Please welcome my #BeReal guest today, Dave Cenker.




It started with a simple message. Would you consider writing for me? Just six words. I never expected such a simple request to unravel me on the inside. Truth be told, it was those last two words that really hit an emotional chord for me, whether it was warranted or not.

Someone wanted me to write for them. I only discovered my love for words about three years ago. I have had my follows, my likes, my favorites – all those social media statistics that we’re supposed to ignore as writers but never do. But, never had I been asked to write for someone else. It was like my writing now somehow magically held some deeper meaning.

Sure, I replied. I’d be honored. What would you like me to write about? Well, you know the answer to that already, of course, since you’re reading this. So, I opened up a new document, eager to share with the world what it means for me to be real. Staring at my blinking cursor, I felt as though it was taunting me. I couldn’t come up with a damn thing to write.

It wasn’t until I gave into two words that I had penned on numerous occasions that I stopped trying to say whatever it was that I thought people wanted to hear and just let my thoughts flow on to the page. Those two words? Authenticity and vulnerability.

I’m not the prototypical guy.

Take movies. Give me the choice between an action flick and a romantic drama and I’ll take the latter. Every. Single. Time.

Let’s look at music. I like the thumping bass of a good rock tune as much as anyone. But, more often than not, I’ll choose the tender lyrics and melodic tone of an emotional love song. It’s what I connect with. It’s who I am.

And yet, despite the undeniable fact that this is the person who I am, I had suppressed that persona from the external world for years. It wasn’t until I penned my first blog post that I was first able to genuinely express my true self. In the words of Sharon Adler, I write because my heart speaks a language that someone needs to hear.

It wasn’t until I began writing that I discovered something very comforting about the process itself. I could hide behind the veil of my words. I could push something out into the digital world for everyone to see and consume, but still remain safely tucked behind the curtain, only pulling it back to reveal myself when I felt it was safe for me to do so.

A funny thing happened during this process. I began to share more of myself. Not because I received rave reviews or notoriety. Not because I received encouragement from family and friends (although I certainly did). Rather, this occurred because it felt – right. Ironically, it’s something that is difficult to put into words. When you do what it is you were meant to do in the way that only you were meant to do it, something resonates inside you. Like a tuning fork, that resonance amplifies what began as but a tiny whisper from somewhere deep inside and transforms it from a single delicate chord into a beautiful symphony.

This picture of my wife and I was taken on our wedding day many years ago. We had the consummate fairy tale wedding, getting married at Disney World on Walt Disney’s birthday. Although it is very cliché, it was the epitome of a dream come true. I share this photo because it captures the unbridled joy of that day and that moment. It reminds me that pure joy and bliss arrives on our doorstep when we invite those two words – authenticity and vulnerability – into our lives and embrace them with everything we have inside us.

So, what does it mean to me to be real? I guess I can sum it up in a single sentence. It’s only when we give in completely to who we are that we are able to become all that we were meant to be. Find your own real and be it.



Dave’s Bio:

Dave was born just outside of Chicago, IL but doesn’t remember much about the Windy City as he was only there until he was four years old. He grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania and lived in New Jersey for a few years before migrating south to the Sunshine State where he now lives with his beautiful wife, amazing son, and four cats (the real monarchs of their house).

Dave discovered writing on a whim when he began blogging about his unique perspective on daily occurrences in his life. He always searched for the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary.

After dipping his toes into the pool of fiction, Dave was smitten with the enchantment of telling stories that convey deep sentiments and connect with his readers on an emotional level.

His four words – inspire and be inspired – guide him in his writing and daily life. You can connect with him at his website, www.davecenker.com.

When you join his author community, Dave will keep you informed on the progress of his first novel, Second Chance, scheduled for publication in 2016. He’ll also send you his award-winning short story, Homecoming, selected as an honorable mention in the 2015 Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Contest, as a small token of his appreciation.


12 thoughts on “#BeReal – DAVE CENKER

    • Thank you, Bob! And another big thank you to Hasty for giving me this opportunity 🙂 The very ironic thing is that there was a tremendous amount of serendipity in that last sentence. I was writing along when the final though entailed in those last two sentences alighted on a branch somewhere in my consciousness. We all have our own definition of what it means to be real. For me, that very process of writing helps me uncover the “realest” parts of me and is a huge reason why I now know that it will always be an essential part of my life. Thanks for the comment, and for the reblog! I sincerely appreciate it and offer my best wishes for an inspired day 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love your two words: authenticity and vulnerability.

    I think they can completely replace, for the better, the two words I dislike most in the world: ignorance anarrogance.
    I also like the idea of inspire and be inspired. I didn’t always love to write either, like you so often hear writers say they’ve been doing since before they can remember. It is something beautiful when it grows and develops over time, dawning on us slowly or all at once.
    Glad you’ve found what makes you so happy and authentically and vulnerably you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment, and I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts. I often walked around with a sheepish grin on my face because I hadn’t been writing all my life. I’ve come to appreciate that although I may have discovered my love for the written word later than others, I accepted the invitation of my creative muse at exactly the right time 🙂

      I remember penning a post on my old blog about a year or two ago. I challenged my readers (and consequently myself) to define themselves in only four words. Inspire and be inspired turned out to be my chosen four words. It encompasses so much for me – maybe most importantly that it’s not just about me inspiring someone else or someone else inspiring me, but actually establishing a connection with another human being because of that inspiration, either given or received.

      In a digitally dominated world, having the opportunity to use that technology to get back to a more elemental human connection something I cherish deeply. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. Best wishes for an inspired day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It wasn’t until I realized many years ago that projecting an image of yourself isn’t the same as projecting who you are that I came to find true happiness — in love, life and all of my pursuits. You’re piece really nailed the importance of that. And it’s good to know I’m not the only guy who likes watching romance movies with my wife…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself, Ned 🙂 Thank you for sharing your kind thoughts and sentiments. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that it’s taken me this long, but I am in the middle of reading “Pride and Prejudice” for the first time after watching the movie with my wife a few weekends ago. There’s nothing quite the same as a good romance story to restore our faith in hope and love 😉 Thanks again, and best wishes for an inspired day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dave, that picture of you and your wife is utterly gorgeous. I love the joy and aliveness it shows, far more eloquently than words could ever convey. I’m glad you wrote, I’m glad you were asked, and I’m glad you’ve discovered so much more about what makes you YOU, than you had before you wrote.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and sometimes there are no number of words that could ever do a picture justice. This photo was certainly one of the latter. Our wedding photographer was a true photojournalist. We never knew when he was snapping photos. We were simply meandering around the grounds of the Wilderness Lodge in pure bliss. He captured this moment so perfectly, and I can feel the emotions coursing through me every single time I look at it even though it was many, many years ago.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. The response from so many readers of Hasty’s blog is both inspiring and humbling. I appreciate your kind words, best wishes for an inspired day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It sounds as though your photographer understood people, and how to get the very essence of them. What a wonderful way to preserve the feelings within those moments. I’m so happy you have photos which remind you precisely of the emotions you felt.

        And you’re welcome. I love this series, and I think Hasty’s doing an absolutely marvellous job of introducing so many realities, in such wonderous ways. Hope the rest of your day goes awesomely.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. OK, I’m a bit late to the conversation, but had to say how much I enjoyed your post, and thanks to Hasty for connecting all of us (along with Rachel Thompson who led me here). Your eloquent thoughts and words are teaching me to let go of my many one-dimensional sides so I can reveal my whole self. It’s both scary and exhilarating at the same time! Still new at writing and have to admit, I’ve kept my blog pretty safe to date with factoids and teachings. As I acknowledge my first block (you know that little judge in the head that keeps saying, “No, that sucks! You won’t do that well.” to at least 17 different topics?), I realized that I’m not speaking about my passions. That’s changing now.


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