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Drifting

I was sitting at my desk the other day with a characteristically blank look on my face. Anne walked by and asked, “What are you doing?”

I said, “Nothing.”

“You’re actually doing absolutely nothing?” she asked. “Is that even possible?”

“Well, since you seem to be rather insistent about it, I’m drifting,” I said.

“Drifting?”

“Yes,” I said. “Did you see where that last thought went?”

“No.”

“Neither did I,” I replied. “And that’s exactly the point. I had the thought. It went somewhere. Now I have to find it.”

“What’ll you do with it?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “First, I have to find it. Then I have to decide what to do with it. Do you see how this works?”

“No.”

“Okay,” I said. “What do you do when you pick up a paint brush?”

“I don’t.”

“Then what do you do?” I asked.

“I pick up a pencil.”

“How do you paint with a pencil,” I asked, with a characteristically blank look on my face.

“I don’t,” she said. (She didn’t say moron.) “I write something for inspiration on the canvas before I start to paint.”

“Then what happens?”

“I have no idea until I put a brush in some paint and put the paint on the canvas,” she said. “Then I follow the first strokes until it becomes what I’m inspired to make it.”

“Don’t look now,” I said, “but that’s drifting.”

“You’re a moron,” she said.

I made no attempt to argue.

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Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brienhttps://obriencg.com/
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.

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