Friday, July 29, 2011

An Essay a Day Keeps the Writer's Block Away!



How about "An Essay Title a Day Keeps the Writer's Block Away"?  I got as far as that just now and... humph. That orange "Publish Post" button is staring me in the face.

In exchange, I found an appropriate document while rifling through the Word folder on my PC that I had written December 2010. I guess we can call it "Ode to Facebook" (I called it "Blocked" at the time):

I am addicted to Facebook. If there is a support group of fellow addictees, point me in its direction because I am in desperate need.

I check my Facebook every day, the moment I get home from work and at regular intervals until I lay me down to sleep. Sometimes at lunch. Always during dinner. (Yes, during. I almost always eat dinner at my home desk.)

Why? I’m published. On Facebook, I am published. I have an audience, presently of 303 “friends”, that think I’m funny. That’s addictive too.  There’s nothing more satisfying to me than a “LOL”.  And, if I can garner a “ROFL”?  Well, then heaven is mine.

I used to want to be a writer. A paid writer who could stay home all day and tap away at the keyboard at any hour I pleased. A paid writer who could do my work anywhere on planet Earth and still get paid while doing so. A writer so paid that I could afford a desktop and a laptop. I could tap away under any tree or beside any body of water and still get PAID!

I tried in vain for about six months in my mid-twenties.  Children's books, a grown-up book, articles... I even tried greeting cards. Then I ran out of money and got myself a white-collar job. Proof-reading. Proof-reading boring insurance documents and letters that is. I come home drained of all creative energy. Too tired to type, let alone proof-read anything more than my day has already required. 

The dream eventually died.  I was still blocked ten years later. Then came Facebook.

Although my creative energies are sapped the greater five days of the week. I can usually bring myself to muster up a clever sentence, observation or repetition of a out-of-place occurrence from my day. After I post, I wait anxiously in vain for that red notification alert, signaling a “LOL”, a comment, or even a “like” would be welcome.

On Facebook, I don’t sound as bland and formal as I do now. I write in my talking voice. People can practically hear the ridiculous things I say, because I am not formal in speech. I am not formal on Facebook. So, why am I formal and bland now? That’s the challenge.  And, I’m proposing that challenge to Facebook. So Facebook, I’m talking to you, make me a better writer!

(Pause. I see a notification at the bottom of my screen. Okay, just a Frontierville request. Not quite as gratifying as typed laughter.)

I’m not a people-person either. The people I allow myself to be comfortable around know I’m fun. I won’t hide it. It’s true. I’m just not the type to go out seeking more people to entertain. It’s exhausting. People drain me. Enter Facebook, once again.

There’s no way I could physically keep up with 303 human friends. Mind you, everyone on my “friends” list is an actual friend, family member or childhood acquaintance. I don’t “friend” strangers, that’s just creepy. (Although, I’ll admit to having “friended” a couple of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Those ladies crack. me. up. ) I’m not a phone person. I’m not a “let’s do lunch” person. I’m a Facebook person.

As 2010 nears its close I’ve had the chance to use an application called “My Year in Status”. Here is a sample of this year’s posts:

“Somebody better get NKOTB round the clock security because all of my teen crushes seem to be dying!” (Corey Haim had just passed. Seemed funny at the time.)

[Kim] “finds it strange that I’m collecting horsehair on Farmville...” (Yes, I’m also a game app addict.) “…What do farmers do with horsehair? Oh well, it could be worse. At least when I click on my horses it doesn’t say ‘collecting glue.’”

“If I type LOL in the next hour, I only mean it figuratively. I’m sitting in the library. Shhhh…”

(Pause for notification at the bottom of the screen. Okay, just a Cityville request.)

“PHEW! Power’s finally back on. We had a wicked thunderstorm last night. Lightening struck our neighbors yard, woke us all up and stole our electricity! I couldn’t even update my FB status! I missed out on the chance to write, “Gee. Having no power sucks.”, “I had to toast my Eggo on the stovetop” and “Why are the birds chirping? Don’t they know we don’t have power?”

[Kim] “just got my annual Social Security Statement in the mail. If I can retire in 1982, I’ll be set for life!” (I’m still depressed about that one.)

[Kim] “wonders why the Zoo World app has me feeding my animals ice cream for dinner. PETA would have this zoo shut down in a heartbeat! If I know ice cream is not a sensible supper for myself, how can you expect me to feed it to my unicorns?”

That’s just a taste. So I ran the app (switched out a few boring statuses about family surgeries and requests for prayer in favor of more humorous ones) and posted it proudly. The only comment I’ve received told me, in no uncertain words, said that copulating statuses is just taking Facebook too far. That’s just one person’s opinion, right? I chuckled it off and waited for the red message alert signaled by my real target audience.

Two days later, I’m still waiting. Well, they LOL-ed the first time around! I’m covered!

So now, in closing, I’ve decided I don’t want you to find me that support group. Facebook is good.  It’s found me people I can call “friends” (even though I don’t necessarily want their physical companionship.) It’s made me published. It’s established me as a successful farmer, restaurant owner, zoo-keeper, frontier woman and city founder. And hopefully, eventually, it might make me a better writer.

1 comment:

)O( Figgy )O( said...

Kim, my darling, you ARE a writer. I look forward to reading more from you. I LOL'ed all the way through!