KIR: Writing and Depression

Note: This article was written July 31, 2014. It partly explains my then month-long absence from writing to this blog. It’s now been three months and some days since. In addition to what you read here, I want readers to know that I simply got interested and busy with doing other things – including directing some much-needed attention towards developing my seven-month old not-safe-for-work (NSFW) Tumblr blog featuring male erotica. This article is the first posted on Keepin’ It Real since June 26th, 2014.  With its publishing I suppose it’s safe to assume that…I’m back.
Now on to what I was feeling three months ago.

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I looked at my blog drafts folder a few minutes ago. I found that there were more than 200 drafts of unfinished documents I created this year alone; all work where I’d start writing about certain things but for some reason at the last-minute, simply lost interest in finishing – or if an article was finished, I decided not to publish on my blogs.While I have told myself that I’m writing mainly for my benefit, a huge part of that simply is not true. I do indeed write blog articles, Facebook and Twitter post to inform and educate others who may not know RobFather-Xcertain things and/or to bring awareness to or about certain things. Still, it does not hide the feeling I so often get that few to almost no one really cares to read whatever it was or is I have to say; to say nothing of the fact that a number of those unfinished and unpublished documents were what some would call (and often complained) as being “too long” or “too lengthy” to read. My two-part blog article, “The Freedom of Nudity” for example, took months for me to decide to publish after I’d written and edited it. Today, according to my blog service, that article – written in mid-year 2012 but published in March 2013, is one of many of my blog articles that continues to receive a lot of hits at this blog.

Sometimes I’m encouraged to write and publish to the world. Other times I’d write a nice piece about something then just say to myself, “Fuck it”. Who the fuck is gonna read all of this – let alone bother to appreciate it?” It’s often that attitude for why I don’t blog as often as a blogger “should” or is “expected” to blog. It’s also why sometimes I post “lengthy” things on my Facebook page, although I fully realize that many people on Facebook do not like reading anything which has more than three to four sentences. I call those people “lazy and discriminatory readers”. For example, on Facebook I’ve found that if certain things related to something sexual does not stand out or if I don’t post a picture to help attract the attention of a particular audience then some people will see my article or post but won’t bother to read it, read all of it or at the very least, give it a “like”. A “like” can say or mean that they at least agree right make the post, if not with my courage and willingness to express whatever is on my mind, even if they disagree with point of view. Whether I have a Facebook or blog published article, often the evidence of people not reading my work is determined by the type of follow-up questions someone asks or comments they give about topic I wrote about. Sofa-thinking-2 (rz)One can always tell if a person was paying attention to what they were reading or listening to by the response they give to certain things. As such, I can’t be easily fooled when someone tells me they’ve read my work then that same person asks me some silly question about that which was clearly discussed in the article. I also don’t appreciate when someone makes some disparaging remark about the subject matter of my article, as if perhaps expecting me to either recant my opinions or change my point of view to suit their own. Those things irritate me and it’s why I’m happy to have full control over whether to allow comments to be published on anything I write on my blogs.Much of what I write ends up becoming an exercise in writing. I’m often afraid that expressing myself in written form can be a waste of time and effort. Writing is therapeutic for my depression issues and helps offset those bad feelings when I sense a depression bout might be coming. To everyone who has read this far, thanks for reading. I’m good…at least for now. I’ll review what I have saved in that folder. I’ve got a shitload of started and unfinished/unpublished work in a folder from years 2013 and 2012 too but I’ll look at those later.

Depression Mood –
Right now [July 31] I am in one of my depression moods. Succinctly put, depression is a non-discriminatory mental illness disability. It comes in many forms and affects a number of people in various ways for various reasons. People should never assume that someone is imagining things when they say they are depressed. That person just might be! You also should never tell someone who admits to being depressed or whom you know is a sufferer of depression and going through a bout, that “things will get better” or “it” will get better”. BM Thinking-1No matter how good your intentions, you would sound ignorant and appear to be less helpful and insensitive to that person’s situation. For some depression sufferers, a little alone time and/or quiet is very helpful; I know that sort of thing often works for me. Patience, understanding and offers of support to do certain things are also helpful to some depression sufferers, as are conversations sprinkled with humor that bring about laughter or some memory of a pleasant and fun moment. Remember: these are just a few suggestions that can help someone suffering from some form of depression; they are not mentioned here as workable guarantees for every person in every situation.

I happen to be one of the so-called “fortunate” persons who suffers from a certain form of  depression. As healthy and strong as I so often appear and sound, I too have weaknesses. More Black men need to talk about their mental, emotional and physical weaknesses because odd as it may seem, talking about such weakness is or can also be therapeutic; it can help make that man a mentally and emotionally stronger person. I wish women understood that. Fuck…I wish more men understood it! I have suffered with intermittent depression issues since childhood. Fuck it...not feeling it day (2)For years after first being diagnosed – up until about six years ago, I lied about it and had kept it well-hidden from nearly everyone who wasn’t my doctor: family members, my spouse at the time – before, during and after our marriage, my son and a number of others whom I considered to have a genuine care for me.Today’s [July 31] bout will pass away from me soon, because you see, there are certain things I’ve since learn to do to combat my form of depression. It keeps me from always taking medication. In fact, over the last 12 or so months, I’ve intentionally avoided taking meds for depression because sometimes, strange as it sounds to you non-depression sufferers, I want to ride this out. I don’t want to become dependent on medication. It’s hard to explain and it would take much longer than this article to break it down for you. Just trust me; I got a handle on this monster; I know what I need to do to help myself. Writing is one of the therapeutic things I do…and stated earlier, I do a lot of that! Talking to myself is another. Listening to music and doing certain humorous things that make me or others laugh has also been highly effective. I’ve told people that I’m not always a serious fuck; I maintain a healthy balance of humor and seriousness. Too bad many don’t believe me for if they did I think I’d be emotionally closer to relatives, have a lot more friends – and perhaps a few more lovers, too.

Thanks for listening.

Keepin’ It…REAL!

First Anniversary: K.I.R. Turns One!

Keepin' It...REAL 1st Year Annversary pic with insetAugust is the anniversary month of this blog, MY blog – Keepin’ It…REAL! (KIR). While there are blog articles written/dated/published a few months earlier in 2012, officially this blog did not launch until the first week of August 2012. HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY, KIR!

I draft many articles for this blog monthly; much of it is just shit that comes to mind. Much of what I write could range from being a short comment (usually reserved for my [continuous] Hardline According to RobFather-X series to some longer, more detailed commentary about a topic in which I am passionate or which I know to be needlessly taboo or controversial in nature, or on topics or issues I feel need exposure and openly talked about on the REAL tip. Many of the topics I write about include my uncensored thinking on religion, the senseless things people in our society do, and on my favorite topics of sexuality and/or sexual hypothetical situations…just to name a few. I simply enjoy “telling it like it is” and sharing my thoughts from my own, free-thinking perspective. I will always be appreciative that I live in a country where I can speak my mind verbally and in print and not be jailed for it!

Corey Jarrell-Williams, bloggerOn this anniversary month, I need to [once again] thank fellow blogger and friend Corey Jarrell-Williams – the man who last year, kinda “pushed” my stubborn ass into blogging. At the time, I had been writing some very lengthy commentary on a variety of issues on the Facebook platform. While some people (like Corey) read my commentary and gave favorable feedback, many others didn’t read them and/or often complained about my postings being “too long” to be read. I always hate it whenever lazy, jackass people say that kind of shit to me… as though there were some Facebook rule governing how long or how short a user’s status or comment has to be in that forum. My writing style philosophy is simple and had always been:
I will use as few or as many words I deem necessary to make or illustrate my point or train of thought. While I reserve the right to be ambiguous in some or all of my writings, any reader of my work can safely assume that normally, I will intend to always be clear and frank in my self-expression.

Early last year, Corey and I had chatted on Facebook about my blogging concerns. In that chat conversation, he said the seven words that continue to resonate in my mind to this day: “RobFather, you should have been blogging yesterday!”  I won’t ever forget those words. Somehow, that statement from Corey meant something to me since they came from a man whom I had never met but had come to respect, and whose blog and Facebook postings I’ve always enjoyed reading. Thanks, Corey!

Man typingI’ve always enjoyed reading the blogs of other people but there was a time where I would find every excuse not to start and write a blog. I was simply afraid that there would be no one remotely interested in what I had to say. Making comments on Facebook was different for at least I knew that a few people on my Facebook friends list would like and appreciate what I’d written – no matter how “long” it was.  I had been thinking that by getting into blogging, I would be opening myself – or rather, my mind, to others on a world-wide scale. I simply wasn’t sure if I was ready for a world of rejection, particularly if I ever learned that less than a thousand or worse, a hundred people, visited my blog by year’s end. You see, for some reason, I had been thinking small when I should have been thinking big.

When KIR launched last August, I still was pessimistic about its success. Then on December 26, 2012, I got a good Christmas present when this blog reached 5000 hits and less than two months later, it reached 10,000 hits! As a new blogger, those were significant numbers for me – a new blogger, for I had never expected this blog to have any real popularity so early, especially without the use of paid promos, sponsors or ads.  My only sad regret in this, the first anniversary of my blog, is that other the occasional visit of my teenage son, no one in my family who uses the internet, and who is on Facebook, and who has been told of my blog, has ever visited KIR or commented on any of the articles in it. So much for family support!! But that’s kool; it’s just as well that my family keep away from KIR for I do not need any judgmental comments or attacks about the things I choose to write about or feature here! Moving on…

Here we are today – one year of blogging. Keepin’ It…Real! is my first and (to date) only blog. KIR is an entity which I still consider to be an experiment in progress, even with its many articles and nearly 25,000 hits. In this year-old experiment, KIR has gain new blog-writing and blog-reading friends, including people like fellow blogger, Roger Poladopoulos – of A Guy Without Boxers blog. But I don’t want to seem selective in naming people for I am grateful to everyone who reads and/or follows this blog! I’m also blessed by fate to see that KIR has gotten this far; it gives me strong motivation to… keep going!  I am appreciative to have the freedom and the mental and physical ability to write about whatever the fuck I want and post whatever the fuck I want – no matter how controversial, shocking or personally revealing the content may be. That’s how strongly I feel about having a blog…and it feels damn good!

Spelling, Grammar, PunctuationI don’t want anyone to misunderstand this blogging thing. As any blogger knows (or is quickly learning) blogging can often be hard work – at least it is for a guy like me. I call blogging “a labor of love”. As a perfectionist and otherwise busy man – one who is always concerned about self-representation to a host of unknown readers in the so-called blogosphere, I make it a point to take extra steps to ensure things such as spelling, grammar and other areas of the English syntax are done properly when I write an article. I proofread each article several times in an attempt to catch writing errors before I publish any article. I’ve learned that the longer the article, the greater the chances of there being one or more writing mistakes in that article. Without a second pair of eyes to proof my work, the smallest writing mistake can usually be dormant and undiscovered until long AFTER an article has been published!  I work hard to alleviate mistakes but still, it fuckstrates me when I find an error!

I’m very much aware that images or pictures and/or video & audio content often gives readers better points of reference  to certain topics of discussion in blog articles since those things are good for helping to illustrate or prove a point. I feel that in most articles, it is best to include some sort of media graphic. Many of the pictures you see on my articles were found on the web while some others are mine. I’d prefer not to use any image or media Graphic file formats-2graphic that is obviously or clearly copyright protected or which has a watermark. However, if I do use such media, the KIR’s copyright disclaimer already clearly covers the fact that most of the images shown are not mine. I feel if an image/picture is found in a search engine’s search result or on another website or blog, it is a free-for-all if I can simply right-click the image and copy it.  Sorry, but I simply do not consider my doing that to be stealing if I am not making any financial profit by using said image or graphic.  I feel the picture was meant to be mine…no matter how selfish that may sound.  Anyway, I’ll sometimes edit or modify certain images to suit my needs for the blog article to be published. I also try to ensure that I select and position an image on the page so that each is in tune or somehow associated with the point of the discussion.

blog keys on keyboardAt this point, let me express my deepest thanks and appreciation to you, my dear readers and fellow blog writers for being a regular visitor, reader and supporter of this blog, Keepin’ It…REAL! I am humbly appreciative of your patience in my infrequent postings here – for as noted and implied earlier, although this is a blog about me and my life, I shall always remain concerned with always giving readers a content of quality and not waste their time with hastily written and messy dialogue. I ask you to continue visiting and continue reading for there is always more to come! Keepin’ It…Real! has no central theme but I have taken steps to build pages on the blog to place in series or serialization, certain topics of concentration.

I also ask that you support the blogs of those who link to and/or support this blog. I’ve listed a few that I regularly follow in my blogroll on the right side of this page. If you like what you read here then chances are you may also enjoy the work of my fellow bloggers, followers and supporters! I most certainly do!  While you’re blog-surfing, please take a visit over to Corey’s award-winning blog, I’ll Keep You Posted. Click the photo on I'll keep you posted (blog banner)the right to visit Corey’s blog!  Corey is a historian, and genealogist.  Corey’s method and style of writing is never lecture-like or boring but interesting, captivating, often amusing and inspiring. I’ve been a follower of his blog for nearly four or five years. I promise that you will come to enjoy Corey’s blog and perhaps learn something new! (Now, if only I knew how to win one of those blogging awards everyone else seems to be winning!)

Thank you again everyone, for your part in helping to bring this experiment, this blog, Keepin’ It…REAL! to this point. To the spirit of this blog…
HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY!

Keepin’ It…REAL!
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©2013 RobFather-X! Productions. All rights reserved.

A Trip Down the Rabbit Hole

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)

By now, many of you have read – and enjoyed – my now-infamous blog post article, “Perhaps You Can Relate?” written almost 24 hours ago as of this posting. Click the title or click here to read it, if you must before continuing. I’ll wait… … … …

If you have already read it, then you learned a little something about the comedic humorous mind of yours truly. Of course, many of you are already familiar with my humor, which from reading past comments I’ve made on this blog, on Funnybook [Facebook] and from actually talking to me, know that making occasional use of sexual metaphors is a delight of mine.  I have a highly sexual mind and I don’t apologize for it.  Many of you have expressed very kind comments about the article – both here and on my Funnybook page. Did you know I wrote that article in like ten minutes? It just came to mind while I was chatting with someone else early yesterday! It is one of the shortest of all my blog articles (not counting the Hardline According to RobFather-X series). Anyway, I thank you for reading “Perhaps You Can Relate?” and for all the kind comments!

My blog report indicates that, as of this writing, “Perhaps You Can Relate?” received 138 views, 40 Facebook “likes”, and four 5-star ratings. I also received several favorable comments between the blog and my Facebook page. Why is this information important? Because early yesterday I received a few unfavorable comments in private messages and had lost two (2) Facebook friends – although one of them did come back as a friend– all as a result of them NOT reading the entire blog post article first!

To those of you who only read the first few lines of my blog post and were immediately repulsed or turned off by it and/or felt you could not continue reading the rest of it – even though again, you were urged to READ THE ENTIRE POST FIRST, I think have shown yourselves as having as dirty a mind as you thought my article to be. From your comments, you assumed that the article was about some very intimate conduct on my part (like masturbation). Judging by your comments, you have also shown yourselves to be a bit impatient, perhaps a little lazy (yes, I’m calling you “lazy”) in reading something that is – as you so often complain, “too long” to read. Well, any three to four paragraph article read on a tiny smart phone screen is always going to appear to be lengthy in content. Duh! But reading the first lines and jumping to conclusions before reading the entire article reveals a certain manner of reluctance on your part to just chill out, relax and see where the article’s “rabbit hole” would take you.  All I can say is, too bad for you!  You assumed my article to be “disgusting” and “inappropriate in nature” (which is odd, considering the article was written on MY blog – a place where I can write whatever the fuck I want).  Other comments stated that the reader was “not interested in learning about [my] self-pleasuring routine”.  That particular comment was very funny and almost sounds like a challenge for me to go ahead and write a blog post about the how, the when and the inspirations of my masturbatory sessions. I’ve no problem with that. It could be fun! Ha! Ha! Stand by for a blog post to cum come soon!

You know, it amazes me how some people can act or protest with such a puritanical mindset when it comes to sex yet allow their minds to go to the sexual gutter at the same time. I often wonder how that happens, especially with some so-called “very religious” people. Seems to me like an internal conflict against one’s basic human nature.  I shake my head in bewilderment.  Such readers who read only the first few lines or pages of anything, who are willing to jump to some conclusion and assume to know how something will play out or end, are one of the reasons why understanding the innocent mindset of others in this world is often difficult. And as I stated earlier, it shows a sign of laziness in reading capability.  If such readers were on an investigative team or were to participate in some trial jury and conducted themselves in this manner, I’d feel bad for the person on trial! I should pity the lazy reader but that would ruin my joy, and where’s the fun in that?

I shall continue writing and posting things on this blog (MY blog, muthafuckers!) and on Funnybook which makes me laugh – or which I think are simply outright funny at the harmless expense of others; be they profane, sacrilegious or perhaps even sexually intimate.  We are adults and sex is a natural part of life of which I am not ashamed.  Whether or not one reads my articles here or on Funnybook is not all that important, even though I will always solicit and appreciate reader support!

Again, I welcome anyone to join the ride that is my mind, my life, and my God-given humor and talent to write and share.  Ride with me – if you dare.

Keepin’ It…REAL!

Advice for New Writers

I would never allow a blind person to walk into a wall or into traffic if I have the means to prevent it. With that said, I thought I’d share a private message I sent to someone recently who has intentions on writing and possibly starting a blog. I know many people (not just the person to whom I originally sent this message) who are lacking in their basic spelling and grammar skills.  Mind you, I only sent this message to be supportive, not critical. Name and gender have been purposely omitted for this post. I am posting this as advice to my readers who also may have plans or knows someone with plans, to write or start a blog.

“Hey “X”. I hope you’re well today.

I understand that you are considering starting a blog. That’s kool. But I would not be a good friend if I did not give you some important advice before you start that venture. Now, you can choose to take my words as constructive criticism or something worse. However, I feel the need to give you some unsolicited advice for your own benefit and not as any personal attack to you or your intelligence. If you plan on getting into writing a blog, I suggest you first begin practicing proper spelling and language syntax in your Facebook posts and text messaging. I’ve noticed several times in both venues that you tend to misspell many simple, common, and often-used words. I never said anything before now because I understand that sometimes mistakes happen when one is typing too fast or can’t see very clearly what is being typed (particularly if typing from a smart phone or some similar device with a tiny screen/keyboard).

“X”, I’ve never before read anything you’ve written other than your Facebook posts and messages and phone texts. However, as one who has had nearly 40 years experience of writing (and proofing) all sorts of things from class reports to military personnel performance evaluations, to detailed lesson plans , military “how-to” instruction manuals, and more, my trained eyes will always automatically do a “laser-like” focus on any misspelled words, bad grammar, the lack or misuse of punctuation, etc. Usually, I catch such errors within the first few sentences or paragraphs of almost everything I read.  Mind you, I am not claiming to be perfect in my use of English syntax; I’ve made mistakes before and I still make mistakes; just not nearly as many as I used to! I’ve had years to learn from my mistakes and those of others.

We’ve chatted a bit about my new blog. Did you know that I NEVER draft any long blog or Facebook posts directly on-line? I ALWAYS draft such in MS Word first. I will read, re-read and then read a third, maybe fourth time, the entire draft. Then I’ll read it through one more time before posting/publishing on-line. I’m not suggesting that you need to follow suit; my method is caused by the perfectionist traits in me. Anyway, during the reading of my draft, I’m thoroughly checking for any errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, word flow, redundancy, and a host of other things too numerous to mention. I do not want my readers to ever misunderstand my line of thinking.

I tend to write less formally in my blog and Facebook posts. If any of my English teachers read my work, they would certainly make a fuss over my unique methods of the way I start and/or end some of my sentences! My computer’s Spell Check option works pretty well and catches many spelling errors in my drafts but it does NOT catch everything. In fact, I NEVER fully rely on any computer’s spell check feature! It’s really up to ME to confirm the proper spelling and use of words and phrases. I’ll check on-line any word or phrase which I have the slightest doubt about.

People often send material to me to read all the time. Some come from professional sources relating to my job in radio; other material are usually posts or links to stories, poems, or lyrics to some rap/hip hop song sent by someone who wants me to “like” or comment on their material.  If I cannot understand what someone is saying in their writings, I give up on any further reading. My philosophy is this: I can usually forgive a misplaced comma or misspelled word or two, even the use of certain slang in almost any letter or writing I receive. However, if a person has SEVERAL or rather MULTIPLE errors in his/her written work, especially assuming they have had schooling for how to use the most basic English syntax procedures, then that tells me that he/she did not care enough about their own work to be taken seriously by me or any other intelligent reader.

In the Navy, I often made many of my subordinates quite upset with me for “red-lining”  or marking up in red ink, their written work and making them do it over again to the point where I could understand what they wanted me to know.  I felt that it was NOT my responsibility to wager a “guess”, or make a “safe assumption ” for what was on the writer’s mind or what he/she was “trying to say” when they wrote their words. Over time, some of my guys improved their writing skills; others did not. Command of English and its written use (among other things measured by superiors in military service) are observed and monitored quite often. As such, guess which group I was more willing to recommend for promotion?  And yes, I follow the same “red-line” proofing methods with my teenage son as well. He hates it but after he gets the work right, his work earns a high grade from his teachers!  For the record, I wasn’t a total asshole in the military, nor am I now, with regard to proofing the written work or others. In fact, I always offer alternative methods for re-wording and/or restructuring, as necessary, certain things in someone’s writing. Next to the dictionary, a thesaurus is indeed, a very good friend… as is a person who has considerable experience and skills with writing.  

There is no reason for any high school graduate or one with at least a 2-year college degree, to write or communicate as though they were still in the fifth or sixth grade. Always bear in mind the INTELLIGENCE and possible READING levels of your TARGET readers. You do not necessarily need to write your posts DOWN to their reading level (although sometimes it helps!) but you should always strive to write AT or ABOVE that level – at YOUR level of reading and understanding. If you have enough words in your mental vocabulary and understand how to use them, this will become easy to do the more you write. However, bear in mind this one warning: if you ever attempt to write at a level far higher than your own (and I’m not necessarily referring to your formal education level) it will obviously and adversely appear in your writing! Nobody likes a fraud.

This advice has been given so that you don’t waste time writing and expecting others to read your work only to lose those readers due to them not being able to understand your thoughts and ideas. Do your homework: that is, read over a few times what you’ve just written. Che ck for errors. Change a word or two or re-write a sentence or two.  You should still write as you would orally communicate with others, however there is a very importance and distinct difference between written and oral communication. When speaking to someone, you can change “on the fly”, your use of words, the inflection given to each word, when to pause, etc. ORAL communication also allows for immediate, almost instantaneous feedback from the LISTENER. WRITTEN communication does NOT allow for any of this. Once you’ve submitted something to be read – be that a Facebook post, a blog entry, a text message, or a hand-written short note – those words CANNOT be changed instantaneously! The interpretation of your words – errors and all – is always left to the eyes and mind of the READER, who may or may not be able to ask you, “What the fuck??”

Reading anything should be fun or at least, easy; akin to a face-to-face conversation between speaker and listener. It should never be a chore for the reader to try to figure out what you, the author, is talking about. Be well.”

That’s it, people.  I’ve since added a few things to the message for the purpose of this blog post but the general content is the same. I believe “X” understands that the reason I posted this message here is to help other potential writers as well.
Keepin’ It…REAL!