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What My Friend Who Died Today, Taught Me About Life

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Marc Orchant, friend and colleague, passed away on Sunday at the age of 50.

The most incisive conversation I had with him took place in early August at a blogger conference in Seattle.

I told him I had just bailed from a rather boring, rote book project, but was still guilt-tripping over the decision.

Marc told me of some similar struggles writing "paint-by-numbers," step-driven tech books. He said he totally understood where I was coming from, he didn't really want to do those types of books anymore either. "I want to do 'thought books,' " he told me.

"Thought books," as in volumes that came from the heart, the soul, the mind, and not from some software user guide or product manual.

Immediately after Marc told me this, my own guilt-trip about bailing on my own book was excised by the wisdom he espoused.

Write about what brings you joy to write about. Write your passions. Live your passions.

Then, I told Marc that on this planet, you only get 168 hours in a week, and some of that should be reserved for experiencing life away from a computer screen.

"1440," Marc said to me."

After asking him for an explanation, he explained that well, 1,440 minutes were all you get in a day, and we should make the most and best of each set of 1,440 minutes we are granted in this life.

Marc, I take this as wisdom as I go forward in this life.

Now for some words from a Grateful Dead song that I understand was one of Marc's favorites:

River gonna take me
Sing me sweet and sleepy
Sing me sweet and sleepy
all the way back home
It's a far gone lullaby
sung many years ago
Mama, Mama, many worlds I've come
since I first left home

Goin home, goin home
by the waterside I will rest my bones
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
to rock my soul

Go with the Force, Marc.

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