Not too long ago I mentioned that Canada reminds me of that really cool cousin that you seek out whenever a family get together comes into play. Paul reminds me of that cool cousin and since he’s from Canada I can see now how it all makes perfect sense.
Paul is an observer. It is a rare talent that only a tiny handful can achieve. George Carlin was an observer and so is Jerry Seinfeld. Paul is in that mix where he is able to look beneath the surface of life and see the world in a special and honest way.
I’d like to take this moment to thank my good friend for being my host today. He is one cool dude.
Take it away, Paul.
“Please Like My Words”
Before I get started, I should mention that Bryan promised me I would become, “Rock star famous” as a result of this guest post. Personally, I’ll settle for, “Local celebrity, who people have never heard of, nor seen”. That way, I can still eat at the local buffets, without having to accommodate a long line of fans who want selfies.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the matter.
Upon being subpoenaed to procure this guest post, I immediately tried to think of something really good to write about. I wanted to make Bryan proud and justify his selection. Also, I wanted to impress his readers.
This is like meeting the in-laws; you have to make a good impression. You bring flowers, you bring a smile, you bring cupcakes – or you avoid food altogether, so someone doesn’t ask if it’s vegan and you have to say, “No”.
That was how I approached this. I am going into potentially hostile territory – will they like what I have to say?
And it’s not that I crave approval from strangers on the internet, it’s that I don’t want to be the guy who is flown in for a guest post and the readers are left to wonder, “What was so special about that guy?”
So with that weighing on my conscience, I tried to come up with the best idea imaginable.
I was idealess. I was a sleigh without reindeer.
There was one night when I was having trouble sleeping. I looked at the clock radio next to me and starting thinking about how amazing radios are, yet they receive no appreciation.
I probably spent half an hour thinking about how cool it is that we can press a button and have someone’s voice talk at us. We can make them louder, we can make them quieter, or we can make them go away.
That had me thinking about all the objects that are around us every day and how none of them get the admiration they deserve.
They’re all taken for granted.
Want food heated up quickly? Sure, no problem. Just put it in that rectangular box, set a time, and open the door when it beeps.
Do you know how insane that sounds? But we’re used to it. It’s no longer something at which to marvel.
This post was going to be about me going down the rabbit hole of household items and giving them 15 more seconds of fame, but I quickly realized that if I were to follow through with that idea, I’d be forcing it.
I live by one writing rule: If I have to force it, I’m not ready to write about it.
I will not sit here in front of this laptop and put words on the screen, if I have to pause and think about what I want to say. That’s too difficult.
I’ve made it 500 words into this post and none of these words were rehearsed. That’s how I know I’m doing okay.
Now, let’s bring it back to that idea that never was. From there, I decided to do a post about writing styles and how we each develop our own.
It would be a really cool post, where I subtly force my writing style on you, while talking about it. It would be very “meta” and blow your socks off, surely.
But just like the first idea, I determined I was forcing this one, as well.
Back to the drawing board! Except, I’m not good at art, so I sought another outlet.
I asked my friend for help and he asked me if I had any topics lingering in my drafts. Of course I do! I have 43 drafts sitting there, wondering where I went and if I still love them.
A draft is where blog ideas go to die. I wasn’t going to dig one up for this momentous occasion. That would be like doing a presentation at school in your pajamas.
Most of my drafts are just a few words – ideas that I jotted down, hoping they’d one day bloom into magnificent flowers to bring the in-laws (all of you). None of them did.
My new idea was that I was going to go through my drafts and share with you some of the things I wrote down. Since I don’t always title my posts before writing, a lot of my drafts are labelled, “(no title)”. Real helpful.
Here are a couple of the tidbits I would’ve shared from my deserted drafts.
- “Michael Myers walks around looking like a plumber that got electrocuted.”
That’s it! That’s all I wrote. I had just been to see the Halloween movie and thought I had come up with something clever. I did write a post about Halloween, but can’t remember if I used this line.
- “How do we go from GI Joe the hero, to a bunch of regular Joes on IG?”
I’ve been trying to use that in a poem (Yes, I also write poetry. I’m an all-you-can read blogger.) since August 2017. Now that this line has seen the light of day, I’m not sure I can re-use it.
So, that was my big idea, but then I realized I was making dinner with food that had been thrown out. I couldn’t possibly feed that to Bryan, or his readers.
I will not be the romaine lettuce of bloggers.
A couple of hours ago, I realized I had approached this all wrong.
I didn’t need a great idea, I just needed to be myself. That’s one of the main lessons I’ve learned from blogging – it’s so much easier to be yourself, rather than the person you think the readers want.
With that, I sat down and wrote this – a guest post about the ideas that weren’t good enough to write about, with injections of my style and personality throughout the whole thing.
This has been an amalgamation of everything I said it wouldn’t be, carefully sown together since the opening paragraph, while still maintaining a sense of, “What’s the main topic here?”
And it’s a post exactly like this one that will make me a local celebrity, who people have never heard of, nor seen.
Thank you, Bryan, for this life-changing opportunity! Dinner is on you!
That’s my time. You’ve been a great audience!