Mind Reading In My Blogging Class

Clearly, this child was also taught the art of mind reading.

As a child I learned from a traveling one-armed gypsy how to read the minds of others. At first I thought listening to other people’s thoughts was fun. Then it was disturbing. Then it was boring, and finally I gave it up. (Freud was right: all anybody does think about is sex and food. Unless they’re Christian. Then all they think about is pleasing God and walking with Jesus. And I’m not just saying that so my Christian readers won’t take offense.)

People’s thoughts still sometimes pop into my mind, though. I can’t help it. For some reason it especially happens when I’m speaking before a group of people. This past Saturday, for instance, I taught a class about blogging at the San Diego Christian Writers Guild called “Surviving the Blog Clog.” Here—in the order in which I received them—-are some of the thoughts that came at me from inside the heads of some of the people attending my class:

Wow!  He’s even more handsome than his brochure picture!

Oh, wonderful! He looks like George Clooney!

He looks like Tom Selleck!

This guys looks like Jay Leno.

Great. It’s Gomer Pyle.

It’s Archie’s pal, Jughead.

I should have eaten more at lunch. I’m still hungry.

That lunch was good. Yum.

I should have had another chocolate-chip cookie.

I shouldn’t have had that extra chocolate-chip cookie.

I should have had a cup of coffee with my chocolate-chip cookie.

I’ve gotta do something about that barking dog next door.

Wow this guy talks fast.

Is this guy on drugs? Who talks that fast?

Maybe I’ll just shoot the dog.

This guy sure does think he’s funny.

Was that a joke?

Is he trying to be funny right now?

Great. He think he is Jay Leno.

What’d he just say? What’s a “blog roll”?

I probably should have read this guy’s blog before taking this class. Who knows if he’s any good?

This isn’t a dance class. I thought this was a class on clogging. Are these people Christians? Where am I?

Blogrolling a way to show respect and appreciation. Got it.

Keep blog length above the fold. Makes sense.

This guy is intense about blogging.

Yikes, this guy is intense.

These are Christians!

So is blogging this guy’s life?

This guy’s so edgy.

Okay, buddy, it’s a blog, not a mission from God.

I’m afraid.

No shortcut to traffic. Must build relationships. Got it.

I can’t shoot the dog. It’s not his fault his owners are criminally stupid.

I love John’s Hawaiian shirt. It’s art, really.

If they smell I’m not a Christian they’ll try to convert me. They always do. I hate that.

Forget writing to/for search engines. Work naturally. Got it.

My lunch salad was good. I want more.

This guy is pretty funny.

Blogging only hope for platform publishers want. Got it.

I wish this was a class on clogging. I’ve gotta quit wandering into classes I haven’t paid for.

Comment on other blogs. Be succinct,  funny, helpful. Earn respect. Got it.

I should shoot the dog’s owners.

I’ve gotta get bigger taps. My clog shoes aren’t loud enough.

This guy needs to cut back on his caffeine. Or his amphetamines.

I’m hungry.

I want some more food.

I’m sure glad I’m a Christian so that I never have any disturbing thoughts about sex.

How long does this class last again?

Rule number one: Never bore your blog readers. Got it.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Would have loved to have been there. Did you invite the class out to Starbucks with you after?

  • JG

    I'm going to have to listen to the CD…we got good feedback on your class!

  • Janelle: I should have! That would have been fun. I would have had to duck out right before the bill came—but I'm used to that. So fun!

    JG (people: This is Jennie Gillespie, president of the San Diego Christian Writers Guild): Good feedback, you say? So it's true: threatening to ruin people's careers if they don't say nice things about you works. I knew my Grandma was wrong about that! No, but thanks. You run an awesome conference. It's really remarkable, how well you keep everything going.)

  • Steven Harris

    Definitely Jughead, but then, you knew I was going to say that.

  • Steven: I did know you'd say that. But, alas, I failed to quickly enough get your name onto my block list. Next time, Jim from The Office.

  • Gosh I felt like I was there.

    This was better than looking up Sparknotes for your book!

  • Steven Harris

    You keep a list of blocks? Apartment blocks? Building blocks? I'd be honoured to be on it 😉

  • love the hair in that shot

  • Carissa Johnson

    I was there!

    This commentary is even more humorous than the workshop was. I thought probably half of these during the session.

  • Steven: Oh, so you're one of THOSE kind of commenters, eh?

    Cool. I love those kind.

    Michael: Yeah, that HAIR. Awesome.

    Chase: Do you know I've been meaning for a while to DO a "Cliff Notes" thing of my book "I'm OK"? Totally funny, I think.

    Carissa: You were in my class? Which thoughts did you …. um. You know what? Never mind.

  • See…that's why it's illegal to read minds! Truly, though, if you do actually get a sentence or two to stick in someone's mind, you've really done something.

  • Thankfully you were at a Christian place, if you were anywere near a conventional writing guild you would happen to read many things about goatse, child molesting, horrible TV shows and anonymous.

    Somehow the word “god” instead of “sex” is way less disturbing.

  • Looks like y’all had fun. Ever do classes elsewhere? If you ever get over to the St Louis area I may look you up.

  • Youre a cross between Tom Selleck, George Clooney, and Jay Leno????


  • Greta Sheppard

    …thought recording…a future technology?…..scary . . . you’re spot on though…..good mind reading…

  • Tremendously funny article! Love the cute funny pic of the baby at the top..

  • I was at your conference presentation, John, and I was actually thinking a cross between Robin Williams, Ralph Lauren, Tim Geithner, and John Moschitta – remember the FedEx speek talker? Oh, and did I mention our Lord & Savior – you reflected His colors as well! Great Blog! And, thanks very much for the help! I’ll be creating my blog – “Truth Beckons,” this week thanks to you and your course.

    Randolph Kay

  • stlm

    You actually take classes on blogging??!! wow..

    I LOVED going through your blog.Its pretty awesome! But I guess you don't need me to tell you that!! 😉

  • Youre a cross between Tom Selleck, George Clooney, and Jay Leno????



  • dspwholesalers

    this child is looks like a sunflower.

  • edgyshark

    Haha! Your class sounds pretty interesting!

  • Liz

    Did they run an electric current through this kid's hair to get it like that? Am only asking coz I want that look. Only am sure I won't be as cute 🙂

    Excellent post by the way.

  • Liz

    Ps. Do I smell one of John Shore's famous contests?

  • Latoya

    Liz…you just read my mind!

  • wow, the child’s hair is … crazy … this post look really interested

  • Wait. What would that contest be, now?

  • Really fun post. Great illustration how how our minds work, well mine anyway! I guess the key (for blogging and the ‘real world’) is making sure the important stuff goes in – not easy when so much is going on inside and outside our heads…

  • Latoya

    Combine Sharon and Liz's comments: Tell you how they got the kid's hair like that and get an autographed copy of the DVD

  • woot, makes me wonder how it feels to hear other peoples thoughts.

  • If there’s a dvd available, can I order a signed autographed copy? You’ll probably know how I would like it signed. If not, just put “Love, Tom.”

  • Liz

    @ Latoya, great minds! 😉

  • Mary Jenson

    I was in that class, too, and, hey, here I am. I must have learned something…then again I did go back for 3 cookies before the day was over. Hey, wait, someone around me must have been thinking "cookies"! No way would that thought have come to my brain on its own.

  • The little one looks like an elf. 😉

  • Mary: It's true; it wasn't you thinking so fervently of cookies. It was the woman next to you. I could barely concentrate, she was so fixated.