April 7, 2014 at 7:52 am
You may have noticed I’ve been blogging more frequently. (Please tell me you’ve noticed I’ve been blogging more frequently.) I’d like to say this is because I’ve felt particularly inspired and productive lately, but mostly it’s because I don’t want to pay my friend Shauna five bucks every week.
Back in December, Shauna posted an entry that mentioned (in parenthesis) that she wanted to “get back on the writing wagon.” When I read that I thought, I want to get back on the writing wagon too though not literally because it would be hard to write on a wagon. That’s when I proposed the idea that we mutually extort blog entries from each other, though I think I phrased it as “being accountable to one another.” Accountability was an important part of my weight loss success when I was actually losing weight, so I hoped it might work as well with writing goals as it did with weight-loss goals. The best part is that once you’ve written something you can’t un-write it, unlike weight loss [...]
November 2, 2012 at 9:21 pm
Photo by Leo Reynolds / by BY-NC-SA 2.0
Whew! I made it! Thirty-one days and thirty-one posts composed of over 14,000 words. They account for 27% of all the entries on JenFul so far. It was a lot of work. I stared at many blank Word documents. I spent a lot of time going through my big list of blog ideas thinking, No. Nope. Not that either. That one will take too long. I don’t want to spend time thinking that one through. I have no idea what that one even means. When I did pick a topic I would type and then hammer the backspace key into oblivion. Writing is hard, even when you know what you want to say, even harder when you don’t. I often wanted to abandon an entry, but would finish it off because I had to meet that damn daily deadline.
Despite all that, or maybe because of it, the experience left me feeling really fulfilled. After I’ve been writing for a few hours, I get a happy, feel-good buzz in [...]
October 22, 2012 at 7:35 am
Photo by Nathan Harper / by NC-ND 2.0 CC
I’ve gotten thousands of nice comments on my blog entries over the years, but it’s the mean comments that I remember best. Fortunately I don’t get many nasty comments, but when I do they get stuck to my memory with super glue, whereas the nice comments are attached like Post-It notes, easy to peel off and forget. I tend to be a positive person who focuses on the good things in life, so I’ve often wondered why the negative thoughts are the ones that get imprinted so deeply. I’d prefer to erase them like an Etch-a-Sketch, but shaking my head back and forth like that only gives me whiplash.
I’ve got a hunch about why this happens. It has less to do with my attitude and more to do with biochemistry. Research has shown that you make more vivid memories when you are emotionally aroused, and reading an unexpectedly mean comment definitely arouses my emotions. The only time a good comment has created that same passionate response in [...]
October 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm
Photo by woodleywonderworks / by CC 2.0
I’m almost halfway through my blog-a-day challenge and it looks like I might make it after all. I haven’t had to post any cat pictures at a minute to midnight yet either! This is at least partly due to the encouragement I have gotten from you guys in the comments section or on Twitter and Facebook. I honestly didn’t know if anyone was still checking in on me, but now I know there are at least a few dozen of you! I appreciate every single one of you, and your kind words mean a lot to me.
Looking over what I’ve written in the past few weeks, there are a least a few entries I think came out really well, and I would never have bothered to write them if I hadn’t made writing a non-negotiable daily task. Writing is like exercise, it’s easy to make an excuse about why you don’t have time for it, but you can usually squeeze it into your day if you decide it’s a [...]
October 1, 2012 at 7:57 am
Photo by Joe Lanman / by CC BY 2.0
I’ve decided to write a blog post every day in October. I do not promise they will be long. I do not promise they will be good. But they will be here. Every day.
I haven’t been writing much lately and I think this is bad for me. A lack of self-reflection is like going outside without looking in the mirror. You’re kind of a mess and don’t even realize it. Actually, I don’t think I’m a mess, but I do think I’ve been stagnant lately. If I were a character in a television drama I think the show runner would write me out or kill me off because my character was going nowhere.
I would prefer to go somewhere. And I really don’t want to be killed off.
Just by writing this first entry of the month, I’ve typed and deleted several paragraphs about how I feel about all sorts of things. It makes my brain hurt in that good way my muscles feel like after a long [...]