Who is Robert M. Weir?
“I’ve Got Ideas I Haven’t Thought of Yet”
An autobiographical article
By Robert M. Weir
Creativity comes in many forms,” says Robert Weir. “Sometimes it’s pure inspiration, the stuff of dreams and realizations. Sometimes it’s technical, leading to innovation and productivity. And sometimes, it’s juxtapositional, with solutions in one arena applied to problems in another.”
Weir sees value in all of these.
“I love waking up in the morning, aware that a dream is morphing into a story,” he says. “When this occurs, I lay wrapped in my blankets for extra minutes, savoring sounds and sensations that contributed to the inspiration. I formulate the first few paragraphs in that cozy cocoon before turning on my computer.”
Most of Weir’s articles are about people, and he finds that percolation helps with these, too. “I like to interview well before the submission date then review my notes during an afternoon. Sometime that evening or the next morning, opening lines begin to emerge. When I tame them into a cohesive order, I put my fingers on the keyboard and go to work,” he states.
While inspirational and technical creativity are fun and beneficial, Weir finds charm in juxtapositional creativity, which, he claims, requires observation and objectivity. “When we apply solutions from one arena in a realm where they’ve not been tried before, we cross-pollinate successes and breed new insights of capability and cooperation. Juxtapositional creativity raises awareness that any person’s idea, no matter how humble or seemingly small, may bring solutions to significant problems. That helps us look upon all people, whether members of our family, our community, our nation, or the world, as fellow travelers and participants in the human adventure on Planet Earth.”
Weir believes everyone brings something of value to life’s party. “We are all equitable contributors, and we are all green or wet behind the ears in some capacity or to some degree,” he affirms. “We get into trouble when we fail to recognize the beauty of human diversity and claim our ideals or methods as infallible and unalterable.
“I have an item, the size of a credit card, that has two purposes, two faces, if you will. Sometimes, in my talks, I walk down a center aisle, holding this item so people on one side of the room can see one face while people on the other side see the other face. Then I ask what the item is. One group says it’s a calculator, and the other group says it’s a mirror. And everyone is right. It’s both, depending on what side you’re looking at.
“The same is true with fences. One neighbor might paint one side white, and the other neighbor might paint the other side black. So, which color is it? It’s both, but the answer that some people would swear by lies in the single side from which they choose to view the fence. For an alternative perspective, let’s take the fence down or, at least, put in a wide gate and have a big yard party. Let’s invite everyone, knowing that each brings the gift of individuality. Let’s recognize that we all have ideas we haven’t thought of yet. Let’s see what type of creativity we can conjure together.”
Tips for Writers and Speakers: who or that
The impersonal pronoun that refers to an object.
The personal pronoun who refers to a person or a group of people.
Incorrect: The player that fumbled the ball later scored the winning touchdown.
Correct: The player who fumbled the ball later scored the winning touchdown.
Incorrect: The relatives that came to the reunion were his mother’s family.
Correct: The relatives who came to the reunion were his mother’s family.
To be correct, remember that people are not things.
Read all Tips for Writers and Speakers
Robert M. Weir's bio
Born in 1948 as one of the early baby boomers and raised in a family-owned farm implement dealership and country store in rural Southeastern Michigan, Robert Weir grew up interacting with customer farmers who valued the soil, hired mechanics who exhibited a strong work ethic, and a family who loved one another and contributed much to each other’s lives and community.
His boyhood friends crafted their own baseball diamond from a fallow field, built their own backstop, mowed the grass, chose their own teams, and played with whomever showed up — without coaches and umpires and parents watching their every move. Their friendship carried over to pick-up basketball games on a concrete pad in front of the Weir business and card games within the lads’ homes.
In this environment, Robert learned responsibility, independence, the value of an entrepreneurial spirit, and how to have fun.
Here are some of his accomplishments:
2010: Traveled to Barbados, Azores, Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, Germany, Russia, and India (New Delhi and Himalayas), going by tall ship across the Atlantic and on the Aegean and Black seas and cargo ferry on the Baltic Sea. Read stories.
2009: Published Brain Tumor, a medical memoir about removal of a benign meningioma
2008-2009: Edited Spontaneous Evolution for Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman (Hay House, 2009)
2008: Saw 100th magazine article published
2007: Published Peace, Justice, Care of Earth, reprint of John McConnell’s biography
2006—2009: Initiated and served as district leader in Southwest Michigan for the campaign to establish a U.S. Department of Peace
2006: Wrote Star of Hope, John McConnell’s biography (Swan Books)
2001: Wrote and published Cobble Creek, short stories and poetry based on the human experience
2000—2003: Wrote land use, recreation, and public outreach materials for government agencies and environmental nonprofits
1998—2003: Cared for my aging father
1996: Saw first magazine article published
1995: Joined a writers critique group
1994: Reoriented career to include creative writing
1993: Experienced black-out seizures; benign meningioma brain tumor surgically remove from cranium (see Brain Tumor book)
1986—1994: As a self-employed freelance writer, developed numerous policy manuals, procedure manuals, and management training materials for corporate clients
1985: Worked for a freelance corporate writing company as sales rep, technical writer, project manager
1975—1985: Worked for a major school yearbook companies as sales/service rep and journalism educator; taught over 12,000 students how to write copy, take photographs, layout pages, and prepare yearbook manuscripts
1973—1974: Worked in a major school yearbook company’s corporate marketing department as copy writer and creator of multi-media programs
1970—1973: Worked at an NBC television affiliate as film processor and editor, cameraman, director, and teleproduction script writer; wrote historical documentary for a major school yearbook company
1970: Graduated Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, Michigan) in Broadcast Communications and Political Science
1969: Worked at a regional radio station as announcer and newsman.
1968: Wrote a music video prior to the advent of MTV
1968: Graduated Port Huron Junior College (Port Huron, Michigan)
1966: Mother died of cancer, having outlived doctor’s predictions by two years to attend my graduation
1966: Graduated Port Huron Catholic High School (Port Huron, Michigan)
1962: Graduated Our Lady of Mt. Carmel elementary school (Emmett, Michigan)
1959—1968: Worked and grew up in family-owned business, Fred Weir & Son farm implements and country store (Emmett, Michigan)
February 22, 1948: born Port Huron, Michigan