As it turns out, when I spend the day knocking around local used book shops, eating a late lunch, and then dicking around the house I tend not to have many great topics come to mind when I sit down to blog. Lest someone think that’s a complaint, it’s not. It’s just a simple statement of fact.
In the back of my mind I know this ultra-long weekend is also at its halfway point and I’m bound and determined to squeeze as much down time and relaxation into the five days to come as possible. If things feel a bit more bland than usual around here for a few more days, consider this an official apology.
I try my best to keep a pretty extensive list of ideas I want to write about on the sideline just in case I run into one of those bad days when ideas just stop flowing. Over the last few months I’ve been cheating a bit and dragging ideas off the list. I find that quiver becoming uncomfortably empty at the moment and I’d really like to start adding things back to the list of potential topics rather than continuing to draw it down.
You, my dear readers, can do something to help. Although my personal pride would never let me ask anyone for cash donations, I clearly have no shame about asking you to help me out with ideas.
As I do here from time to time I’m opening the doors wide and encouraging you to go ahead and ask me anything. Is there a subject you think I should talk about? Do you want to know my thoughts on man-rompers or fidget spinners? Do you want to know my favorite food, color, and shoe size? I won’t sell this as a once in a lifetime opportunity, but if there’s anything you’ve been dying to know, this would be an awfully good chance to get an answer.
You can leave your questions in a comment here on WordPress, or on Facebook, or Twitter. Since I’ll be focused on answering your questions, that will give me the chance to refill my own pool of ideas, so really everyone wins here. You get the inside scoop about what’s rattling around in my head, I get to sharpen my writing chops on ideas I would otherwise be thinking about, and maybe we all get to learn a little something in the process. Really, what’s not to like about that?
Sometimes the universe hands you the perfect blog-worthy topic, fills you with background material, and page after page of everything that makes for a good and entertaining read. Just as quickly you realize at those moments that you can’t use a damned word of it because just the act of writing about it would reveal too much about your sources and methods of data collection. I’ve got a damned masterpiece laid out in my head, but I can’t do a thing with it. It’s going to have to suffice to say that it would have been absolutely magnificent. Maybe someday it’s one of those notes I’ll be able to dust off and revive, but it feels like a moment that’s missed and forever gone. It will never be as technicolor real as it is today.
I try hard not to moderate my posts even in the interest of making life a little easier on myself, but sometimes you’ve just got to put it away for the sake of not picking a fight you’re not absolutely in a position to win. It’s one of the hard realities of blogging. Pitting your greater self interest against the desire to post a sensational piece of work is just one more way the writing process conspires to keep a guy humble.
So a few of you (probably those who haven’t been around very long) might think that after a four day hiatus from posting I’d be back and better than every. Sadly, only part of that is true. I’m back. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been gone. And the muse didn’t see fit to endow me with a week’s worth of brilliant posts for your amusement. Trust me when I tell you that I’m far more disappointed than you are about that particular turn of events. If you spend enough time writing (or trying to write), disappointment is just one of the emotions you learn to live with as a constant companion.
I’ve extended the long weekend one extra day so instead of throwing myself back to the wolves tomorrow I’ll ease into it on Wednesday. I’ll try not to rub in the fact that it’s only going to be a two day week for me, but I’m not going to lie and tell you that doesn’t make me awfully happy. Instead of brilliant posts of experiences on the road, I’ll be reaching into the old grab bag this week to see what notes I have left over from posts that never quite got fleshed out. It’s not the most original approach, but there are a few nuggets in there that are likely too good to waste. In the meantime, I’m sure that by mid-morning Wednesday the restive effect of these days off will have been worn away and I’ll find myself with plenty of new stuff that needs saying.
It’s Monday again and even though it’s not a “school night” for me, it definitely feels like the break’s over.
With 1,233 visits, an average of 40 visits per day, and a one day record of 148 visits, October was a good month for jeffreytharp.com. The only sure thing I’ve learned from running a blog this long is that you can never expect success. It’s best to go into each post assuming that you’re writing to satisfy an audience of one: yourself. That’s why I’m savoring the high points when they come – especially since the last record setting month was back in May 2011. What that trend tells me is that apparently people like to see ranting about work (May 2011 I was in the final stages of escaping my previous employer) and raging about government ineptitude (This past October saw the latest government shutdown and endless incidents of political asshattery).
As tempting as it is to chase that trend, I don’t think that’s what I want to spend all my time writing about. The reason I’ve never settled into a topical niche is that I tend to be interested in whatever happens to go on around me on any given day. Maybe that’s a character flaw, but it does give me wide latitude when it comes to picking topics. I very much like having latitude.
So with that said, I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing around here for almost four years now. I’ll keep writing, you keep reading, and we’ll see if we can’t set a new record sooner rather than later. And because I don’t do it often enough, let me just say thanks to everyone who’s reading along at home, those who impart a snarky word from time to time, throw me a like, or even just shake your head in amazement that someone would bother to manage this much schlock on the internet. This is definitely the best non-paying job on the internet, but I still have a few surprises up my sleeve for the future so let’s go ahead and plan for the best being yet to come.