What are you writing about? You’re overdue for a blog. I feel like you need to blog more. You shouldn’t write about beer next. You should write about something funny. Real and imagined voices, giving me advice as I sit down and stare at a blank page. My brain is what I imagine a small crisp can of craft beer that’s been shaken up by a bored kid in a bottle shop feels like. Full of pressure. Pressure to write something witty and hilarious. Pressure to write about something other than beer. I need a beer to think about what I can write about to please everyone else.
Ahh wait. I think that's my problem. I’ve got writer’s block from stressing about what everyone else thinks I should be writing about.
The other day on the way home from work, a day where I sat for 89.2% of the time, I managed to get a seat on the tram home so I could sit some more. At one stop, a very, very wrinkly old man got on and held on to the handrail. Oh yes, here we go. An excellent opportunity to show everyone on the tram what a kind and empathetic citizen of the world I am. I will offer this poor frail old man my seat.
I stood up, full of show-offy pride and walked up to the senior citizen.
“Do you want a seat?” I asked.
He turned, looked at me with a furrowed brow. A very grey furrowed brow, as he was very old. Too old to be standing up on public transport. He should be sitting down.
"Why do you think I need a seat? I’m fine standing up here. I’ve only got a few standing opportunities left in my lifetime and I’m gonna take ‘em!”
Then he turned back to look out at the sunny day rolling past the window.
What a hero. This champ clearly doesn’t worry about what everyone else thinks he should do. Maybe I should take a leaf out of his wrinkly old book when it comes to feeling pressure about what to put down in prose. Like my old man friend, I don’t necessarily have to take other people’s well-meaning advice just because they have said it. I might be a bit nicer about it, though. I mean, he could have at least thanked me for my incredible, selfless act to sacrifice my hard-earned rather small and uncomfortable tram seat that day.
I absolutely love that people take an interest in my writing. I actually love asking others about what they think about what I have written, or what I can write about next, or ways to approach my writing. I want to get better and be exposed to other opportunities so I take all this advice on like a sponge. It's important to remember that I don’t have to take on all this spongy goodness advice all at once, or at all. I can use some of the sponge water now. I can squeeze some of it out; I can save some suds for another time. But I shouldn’t just keep adding to the sponge as it will just lose its sudsy goodness and become full and soapy and of no use.
Great analogy, I know, you don’t have to tell me. Actually, do tell me. In the comments section below.
Ideas need time to develop and become witty and Celia-esque. Ideas do not come when I worry about what people think I should be writing about, where I should be writing, or when. Like my old man friend, I don’t necessarily have to take other’s advice. I can’t just sit down and write something just because someone wants to read a blog post. Coming up with ideas for pitches and blogs is fun; I don’t want the fun to be squeezed out. (Yes, like you squeeze those fun soapy suds out of a sponge).
Some days I have heaps of ideas that will flow out of my fingertips but I’ll be at work so I’ll have to pretend I’m writing a Very Long And Important Email. I’ll build up the first draft of some pieces but everyone around me must think I’m exceptionally busy and they’re probably in awe of my productivity.
Other times it is a bit trickier to come up with the goods, but still just as fun.
There are nights as I’m drifting off to sleep where I think I’ve come up with the most brilliant idea for a story or a blog and I’ll quickly scrawl it in my book, or type it on my phone. Oh yes, I’m going to be writing about the greatest thing ever, this is so goddamn witty, no one has ever come up with this line of thought, and it’s not even beer related! A wide smile forms as I drift off to sleep, excited for the sweet writing session ahead for me in the morrow. Flashes of brilliance.
I want to get down off this jigsaw puzzle.
The girl hummed. Every time she ate sushi it was too windy.
Great Celia. I’m glad you took the time to jot these down. You’re pretty brilliant, you know that?
No more fretting about the fact I haven’t written a blog for a while, or trying to think of something other than beer to write about even though I really enjoy writing about beer. I’ll get out adventuring for some inspiration. Maybe I’ll get in a fight with someone. Or maybe I’ll take a walk in a forest without water or GPS. Or I could try eating sushi on a windy day. Maybe I need a beer to think about some other fun inspiration igniters. Ah yes – I’ve got it!
Next time I am going to write about what I imagine it would be like to live as a very, very old and wrinkly man who really wants to sit down on the tram. He’s just been to the supermarket to buy some sponges. Unfortunately, this particular old man decided 43 years ago that he wouldn’t do what everyone else thought he should so now he has to refuse offers of a seat when exceptionally gorgeous, witty women offer up theirs. He must stand up like a fool on the tram. He’ll watch the world go by and pray that he doesn’t fall over before his stop.
“I want to get down off this jigsaw puzzle.” He’ll think to himself.
Brilliant. Can’t wait to write it.