30 April, 2013  |   12 Comments

Big Traveling Potluck – Billy Ocean and Blogging

Actually, the talk was titled:
Get out of my dreams and into my car.
And by car, I mean, into your best creative work.

I spoke to the fine people of the Big Traveling Potluck this past weekend about how to invest in their creativity — with some tips from 80s pop/R&B sensation Billy Ocean.

It’s a long talk (near 40 minutes) so I’m going to be posting chunks of it here for you this week). I spoke before Ree Drummond. Yeah. Her. And after Matt Bites, someone I’ve obsessively followed online for at least 5 years. So, no small pressure to make the magic happen, HJ.

So, like I said, here’s part one of 6 posts from my presentation this past Saturday.
The other posts are here: TwoThreeFourFiveSix.

Get out of my dreams and into my car.
And by car, I mean, into your best creative work.

And here, by your best creative work, I mean, consistently creating images, moving pictures and words in combination to publish on the internet.

It’s no small responsibility, to have the chance for the world to bear witness to your work.
It’s no small disappointment when no one seems to take notice.

It’s strange too, in all of human history; we didn’t have this kind of work. We worked in small groups satisfying our basic needs. And now we’re alone, bearing witness to our perceived competition.

Based on human history, this is a strange activity we signed up for.
We need some guidance.

And who can guide us into a long creative life?
Billy Ocean.
That’s right. Billy Ocean.
The eighties singer with a few top 40 hits under his belt?


Singer of hits,
Get out of my dreams and into my car,
Suddenly and
There’ll be sad songs (to make you cry).

Or better yet, Leslie Sebastian Charles,
Born in Fyzabad, Trinidad.
1985 Grammy award winner for Caribbean Queen.
Current Rastafarian.
Billy Ocean.

Now where the heck has Billy Ocean been all these years? What in the heck does he have to do with blogging? What does this have to do with me making more money from my internet website?

(Hush, we’ll get to all of that.)

So like I said, Billy Ocean wasn’t always Billy Ocean. That’s his POWER NAME. You have a Power Name too. You might be The Pioneer Woman. You might be Shutterbean.

Billy Ocean took the name from a football team he had followed in Trinidad called Oceans Eleven, then added Billy. Or maybe he took the name from the apartments he lived in, the Oceans Estates. He was born in the ocean, he emerged from the ocean. He is not Frank Ocean’s uncle, or he may be. Wikipedia is unclear.

That’s okay, it’s part of his mythology. We’ll talk more about that too.

Are you a digital publisher? You have a different name too. It’s your Billy Ocean. Your superhero name.

All too often I meet publishers at blogging conferences who hide behind the perceived lameness of their names.

Hi I’m internetfoodie69.com and yeah, apologies, I thought it’d be funny in college, but it’s my name and I couldn’t get it on Twitter and well, I’m internetfoodie 420 there, and…

Hold that train.

Your online name is your POWER NAME. It’s your Billy Ocean, and you’re not going to win a 1985 Grammy for that kind of thinking.

Make a list of all the ways your Billy Ocean is better than the real you. How is that name more likable, smarter, more creative?

More importantly, how does your Billy Ocean HELP more people than you do?

Your Billy Ocean has powers you don’t have. And it’s best you lean into it and squeeze all the juice (or delicious Trinidadian Rum) you can from it.

Stop apologizing for your blog name. There’s power there.


12 thoughts on “Big Traveling Potluck – Billy Ocean and Blogging

  1. 1

    I. AM. SO. HAPPY.

    Eagerly Awaiting Part Two

  2. 2
    shutterbean says:

    You are a creative GENIUS. I’m so glad we got to share brain time this weekend….and I can’t wait for the next installment of this series because at times I was laughing too hard…thinking of wiener jokes… and too busy staring at your cute outfit to fully soak in all the Billy Ocean has to offer. Especially the Rasta part. xo

  3. 3

    How you so neatly weaved the commentary of Billy Ocean and creativity was beyond impressive at the Potluck, and I’m so thrilled to see you’re sharing it all in whole here again! In the words of Paul Harvey, “I’ll be back to see the rest of the story.” Come to think of it, you’re kinda like a super hip, cute and fun Paul Harvey.

  4. 4

    […] speaker Helen Jane’s speaking commentary comparing 80’s R&B star Billy Ocean to blogging had everyone in attendance spellbound, laughing and connecting the dots all at the same time. A […]

  5. 5

    Someone who can make an analogy with billy ocean is at the top of my list

  6. 6
    Kristen says:

    I heard these exact words when I asked a friend how BTP1 was.. “It was great, but Helen Jane absolutely made it… she was so inspiring and insightful and soooo good.”
    So there you go. You rock! 🙂

  7. 7

    Julia Child (who’s basically the patron saint of food bloggers, right?) also said “Never apologize”. I think that’s a fundamental truth. I was SO inspired by you and your girls are super adorable. If you lived closer I’d be calling you up for a pink and purple playdate.

  8. 8

    Loved your talk. Every aspect of it.

  9. 9
  10. 10

    […] of your internet creativity through the artistic stylings of Billy Ocean. The other posts are here: One, Two, Three, Four, […]

  11. 11

    […] of fame and then carry on more quietly with the rest of their careers aren’t has-beens. Read Helen Jane’s inspiring series on the career of Billy Ocean for an example of someone whose career path intersected with the spotlight for a while, and then […]

  12. 12

    […] This article was originally posted on helenjane.com […]

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