Thursday, November 6, 2014

Drawing A Blank

Thinking, thinking.  Yes, I'm pretty sure how I became familiar with the term, blogging, was while reading Julie Powell's memoir, Julie & Julia. I loved that book.  But, I never put into context the idea that anybody could write a blog about anything they desired.  I didn't get the gist of that whole concept until I saw the movie.  I loved the movie too... come on, Nora Ephron, people!  (I adore Nora Ephron.  God, I miss her.)  I viewed blogging, from Julie's example, as sort of a journal-keeping type of exercise... with food.  I found it similar to a book that I've kept at hand since receiving it as a gift from a friend back in the late 90s.  That book is, Simple Abundance: A Day Book of Comfort and Joy, by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  I love this book too.  I loved Sarah's daily words of encouragement. The book is within reach as I type this post.  See...

So with these two examples to draw from, coupled with my fondness of writing, I thought, "Hmm, maybe I should start a blog."  So I did.  I started several blogs.  Turns out they're all the same,.. but with different titles.  Anyway, sometime during those early blogstorming days, I discovered humor bloggers.  Oh, and that caught my attention.  I went on a binge... that lasted, well, what time is it?  I wanted to try my hand at that.  After all, I had read Phil Rosenthal's, You're Lucky You're Funny memoir and my thinking became, "Working in a writer's room sounds like the best job ever. I'd love to do comedy.  I had even been toying with idea of trying stand-up.  There was a comedy club not far from our home that had "newbie nights" a couple of times a month.  I wanted to do that, but never found the courage. So, then I started thinking, "Maybe I can be a humor writer," I like funny.  Problem:  I am not funny.  You know what's funny?  I LOVE comedy.  I live for "the funny."  If you asked me what I'm expert at, I'd say, laughing; my profession?  I'm a lover of laughter. I'm just not funny.  So, I resigned myself to the fact that I'd have to get my funny fix from other writers; I'm so glad there are so many of them.

Today, it is no surprise how difficult it's been to even come up with a title for this post. For starters, I realize most visitors to A How-To Guide show up to read my posts only to be disappointed.  They arrive to discover that there is nothing here to learn.  Ah, but maybe there is.  I like to imagine my blog posts are serving a purpose.  What purpose is that?  Well, I'm convinced it is held up as an example of how not to blog.  This amuses me to no end for some weird reason.  Hear me out.  Class begins.  Handouts lined with samples of my blog.   Students - I'm thinking third graders -  instructed to make corrections. Yeah, a bunch of grammar school kids are editing my stuff.  Ha!

Another scenario that I imagine when analytics reveal readers from other parts of the world have checked out my blog is that it's contents have been used to teach English. An instructor might say, "Please, translate."  If that's the case I'd like all English learners and grade school children to read my blog, make corrections, and suggest how I could improve my writing.  I guess I should ask them to provide ideas about what to write too.  Hmmm... wait, it's my blog.  Right?

So then, why do I write?  Why this blog?  Why this title?

I started my first blog in 2009.  It was just going to be in newsletter form; something to keep family and friends up to date on my family's goings on since we lived so far away from them.  It was where I'd post my kids school progress and accomplishments to share with their grandparents.  Problem was that nobody had a clue what a blog was, and no one was willing to even click on links that I'd post to Facebook.  Their reason for not opening my posts, "I don't want to risk my computer getting a virus."  "You never know what is in these links."  But here's the thing,.. they were sharing tons of personal stuff screwing around on Facebook!  They didn't get it.  So I stopped posting my stuff to Facebook.  I did keep at blogging though.  I started this blog in the midst of life altering events.  I thought I'd share glimpses - very personal insights - of my family's plight.  I had a tiny audience... for a tiny period of time.  I needed my blog.  I needed an outlet; A How-To Guide provided that.

Secret: I've always wanted to be a writer.  I wanted to be a teacher.  Problem.  Unlike most writers, I never seriously studies language arts.  I barely made it through high school.  Long story short, I had to make up 3 semesters during senior year.  Independent study program got me thisclose to fulfilling graduation requirements.  I went to community college here and there after graduating.  Long story II; short, stuff happened.  So I have no degrees, no certificates of completion, no anything.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, since turning 50, I'm looking to reimagine my life. Anybody want to help me out with this?  Anybody?

What was this post supposed to be about?


Taking a break from Ain't No Turkey Challenge today.  It's been a doozy of a week.  I did find time to take a picture this morning.  See...

Image by L. Carilo

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