Disposable Buildings - Monday, May 07, 2007
• Energy Alternatives - Friday, May 04, 2007
• Statuary - Thursday, May 03, 2007
• Voice - Tuesday, May 01, 2007
• McNews - Monday, April 30, 2007
• The Jebediah Effect - Thursday, April 26, 2007
• Public Realm - Wednesday, April 25, 2007
• Four Leaves - Tuesday, April 24, 2007
• Media Outlets - Monday, April 23, 2007
• A New Line of Thought - Saturday, April 21, 2007
• Pattern Taxonomy - Friday, April 20, 2007
• Politics, Interest, and Democracy - Thursday, April 19, 2007
• Making Sense - Tuesday, April 17, 2007
• Naked Emperor - Monday, April 16, 2007
• Barking in the Night - Saturday, April 14, 2007
• Kurt Vonnegut - Thursday, April 12, 2007
• All the News That Fits, Prints - Wednesday, April 11, 2007
• It was a dark and stormy night ... - Tuesday, April 10, 2007