Do you ever get that feeling that you should make a post, but after a million false starts, you realise that everything you’re writing comes out sounded stilted and dull? That’s what I’m currently going through. I have a few ideas for subjects to talk about: the usefulness of our library, social media, packing our bags, not to mention the weekly challenge of ‘learning‘, but I can’t get my voice to call through the facts.
How do I know that it’s not working? The lack of jokes. When I write, I try to be serious but I find humour slipping in through the cracks. It’s like my brain is going ‘Whoa there, this is too straight, let’s chuck a pun in there.’ No matter how much I tell it ‘No brain, this is supposed to be super serious’, it will eventually win out with a carefully executed butt joke.
And this blog isn’t the only writing I do. I’m also one of those unpublished, pretentious, starving novelists that are so scoffed at. Sometimes rightfully so, we are full of ourselves. But let me tell you, fiction is hard. Getting the tone right is super tricky when your brain is as flippant as mine. I’ll try to write some angst-ridden, protagonist-developing, dramatic scene, but unbeknownst to me, my finger’s have typed out an inappropriate joke. Even my main characters heckle my delusions of literary grandeur.
So when I sit down and try to get to work, either on this site or on my fiction, I tend to use jokes as my litmus test for whether my work is flowing. And let me tell you, it ain’t been flowing for a while. I should walk away, try to gather my humour goblins, give them a snack, make sure they have a nap, and then crack at it again. I can’t though. Instead, I persevere with my dull passionless sentences, until I end up cracking and typing up a post that has nothing to do with travelling. Like this one!
That’s what I’ve learnt about my process of work. I need to detox from what I ought to be doing and let my fingers type me along to somewhere unexpected. From there I usually find the thread that I’ve lost. I reckon it does me good to allow my brain the space of freedom. Away from the self-imposed shackles of ‘supposed to’. I’m basically a naughty child with my creative fingers in the forbidden cookie jar of irrelevant blog posts. (Wow, that’s a laboured metaphor. I won’t edit it out though. Let’s leave it there for posterity.)
I feel better already though. Like I’m ready to get on with the super serious business of recording our backpacking adventure, from conception to inevitable failure. And I will drag you guys, kicking and screaming, along for the ride. That’s right. You’re part of the cult now. And hey, I’ve even inadvertently filled in the weekly challenge. I’ve learnt that I don’t respond well to enforced tasks. Or put another way, I’m a lazy, procrastinating, good for nothing. This doesn’t bode well for the future of the blog though. Although I have also learnt how do deal with it, either do a cleansing off-topic piece or enlist Pete’s help to give me a kick in the right direction.