This week’s Stream of Consciousness writing prompt from Linda G Hill leapt off the monitor at me. The prompt is merely: Write something with the letter T. Today I’ve been tossing up typed words on the screen and taking them down and throwing them back up. My thoughts are running tangentially and each sprig spouts another twig. Truthfully, I’ve been torn about which direction to turn. (OK, that was fun.)
I don’t know how many of you do this, but I tend to write my first drafts in my head. I’ll get an idea or something will happen and I want to write about it. I do an outline in my head, ticking of points I want to make and the order in which to make them. Sometimes this process takes minutes and other times it takes days, or even longer. Then I sit and write the second draft, which if it is just a fluffy little moment in time post, is all I’ll write.
Right now I’m piecing together what started out as a rather simple observation piece on a not so simple a subject, something I call the Tyranny of the Positive. I’ve seen a few instances of it lately, and have been the target of it a few times as well. This brought back memories of some substantial experiences I had when I was working with people living with cancer and their families. This jumps to how there are similarities as to how people are related to between having cancer and being unemployed. This lead me to thinking about my current, rather inadvertent “hobby” of arguing with what passes for deep wisdom on the Internet, most notably Facebook, but elsewhere as well — you know, the pictures with some quote Photoshopped over the image, and these quotes are applauded as deep and meaningful when if you actually read what the words say (as opposed to what you imagine them to say), they often are not deep but are rather harmful to boot. So there’s that…
Then all of this false positivism had me wondering if that’s just not the other side of the same coin to something else that I see a lot of, have been the target of, and is mind-boggling (to me) and that is this stiff upper lip, pull yourself by your bootstraps, never let them see your vulnerable side, blame the victim sort of thing. Those, too, have their deep and meaningful Facebook images with quotes that get people all “THIS IS SO TRUE” when in actuality it is usually pretty horrid sentiments.
From here I’ve been realizing that, whoa, that’s not just a post, that’s like ten posts, or more, and they are all intertwined to some extent and how the heck do I want to accomplish that. Hence me literally, as I mentioned in the first line, starting and stopping, mulling and writing, deleting and replacing.
Eastern philosophers often refer to this kind of thought surfing as monkey mind, where the brain just takes off and swings from one topic to the next, screeching along the way. When I realized how many posts that I’m contemplating, that made me wonder if I should create even more pages. I’ve created a couple in the last few days, should there be more? What categories?
When I’m not planning the essays on various tyrannical schools of thought, I know I want to write more about subjects that are important to me. That includes weight, weight loss, physical health, and my history and truths and various opinions on the subject. (There’s already a page in anticipation.) I also have quite a bit to say about being poor. You just aren’t taught how to be poor and there is a unique perspective of arriving at poor from a 6-figure income. It is different from growing up poor, or being surrounded by poverty. Poor in the USA is also different than in other places. Related to poor is the unemployment situation and that is very closely tied to politics.
Speaking of health and politics, there’s mental health and its stigmas. There’s how it is treated (or not) by the medical profession, insurance, and society at large. When you add that in with poverty and unemployment there is the very real issue of suicide.
That cheery thought had me sitting for a while contemplating the idea of audience. Am I writing to an audience or for an audience? And how many followers am I going to lose hitting some of these topics and does that matter? I can answer that one quickly: I don’t write here for numbers of followers. I don’t purposely go out of my way to annoy people, but this is my honest place to express my thoughts. I hope I don’t lose any but I know I will (and already have). And I know I will because of that little thing I’ve been mentioning, the Tyranny of the Positive. I really do need to write about that.
Those are all rather weighty topics, there’s bread articles waiting to be made, with pictures waiting to be shared! (Yes, there’s a pun there. And irony.)
At about this time my head is now a big lump of fog. Yes, fog can be a lump. It is. I am now over-whelmed by the choices. I have cover letters to write. Things to do. I have so many things to write about I don’t even know where to start. This is when I usually head for a prompt! Any prompt. That doesn’t help reduce the current list, it is just my way of denial and avoidance.
Oh gawd, I need a writing schedule!
(Post publishing note: Stream of consciousness writing, with no editing, points out my really sloppy way of writing! I’m cringing as I count the number of verb/noun combos not agreeing, the awesome comma splices, the… 🙂 This is when I can proudly proclaim: Hey, I’m not a writer! )