Tuesday, 15 November 2011

What Have You Learned, Dorothy?

Note: This Post has been syndicated on Blogher

Well here we are folks. At the halfway point. Fifteen posts down, fifteen more to go. It certainly hasn't been a piece of cake, but I honestly didn't expect that it would be. And while I might not always subscribe to the notion that the best things in life are borne out of struggle and pain, there is certainly some merit to the philosophy that the more challenging the task, the more pride experienced when that task is completed. That certainly has been the case for me with this writing/blogging exercise. While I definitely do not want to dig deep into my psyche just yet-I need to save that introspection just in case I get stuck for an idea around day twenty-I have learned a few lessons about the commitment and discipline that are necessary for a daily dose of scribbling.

Everything is now a potential idea. I scour the internet, the newspapers, magazines, and television for small kernels that might develop into full-blown posts. I have been people watching at the mall and at regular haunts. What might be considered mundane everyday behaviour like standing in line at the grocery store has become fodder for this blog. So, if you see me out and about over the next two weeks and I am either staring at you or am deeply lost in thought, the chances are that you have done something that might make my highlight reel. My advice to you-run far and fast. We can reconnect privately in December.

I have become a walking writer's cliche. A pad of paper and a pen is always at the ready. I have virtual post-it notes on my computer just in case an idea strikes. I have taken to carrying my laptop around the house with me-even into the bathroom (too much information?)-in the event of a bolt of lightning. My iPhone is filled with reminder notes and dumbs pictures in case I might convert them into blog postings. I never realized until just now how seriously I had committed myself to this task. Are these signs that writing has become an increasingly important part of my day or are they just an early signals of insanity?

My best notions arrive while I am exercising. Years ago I used to write song parodies for parties. Sometimes I actually made a few bucks in the process. While doing that bit of nonsense, I discovered that my best ideas came to me in the shower. It occurred to me then that this happened because I was totally alone with my thoughts while bathing. This burst of creativity on the treadmill is just an extension of that experience. About a month before I committed to National Blog Post Month, I recommitted to my exercise regimen. It is true what they say about physical fitness clearing one's mind. I can be doing my miles, rocking out to Melissa Etheridge, and formulating blog posts all at the same time. Amazing!

It was never my intention that anybody would actually read my blog except for my mother. Long time readers of this space will recall that I started this experience on Facebook as a method of sharing our kitchen renovations with my snowbird parents. (Those initial postings are in the 2007 archives.) I had no idea others were tuning in until I started receiving comments. It was The Husband who suggested moving it over to Blogger so that it was more accessible. Over the years, I have thought of it as more of an online journal than a blog, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings. And while I do tag certain people (mostly friends and family who I know will forgive me because they have to love me!) hoping they might read my incoherent rantings, I have never had any expectation that anyone actually does. (with the exception of The Husband. He is without choice!) I have to admit that there is a certain sense of satisfaction when somebody approaches me either in the real or virtual worlds and expresses opinions on what I have written. There are a few trolls out there of whom I would like to ask "Why bother with me?" "Don't you have real writers to annoy?" But by and large the reception has been positive. You don't have to like what I have written and you certainly don't have to agree, but it is nice to know that I am not writing in the ether. Just knowing that you all are out there actually makes this process flow better.  

Somebody asked me yesterday if I have too much time on my hands. While it is true that the month of November is typically a quieter time in my professional life, I did not start this project as a way to kill time. Actually quite the opposite is true. I have found that I have to actively make the time to sit and write, and on a selfish note,  I genuinely wanted to see if I could do it. What I have discovered is how important a part of my day this writing has become. I love the creative process and I love the discipline it is providing. 

I am certain that more bullshit self awareness will follow over the coming two weeks. These are just a few random thoughts at the halfway point. I apologize if anything has sucked so bad it was painful to read, and I apologize in advance for what I know will be a few duds to come. Thanks for reading.


  1. I have not been as faithful as you. Congratulations.

  2. I am still keeping up with you, and I agree with all of this. It has been harder than I thought. But thought provking at the same time. I hope that the next 15 days/posts are as interesting as the first 15 days/posts!

  3. if you want to keep me reading, send more recipes... this household could use a few new ones... and it is an easy blog when nothing else grabs you.