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Dance, Monkey, Dance! (A Post 5 Years In The Making)

February 27, 2018

Hey, you’re a clown fish. Tell us a joke.

I’ve been writing this blog for over 5 years. The exact date it started is not completely clear. But, in the past 250+ weeks, I’ve penned over 1300 blog entries. Some have been very successful, garnering thousands of views. Others, have been seen by just a handful of people. The longest are well over 1000 words. The shortest are simply a picture, typically in memory of a tragic event. But, regardless, every week, five times per week, I’ve been posting something up here for y’all.

I’ve been asked on occasion, “How do you think of ideas?”

It’s both a valid question and a completely nonsensical one.

When I started I worried a lot about what I was going to write the next day. I had long lists of potential topics and stories. I worried about running out of ideas. I’ve learned that running out of ideas is as silly as saying I ran out of words. Ideas are everywhere. It’s like breathing. You don’t have to remember to breathe. Finding ideas is the same way.

Of course, not every idea is a great one. Last week I chose to write about a Black Lives Matter meeting that I attended. I actually had two thoughts in mind that day. I thought, I could write about BLM or I could write about my oldest son’s recent Eagle Scout court of honor. I love my son. He asked me to be involved in his court of honor. It was a really tough choice.

Obviously, I went with the BLM topic. It seems to have struck a chord. It’s been shared dozens of times and generated more comments than most of my posts do. I’ll probably write about the Eagle court of honor at some point.

My point is just that ideas are everywhere. At the same time, coming up with an idea worthy of 500-800 words everyday sometimes feels like being told “Dance, monkey. Dance!” Performing on queue.

I’ve spent a lot of time around comedians. Some of them professional, some amateur. The biggest difference between the comic that consistently gets paid to be funny and the guy who cracked everyone up at the party last Saturday night, is that the professional can turn it on and off. It’s one thing to make a group of strangers laugh when you are in the groove and feeling funny. It’s another to perform on command. Being able to put aside the bills and the sick kid and the fact that your just aren’t feeling it today, and entertain a crowd.

So, yes, writing everyday means that I write when I’m feeling sick. I write when I’m feeling tired. I write when I struggle to put two words together. There’s a saying among those who pursue the passion of putting words on paper: “Writers write.” It’s literally (and literaturelly) all we do. And like anything, the more you do it, the better you get.

If you’ve ever wondered how people come up with a new topic everyday, it takes practice. And sometimes, when you stuggle for a topic, you write about writing.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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