Friday, June 09, 2006

The Ten Percent Rule.


When I was in basic training, my drill sergeant told us:

"Ten percent of you will be soldiers. Ten percent will be fuck-ups. The rest of you, the first ten percent will try to keep alive. That last ten percent, you better pray for Europe."

I've adopted that ten percent rule. Over the years I've noticed that ten percent of my work, whether it was music or writing, sucked, no matter what I did. On the positive side, ten percent of that work was pretty damn good. The rest of it fell somewhere between embarassing and not shit. (John Rickard's trenchant blurb)

This is my 200th post at The Planet, and it has been a joy. If my DI's ten percent rule holds, and I believe it does, twenty of those posts were pretty goddamn good.

Some of my favorites? Posts that cover Rusty Trombones, write what you know, the kids' school projects - from Benjamin's kayak to the kid in Florida who tested the ice at fast food places, How Not to Blog, Decline in the Death Rate and Pooping Our Way to Energy Independence.

You might be able to think of a couple of your own.

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this place as much as I have. I don't know how much more I'll do, but I'll keep posting as long as people keep reading, and I hope that at least ten percent of you find ten percent of the posts worth your time.

By the way, that's me up there, back when smoking a cigarette seemed to be the least dangerous thing I could do all day.

Jesus, we send kids out to do men's work.

10 comments:

JD Rhoades said...

Because kids are the only ones with enough idealism/stupidity (take your pick) to do it.

Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

Having only 10% of what I write turn out to be crap, would strike interest at the Vatican for a Saint Dread nomination. On the other hand, I would settle for 10% of what I write to be gold. Yes, I think I could be satisfied, and wealthy if 10% gleened green. There, that counts for telling the truth at least once today.

Dread

Olen Steinhauer said...

200? Sweet mother of Jesus, you put a group of 4 boys to shame with your powerful writing hand! We're only at 198.

The 10% rule sounds good. One magic aspect of writing is that, with work, some of that 10% shit can be moved over to the gold category (or bronze, at least). So shit isn't entirely wasted.

Daniel Hatadi said...

That's an impressive milestone, and even more so because you continually put out highly readable content, pretty much every day.

And it's free! Can't ask for more than that.

Keep up the good Planeteering.

M. G. Tarquini said...

Remember the big flack about being able to fight and die at 18, but not being allowed to vote?
Now, with wisdom of age, I've decided the appropriate response to that shouldn't have been, 'Fine, you can vote and be adults at 18.' but 'Okay, you won't be allowed to fight and die until you're 21.'

Why didn't the grownups in congress do that? Two words:

Cannon Fodder

Those three years between 18 and 21 can do a lot to lower our delusions-of-immortality quotients.

And yes - I like your blog.

Also, that's an adorable picture.

Elizabeth said...

David, you left a link on my one serious post ever and sheepishly invited me to visit your blog warning me of its silliness - you shouldn't have, I'm getting a huge kick out of your writing! I even posted a link from mine!

BTW, now that Memorial Day is past and the Suns are no longer in the championship run, the humor on my blog, which had been hiding underneath the couch quivering in fear of the wild brunette in the Steve Nash tank, is back. Hope to see you around!

And I'm looking forward to swilling scotch with you and Barry at Thrillerfest. Although truthfully, Tennessee sour mash is my preference.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Keep it up. It's always enjoyable to read.

Hoping to catch you in Arizona at Thrillerfest later this month.

David Terrenoire said...

Thanks, everyone.

Olen, this is all your fault. You know that and I'm not letting you forget it. And yes, rewriting is the great gift, isn't it.

Elizabeth, thanks for the inviation. I will drop by. See you in Phoenix.

Stephen, look for Dusty and me in Phoenix and we'll get you your third place Good Day in Hell prize. We just have to figure out what the hell it is.

And to everyone who keeps stopping by, really, thanks.

Onward.

James Lincoln Warren said...

This is the inverse of Sturgeon's Law: "90% of everything is crap."

Bryon Quertermous said...

I think the hamster in the grinder story certainly ranks as one of your best posts. Of course the true brilliance of your blog is that it allows you to comment on my blog and that's what it's all about.