Saturday, March 17, 2012
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS: The Luck of the Irish
Laziness. Laziness and Procrastination. Laziness and Procrastination and Lack of originality. All of these things are what I can blame the "Ghost Town" that has been my blog in the last 17 days. Over the last few weeks, I have mulled over and gone back and forth on a long list of article ideas that I could have done (if for no other reason than to make the blog seem active). But for various reasons (no interest, not enough knowledge about the subject or just a plain bad idea!), none of these articles seemed worth going against my integrity as a writer. I'm not one of those writers who writes just to write, I write because I'm passionate about a project or a topic or an idea. And none of the article ideas I've had these past two weeks have thrilled me in the way a good topic should. Just to give you all an idea of what I've been going through, I'll give you a peek at some of the topics that I thought about discussing but eventually scuttled. First, I was going to do a very topical article about the vitriol that exists in our culture these days. It was sparked by the debate over what conservative blowhard Rush Limbaugh said about student-activist Sandra Fluke and her pleadings to the U.S. Congress in regards to contraception for young women. It was further inspired by the back and forth between former teen idol and now very Christian Kirk Cameron and the always stir-the-pot liberal group GLAAD over his comments on Piers Morgan's talk show in regards to gay marriage (for the record, he's not for it...just in case you were wondering!). I thought about several ways to approach the article (including an angle that brings in the Facebook/Twitter factor and how 24/7 internet makes it much harder to say what you feel), but eventually the topic became too big for me and waaaaaay too political (something I said from the beginning this blog would never be!). Other article topics that got the boot were a post about the phenomenon that is The Hunger Games books and the soon-to-be-released and highly anticipated film version of the first novel in the series. But I felt that since I hadn't read the books and only have witnessed the phenom from the sidelines, I wasn't the best person to be talking about it. There was also the article about how the FOX hit musical-comedy series Glee has disappointed me in their last few episodes before their Spring hiatus, but that topic just seemed a little petty and backbiting (something that I think too much of goes on in Hollywood!). The other article ideas vary along these same lines as being too big for one post or too flimsy or just poorly researched. And then I noticed a theme in my thought process when choosing a blog topic: What I think can go wrong with an article!
Now this being St. Patrick's Day, a holiday which celebrates the Irish in all of us (something that is very close to my heart!), I thought that this would be the perfect day to return to the blog. A word we all hear a lot around St. Patrick's Day is "Luck" (unfortunately also the name of the recently cancelled and exorbitantly expensive HBO series starring Dustin Hoffman!). Many people have told me that I am "lucky" to be a writer and have my own blog on which I can express my opinions and thoughts, and while I definitely see their point, I have never really felt "lucky" just full of ideas (though some of them don't work as you saw above!). And then I remembered what most of the "philosophers" of our day (like Oprah and her pals) say about "luck:" You make your own. And what they mean by that is that what you put out into the world will be returned to you through Karma or Fate or God or whatever you want to call it. And that reminded me of the story of St. Patrick, a story I heard over and over growing up in an Irish-Catholic family! His luck and good fortune came to him because of the devout person he was and the goodness he put out into the world through his good works. Then I thought about applying this theory to my writing and the way I think about article topics for the blog, and what I noticed about the many topics that didn't work out failed because I wasn't thinking about what could be good about the article. In short, I need to make my own "luck." I need to see what is good about my ideas and focus on that when conceiving and executing my blog topics. Whether that means I need to not think in broad terms or if that means I need to skip a few weeks to find my footing, that's what will happen. Because when it comes to this blog (be it 10 FAVORITES or IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS), I want the best of me to shine through (I know that sounds cheesy, but sometimes cheesy is just how you feel!).