Go Easy on the “-ings!”


“I am not walking the barking dog while taking out the trash because that is balking at the attempts of writing and blogging and not breaking grammatical rules.”

“Mmm…Wuh?” said the confused man from a recent phone company commercial.  (I’ll clarify for him in a minute.)

I had a couple of topics ready for this blog.  First up was “I Hate Winter,” complete with pictures of snow drifts, gray skies and ornery people bundled up in snowmobile suits.  I nixed the idea when the thought occurred that my grumpy mood may be the reason the lengthy winter is sticking around the Midwest this year.  I may be the jinx.  I’ll try to smile amidst another recent snow event and unseasonable cold temps.  Try is the operative word.  I could regress and blog about it if the situation doesn’t change by the end of March.

The next considered topic was “My Obsessive/Compulsive Perfectionist Personality”.  That blog died when I realized it could never be perfect enough to post.  I would have to buy the WordPress upgrade (which would mean my cats would go without cat food this week) and then I would obsess over all of my options for hours on end.  I also felt it would be a bit ironic to write about OCPP since my living room floor is awash in cat toys and my desk at work is almost covered with papers, folders, a cat calendar, a “no” button, two remotes, a stapler, and more.

I’d be better off telling the tale of two Mary’s – a discussion of living with organization and clutter.

Have you had enough of the digression?  Sorry, it’s my tendency to ramble on, a trait I genetically received from my dad.

When I jumped into the blogging world a few weeks ago, I made a bold leap of naivety.  After a year of blogger’s contemplation, boldness came in determination to put the random thoughts in my head into a blog.  Determination turned to naivety (and anxiety) when I realized I knew nothing about blog sites or how to maneuver in a blog site.  I love to learn, but don’t always love the learning process.  I am impatient in that sense – wanting to learn instantly, wanting to somehow touch my computer screen and know immediately what I’m doing.

Yes, computer, tell me more!

Melange Spock

The biggest leap I have taken is with the written words of my blog.  If you have read “About” on my page, I admit that I am not a professional writer. I have not taken creative writing classes. I do not do this with the intent to be a world renowned blogger.  Most of my writing has been at work, creating newsletters and informational emails for our employees, which is a fun distraction from stressful deadlines. Otherwise, my prose is attached to internet forums, daily Facebook posts and the genius of texts sent to friends. In high school, I did well with English classes. I knew what “gerund” and “past participle” meant and I used them for what they were worth.  Parts of that high school knowledge are now gone and I am left with nouns, verbs and a few adjectives and ten-cent words to provide entertainment for the masses.

OK, so what? I do not apologize. I forge ahead. I have gone to the bookstore in search of “wannabe writer” help, fully intending to walk out with a copy of Writing for Dummies. Instead, I walked out with two wonderful books – one that will provide lessons in essential writing skills (given time and focus) and another to assist in my move from inside a square box to the currents of a creative river.  The book of skills is a little daunting to me.  I’ve only read the first five chapters and already my ahead is awash with “do this, don’t do that.”  Within the book, the author tells the reader not to assimilate all of the information at once, that an attempt to do so could be a recipe for disaster.  The reader will get so caught up in the “skills” that it will be difficult to write anything without being obsessive about every single word.  Thus my blog title and the realization that I have carefully chosen every word so as not to overindulge with the “-ing” words.  How am I doing so far?  In the meantime, I’ve probably screwed up my use of adverbs and used some form of satanic sentence structure that will throw me into writer’s hell.

Note how my OCPP can get the best of me.

I’ve been having a better time with a workbook called Write Brain that gives me daily exercises to work on the creative river.  The author, Bonnie Neubauer, asks me to write a story within the confines of a sailboat…or list six disgusting things I’ve found in my refrigerator and include them in a story…or start the story with “When I’m in a neon pink mood…”  The point of this is to put the left brain to bed and have crazy fun.  Don’t worry about skills, go with the flow.  Write what you feel and don’t edit anything.  (Not editing is like the kiss of death for me, but I’ve managed to do it.)  This is much better than turning the pages of Writing for Dummies.

So here I am, writing a blog.  I don’t consider it to be easy, and, yet, I do what it takes to carry on.  Ideas and good intentions don’t always transcribe into the written word.  There are days when the rambling thoughts in my head aren’t meant for interesting blogs or the general public.  There are times when reading others’ blogs leave me a little intimidated or I’m worried that the grammar police will coming knocking on my door.  There are moments when the creative river is a sink hole.

At those times, I resort to silly, stupid, non-intellectual blogs…complete with cat pictures…usually on Saturday mornings…before the caffeine has taken hold.

Fair warning.

Melange writerzblock


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