Monday, August 29, 2011

What Am I Supposed To Write?

Well, it is Monday once again, although I do not look at Mondays the same way most other people do. The hours at my job are all over the place. I do not have regular days off and could work any shift (including midnights) on any given day. Therefore, I do not really have weekends. Monday, especially recently, means something else for me. It is time for another blog entry.

When I first started this blog, I really had no writing schedule in mind. I certainly had not put any thought into how often I wanted to put up a post. However, once I started writing, I would occasionally be disturbed by the fact that I had not posted anything new in almost a month. I write because I like to write. I do not do it for anyone else, but on the other hand, I love the fact that other people do read my writing. Is this an ego thing? I really have no idea, but after every post I am checking the numbers for the next couple of days to see how many readers it gets. Every time I hit the refresh page on the stats page to see if anyone new has ventured their way to my page since the last time I checked (five minutes ago), I am forced to consider if I may have a problem. After careful consideration, I chalk it up to a lack of caffeine and make another pot of coffee.

In a recent blog (which can be read here), I mentioned that I was setting a new goal for myself concerning this blog. I wrote that I would try to post at least once per week. I have since decided that I will do two posts a week. I will post every Monday and Friday. This serves a few different purposes. The first is to feed my ever-hungry ego. Well, sort of. Everything I read about blogs states that a successful blogger needs to post on a regular basis. If you look through my blog schedule since I started, sometimes I would post three days in a row, and at other times I would only put up one post in a month. It is rather difficult to expect regular followers if they never know when to expect something from me.

One of the reasons this would happen was because I was not writing until I had something I wanted to say or I had an idea for a blog because of a recent experience. I have since realized I cannot legitimately use that as an excuse. If you know me personally, then you are very aware of the fact that I do not actually need to have anything to say in order to start talking. In fact, I can talk at length about any topic despite the fact that I have no real knowledge on the subject. It's a gift. I don't know how I do it.

The second reason for posting twice a week is to challenge myself as a writer. I not only have to produce twice a week, but I will have to plan ahead for it. I should not sit down at the computer at posting time and try to come up with something to say. I need to be planning my blogs in advance, spending time with them and, in some cases, do a little research.  Without some planning ahead of time, I will be forced to just crank something out to get it done. In case you haven't noticed, this is what happened today.

I took a creative writing class at a community college right out of high school. There were many different types of assignments, but the most challenging one involved what the teacher called our 'writing journal.' This class met three times per week and we were to make an entry in our writing journal for each time we had class. This meant that on top of our other assignments for the class, we had to produce something creative three times per week. There were no guidelines for this assignment. We could write a short story, a poem, a recent observation about something, or anything else we chose to put to paper.

This class met at 10 a.m. and was my first class of the day. Week after week I would drive to school an hour early to sit in the student lounge and write in my journal right before walking into class. This means that it was a rare occasion when anything in this journal was ever planned out. One of the best entries I put in that journal was entitled Occupation: Procrastination. I openly admitted in that entry that class started in less than half an hour and I was just now sitting down to do the assignment. In that assignment, I attempted to explore why I do this. I presented many theories, but did nothing to correct the situation.

So, here I am, more than twenty years later, doing it again. I have known all weekend that I would be writing for my blog this morning, but did nothing about it. That is why I am sitting here writing about the fact that I do not know what I am supposed to be writing about.

Some days, it comes easy. I have an idea and it just flows out. On other days, I have an idea, but the end product has nothing to do with the original thought that prompted the post. Then, there are the days like today. I am sitting here with nothing and the more I try to think of something, the more my mind just wanders away from me...or shuts down...or I fall asleep. That reminds me - I'm almost out of coffee.

As much as I enjoy the writing process, it is not always easy. The days when my mind is fighting through a kitchen of sludge are very frustrating. Note: 'kitchen of sludge' is in no way an implication of the state of my kitchen, it is just the mental image I have in my head concerning my writing process today. I also picture the fighter as a rather large mouse in a gladiator uniform. I don't know why. I have even gone as far as to make a list of blog ideas for future postings. I have, what I believe, to be a rather long list of good ideas. Unfortunately, just putting up my idea is not a good post. I still need to flesh it out and turn it into something worth reading.

So, I am giving myself a challenge, but I need the help of you, the reader. I want you to give me something to write about. It can be anything and I will write about it. I do ask a couple of things. First, let's keep it clean. Do not give me any inappropriate topics and the person who makes that distinction will be me. Second, in order to participate, you must post your suggestion in the comment section of this blog. Do not comment on Facebook, Twitter, Viewshound, Networkedblogs or any other service that you use to get here. This blog has a comment section, please use it. Plus, unless you leave your suggestion here, other people will not be able to see it. Third, please understand that there is a distinct possibility that your suggestion may not be treated with a serious tone. I am looking to challenge myself and may run with your topic to make a serious point or may use it as a springboard for a joke.

Depending on the number of suggestions I get, it may take a while to get through them. I am also not promising that I will not write about anything else in the meantime. However, when I do write on your suggestion, I will be sure to credit you with the idea and provide a link back to your comment.

I do not know how I got here. This challenge was not in my head when I first started writing, but now that we are here, let's see where this goes. I look forward to your suggestions. Let's have some fun with this. I know my brother, Kyle,will try to think the most off-the-wall thing possible to stump me. I welcome the challenge.

25 comments:

  1. I'd be interested in your thoughts on the incredibly stupid trend known as "planking." Here's a video if you don't know what it is. Don't worry, it's clean. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rObgXiQEV8g

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    1. Done

      http://transformednonconformist.blogspot.com/2011/09/pratfalls-planking-and-pain-afternoon.html

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  2. I am familiar with it and with the new trend now called "coning." I will be happy to write on it. Do a YouTube search for coning if you do not know what it is. It looks a lot for fun than planking.

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  3. What steps would take in deciding what your final meal would be and what would that meal be?

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  4. Wow, Shane! Good question. I will have to think about that one. Do I go for incredible taste or nostalgia?

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  5. Oh this planking and coning thing is nuts! LOL But if asked, I'd probably do it.

    I think you should pull a Ross Gellar from Friends and do something everyday you've never done before and blog about it. That's what I'm thinking of doing! It'd be fun. We could try and top each other! lol

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  6. That would be fun. We could pick a week and have to go out and have an adventure everyday and write about it that night or the next morning. Trying to do something crazier or bigger than the other person would be the best part. Let's do this in the near future.

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  7. Preach I think that you should write on how the contents of modern TV and the rating system has changed over the years and what is accpetable for TV today compared to years passed. Keep up the good work preach.

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  8. I just saw a documentary on the MPAA ratings system. I will have to think about that one.

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    1. Done.

      http://transformednonconformist.blogspot.com/2011/12/bacon-main-reason-i-am-not-vegetarian.html

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  10. Bacon. Easy one. I could write a book on bacon. I love bacon.

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  11. As a literary bacon fanatic, I feel the genre is way under appreciated. I look forward to the grease soaked paragraphs soon to come.

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  12. Indeed, coning definitely looks more fun!

    Oh, and I second the bacon topic!

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  13. I like the bacon idea, but you could actually do a study on various uses of bacon (other than the obvious). There is even bacon scented perfume now.

    Now to be more serious, I have found something of interest concerning your mouse gladiator...please see the following link: http://www.google.com/imgres?q=mouse+gladiators&hl=en&sa=X&rlz=1R2ADFA_enUS411&biw=1280&bih=789&tbm=isch&tbnid=f3qTagsrP5bZrM:&imgrefurl=http://www.luxuryfiend.com/page/91/&docid=kzCCJ3gAji7mOM&w=600&h=398&ei=GvhbTveGLqXpsQK24-StDA&zoom=1

    Thought this might help with your imagery!

    But seriously, how about how Facebook has changed the way we communicate? It has made a tremendous impact on how I keep in touch with my family. And do you think it is good or bad to be so "in touch" with so many people? Seems to be overwhelming sometimes to me.

    Love you bunches and keep up the good work,
    tam

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  14. You can do a lot with bacon. Remember Denny's Bacon Sundae that came out a few months ago, lol?

    Maybe you can share more about what led you to teaching. Some writing ideas that have been swimming in your head, maybe?

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  15. Tammy, I do have some opinions on Facebook that are both good and bad, despite how much I love it.

    Brandi, I can pursue both of those things. It is especially easy to talk about one of my favorite subjects...ME!!!

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  16. Although I do like a challage, I will have to get back with you on a more serious answer. But, just off the top of my head... Who would win in a fight between "Mr. Rogers" and "Pee Wee Herman"? Paint the picture for me. And I totaly understand about being able to talk about things, even if you don't know the slightest thing about the topic. I once had someone ask me a question about something, I began to explain the details of the topic, and the history, and the inner workings of the complexities of it. This person looked at me and said "That's amazing" then they thought about it and said "is that really true?". Then I said "no, never heard of that before." Then they responded with "Sounded go though."
    Thought of another one. Why or how are your blogs so long when you don't even know how to type. That's one thing I can do acadamia wise I can do that you can't, pthththt!
    Kyle(The Ka)

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    1. Done.

      http://transformednonconformist.blogspot.com/2011/12/todays-secret-word-is-war.html

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  17. I know it is not nearly as exciting as bacon, but I would like to read about where you would like to travel in the world and why you want to go there...or have been there. Also not nearly as exciting as Mr Rogers and PeeWee (although Mr. Rogers would kick butt!!)

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  18. Go to a grave yard and pick out a tombstone of a person you do not know, no cheating!lol Then weave a tale about this person!

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  19. Kyle does not disappoint, as usual. I will see what I can do. Steph, that one will be hard, because I want to go EVRYWHERE. I cannot think of a single country that I would not jump at the opportunity to go to. That one will take some thinking. Mary, I can definitely have some fun with that one...and plan to.

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  20. I want to swim with the hippos.
    Your thoughts... go!
    Kyle

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  21. Didn't you already go? I will work on it. Hippos are scary.

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