This week, The Daily Post challenged bloggers to post outside of their comfort zone. This is my submission to the challenge.
Top Ten Blogging Topics/Formats That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone
1. Poetry. When I sit down to write a poem, I really do draw a blank in a way I rarely ever do when I sit down to write prose. I actually gave it a half-hearted try for this writing challenge. I sat down and said, “Let’s write this blog post as a poem.” And then I sat and listened to the crickets chirping. I could only think of Dr Seuss books and how I have this half-formed idea to write a faux-scholarly criticism of The Cat in the Hat, but since book reviews—even tongue-in-cheek ones—are not outside of my comfort zone, I moved on.
2. Sharing Personal Information. Now, those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while might be thinking, “Really? Your three-part birth story wasn’t ‘personal’?” I think that there’s a difference between revealing anecdotes, opinions, emotions, thoughts, hopes, and dreams and revealing actual “information” about myself, like where I live and where I went to school and my full non-nickname name and my image and the images of my children. I’ve gone so far as to avoid referencing the blogs of friends whose posts have featured images of me and my children (although the third birth story post does feature an image of my son, he’s all cone-headed and covered in vernix (ie, birth goo), so I don’t consider that a “recognizable” image of him). I’m not entirely clear about what the danger is, but I figure it’s easier to keep the cat in the bag than to put it back in.
3. Blogging About TV Shows. But this might just be because I don’t watch television except for re-runs of The Simpsons.
4. Talking Politics. I tackle thorny issues, but I hate, HATE to talk politics. Here’s my take on politics: Each person running for office represents a particular set of policies or an ideology (or a particular take on an established ideology). Ideally, we either agree with those policies or we disagree with them, and we vote based on that information. The idea that the person who represents the policies with which we disagree is somehow evil or out to destroy the country or whatever is just ridiculous. Charging them as such is beyond ridiculous.
While I’m on the subject, this whole two-minutes-per-topic debate structure just annoys the heck out of me. It’s good for little more than giving the candidates a chance to spew more soundbites over and over and over again. A longer debate format would force everyone to go into more detail and maybe actually, you know, debate the issues rather than just repeating their own position over and over and over again waiting for people to decide who to vote for by whose demeanor they like best or who spewed his soundbites most aggressively (or least, depending on your preference). I cannot see how opining about so-and-so’s outfit or haircut or workout regimen adds anything substantive to the conversation.
If I were in charge, I would make it so no one knew what the candidates looked like until after the election. Or maybe just ban tv ads and televised debates so people are forced to listen to the radio or read things in print (I actually prefer reading speeches to listening to them anyway. I hate the sound of speechifying voices and over-used applause). Or even just watch a speech or debate in person (and extend the campaign season so more of the population—and not just the population of Ohio—has a chance to see the candidates in person). I hate the camera angles and split-screen things. It’s all manner of potentially manipulative hooey that distracts us from the issues at hand. Yes, I said hooey.
5. Excessive Swearing. Really, I do enough of this in real life. Enough that my three-year-old occasionally says things like, “Get out of here, j*ck*ss trees!” and “Cows that type? F**K!” Why I can say the words but feel compelled to bleep myself in writing is something I will leave up to the mental health professionals.
6. Top Ten Lists. Sometimes they’re not bad, but most times they’re overly simple and/or padded with two to five items to get the list to ten. If I don’t have ten items for a list, I don’t feel comfortable pushing it just to get to the magic number.
And there you have it! The Top Ten (or so) Blogging Topics/Formats That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone! Next week, perhaps I’ll post about the art of writing concise post titles.