Beep-beep, 2 way traffic

Tell me the things you want to say to the driver you encounter coming down a one way street the wrong way.  In a nutshell, the idjit (I have been told idiot may be considered a derogatory term.  Who knew?) missed the messages.  No doubt there was a sign, if not two, at the intersection where the moron made the wrong turn.  Message sent but not received.  The jackass still turned down a one way street the wrong way.  And yes, we have all been the idjit.

      Successful communication flows two ways.  You might hear my words but do you understand my message?  Think of your favourite expletive; mine is the popular fuck. Should you hear me blurt this from the kitchen, the word itself does not tell you what is happening, it is how I said it that tells the story.

A loud sharp bark, often preceded by a crash, indicates bad happenings, stay away.  Repetition of the word in a soft voice typically means a spill or broken egg.  If I’m giggling while I curse, I’ve probably opened the same cupboard door, three maybe four times, each time forgetting what I’m looking for.  One single word with so many meanings; it’s the tone which tells the tale.

When communicating through the written word, how is tone expressed?  Yes, I can be careful to select what I feel are the perfect words but how are you reading them?  Inserting smiley faces 🙂 throughout an essay doesn’t seem professional but until you know me, how do you interpret my words?  I give you my blessing to laugh when you want.  If you think I’m offensive, I’m probably trying my hand at humour.  If you think I’m an egotist, it’s only self deprecating humour that usually serves only to annoy.

Back to my original point…  Communication works in two directions.  This poses certain challenges to a writer when reading is generally accepted as a solo activity.  Can you imagine the conversations you might have had with J.K. Rowling as you were reading Harry Potter?  How about having the opportunity to discuss Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple with Agatha Christie?  How would their later works have changed?

Until I’m rich and famous, making the talk show circuit, showing the world my fun side while still appearing brilliant, I will work with my words in an attempt to do the same thing.  I will do my best to choose my words so that you don’t find yourself going the wrong way down that one way street.  If you crash it’s my fault.

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Two down, a lifetime to go

When I made the decision to start a blog, I thought it would be easy.  I am competent, not afraid of computers and I have never been responsible for any great technological catastrophe.  The internet makes everything simple, right?

Sometimes more is too much.  Have you ever Googled “free blog hosting”?  Over 86 million results were returned.  Yikes!!  I knew there would be some work sifting through all the “ideal” sites but I was not prepared to spend a year of my life clicking links leading nowhere.  It was time for Plan B.

Using the old-fashioned land line, I reached out to those friends and coworkers whom I know blog.  Yes, it was some help but not as much as I had hoped.  I did discover one friend is leaving his current job for another.  A girlfriend gave me the fabulous news that she and her hubby are expecting; she’ll be blogging about it.  A technogeek pal of mine jumped right over the topic of where to blog and directly into how a blog can make you extra money.  An afternoon well spent but not productive.  Time for eeny-meeny-miney-moe.  For no other reason, I landed here.

Of course, the first thing WordPress wanted to do was tax the creative side of my brain.  Sign in names and user names are not easy to think up.  I thought I had several great names and titles, all of them taken.  I’m guessing the rest of the world has not been as reluctant to blog as myself.  Once I set up Sweet’s Ideas, I had to deal with widgets and calendars and RSS feeds.  These are the things that attract others to a blog, not the writing.  Pity.

After picking a theme and pushing my frustration level to the max, trying to figure out all the technical stuff, I moved ahead to Plan H.  The most important part of this new habit is to write.  Stephen King has a wonderful mantra, “read a lot, write a lot”.  I say these words to myself over and over and over again.  My mission is to write every day.  All the small details will work themselves out over time.  I could easily spend hours tweaking my new site, making it visitor friendly.  The truth is it would be an act of procrastination, something to keep me from practicing my craft.  I am here to write.

So here sits my blog with a simple theme and nothing but a calendar.  It will grow and change as I do.  I will learn how to use links and to how to attract readers.  Most importantly, I will write every day.

Today I Blog

          I will procrastinate no more.  I am putting it in words for all of the world, (maybe not everyone), to read.  I want to be a writer.  To be clear, I want to be paid to write.  I want to earn my living by playing with words.  My challenge:  I am standing in my own way. Great writers practice their craft every day.  Paid writers share their words with an audience.  I do neither yet continue to tell friends, family and whomever else asks that I want to be a writer when I grow up.  Did I mention I’m in my forties?

 

I have never heard a specific career calling my name.  I tried factory work but developed an allergy to physical labour.  The brain numbing desk jobs I had did nothing but give me headaches and secretary’s spread.  After those life-altering experiences, I made the choice to apply to university rather than run away with the carnival, again.  Five years later, with a B.Comm (Honours) in hand, I accepted my first job with “manager” in the title and had my own business card.  Nope, that wasn’t it.

 

I have worked in the auto sector and at financial institutions; held jobs in the fields of tourism and property management; I even held ISO Auditor status for sometime. The same problem plagued me at every job.  I was smarter than the boss. I started my own small company and I plugged along until the divorce.  Banks are not the biggest fans of the small business operating less than three years with no collateral.  I needed work.  Found a job, left a job, over and over again.  I want to break the cycle.

 

No matter the job, communication has always been a responsibility I happily carried on my shoulders.  Contracts, manuals, reports, speeches and newsletters, I have written them all.  I loved every minute of the process and believe I’ve always done it well.  Unfortunately, it has always been a small part of my overall position.  Now is the time for change.

 

Proclaiming myself a writer does not make it fact.  When my words are paying my bills, I can call myself a writer.  My challenge:  I don’t know what to write.  I need to explore my creative side and see if the Great Canadian novel lies within.  Perhaps I have the gift of brevity and short stories are my thing.  I love preaching from my soapbox, which might lead to the greatest collection of Letters to the Editor ever.  No matter the path, writing every single day can only make me better.

 

Putting the words together is only part of the challenge.  Once I have carefully prepared a ramble or rant or short story, I’ve got to learn to share it with the world.  I have written for specific audiences only.  I have always known exactly who is going to read what I write, or I have convinced myself this is the case.  I’m not sure that I’ve been able to fully wrap my warped mind around the fact that with a few keystrokes, people around the world can read my work.

 

Whether or not I am ready, today I become a blogger.  Sweet’s Ideas has been birthed into the blogosphere.  For better or worse, once it is on the internet, it cannot be taken back.  If this isn’t sharing, I don’t know what is.