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Don’t you just hate it when you buy (or buy into) something that has been highly touted but once you get it doesn’t meet your expectations?

You immediately experience buyer’s remorse. But that feeling is soon replaced with a bit of anger and resentment because you have been hoodwinked, swindled, cheated, or robbed. Then you begin to kick yourself for having wasted your hard-earned money (or time) on something that disappointed you.

Yep, that pretty much describes my experience the other day.

I had learned that a famous writer (whose name I’ll omit to protect the guilty) was going to be conducting a live webinar for writers in which he would share some of the secrets of his success. Wanting to learn from the best and thereby improve my own efforts at writing (and maybe even increase my published production), I investigated further.

I discovered his outline. I checked out how to register (because the sales pitch said that virtual seats in this virtual seminar were limited and virtually “sold out.” It didn’t take a lot of tech saavy to register. Just click a button. I learned that it was scheduled to last an hour and a half. Surely, being that long, it just had to be good! And I learned the cost, which I found was affordable, even for a skinflint like me. It was FREE!

After registering, I cleared my calendar for the afternoon of the scheduled day. I called or texted all of my children and told them not

to call me during that time slot that day. And when the day and hour arrived, I muted my phone, arranged my pen and notepad, logged into the site, and settled into my chair, ready and eager to learn.

And the webinar began.

For the first 10 minutes, the host introduced and heaped accolades on the famous speaker and writer, “who needs no introduction.” Then for another 5 minutes, he listed who was “attending” the seminar and where they were from.

Finally, the presenter got a chance to talk and proceeded to spend 5 minutes thanking everyone for “attending.” I began to doodle on my notepad out of sheer boredom. I didn’t care about who was there or from where. All that mattered was that I was there and ready to learn.

Then he got down to business. For 20 minutes, he gave some good, but basic, information. I was impatient to get to the “meat and potatoes.” Enough with the “appetizers!”

But then the host interrupted to tell us for 5 minutes how good the information we were getting was. And to read yet more names of attendees and where they were from. And to spend the remaining 45 minutes or so telling all about the famous writer’s newest online course, which we could purchase for, not $5000 or $4000 or $3000 or even $1000, but only—

That’s when I bailed out. Enough was enough. I’d been had!

I guess it just proves the truth of the adage “You get what you pay for.” It also proves that nothing is truly free. If I had paid money, it would have been bad enough. But I had paid with a currency of far greater value than money: my time. (And at my age, that commodity’s getting more scarce every day!) How much productive writing, editing, or researching could I have done during the time I wasted on that sales pitch thinly disguised as an online course?

But it all goes back to my expectations for the “class.” It had been a disappointment because it hadn’t met my expectations.

And that thought brings me to a question for YOU: What do you expect from this blog?

Over the years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve addressed a variety of subjects:

  1. historical tid-bits,

  2. tie-ins between historical events and the present,

  3. biographical snapshots of historical figures,

  4. some personal reminiscences,

  5. writing and editing information of various sorts,

  6. updates on my own reading and writing projects,

  7. thoughts on teaching and education,

  8. thoughts on life and living and purpose and meaning, and

  9. even a few personal items.

Are these the things you expected to find when you first read the blog? Are the posts generally meeting your expectations? If not, what topics would you like for the blog to address?

I’m interested in knowing, so share your thoughts and expectations in the comments block below. After all, I don’t want you to experience with my blog what I did with that online “course.” If you’re going to take the time to read my writing, I want you to get something worthwhile from it.

I look forward to learning of your expectations.

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