Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I'm interesting, dammit!

If you've been following this blog since I started it a couple of years ago, you've probably forgotten that I write a blog. My bad. I've been very negligent with this project and haven't posted anything since January, despite the New Years Resolutions I gave at the time. There are several reasons for this, most notably the busyness that you are all too familiar with in your own life. But there's another underlying reason why I haven't been an active blogger. I just don't know what to write.

I think this is a pretty common problem, yet somehow the avid bloggers I follow have pushed through this rut to find fresh, interesting content to write about regularly. I've reflected on this over the summer and I think I suffer from a classic self-deprecation that many people have when it comes to talking about themselves. What could I write about? Why would anyone be interested in what I have to say? I don't do anything remarkable. You know these people. When you meet them for the first time and try to get to know them, they describe themselves as "I'm just a..."

Stop right there.

For starters, I realized I do this! In my case, it's: "I'm just an adjunct professor." In the past, it's been: "I just work retail." I've always thought, who would ever want to read anything about me. But I also had the more important realization that I the people in my life who are "just this" or "just that" are actually pretty interesting if you talk to them. I ran into my neighbor while I was taking out the trash this summer and we struck up a conversation about what we do for a living. He "just" drives expedited freight in a cargo van. Well, I found that pretty interesting, or at least enough so that we talked for a good half hour. He probably thinks he has the most boring job in the world, but as someone who does not drive expedited freight for a living, I enjoyed hearing about the challenge of having to cross customs into Canada multiple times a day.

I'm interesting, dammit!

Now, please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying this from a place of conceit. I'm not the Dos Equis Guy. (He is, of course, far more interesting in any of us!) But I do have quite a few interesting things going on in my life that I can draw upon for inspiration to write what I think will be insightful blog posts:

I'm an historian and college professor at three colleges. I'm struggling to build a career in a time when higher education is confronting several challenges. I work in the home of one of the Presidents of the United States. I'm a writer, and one who has decided to light out for the territories into the life of an independent author. I co-edit a quarterly literary journal called The Quill. I'm a husband and have been for nearly five years. I'm a dad, and let me tell you, there is no end to what can be said about a day spent with a toddler! I'm a foodie, coffee fanatic and beer snob. I'm an avid reader who tries to get through about 50 books a year. I love to travel. The list goes on...

I think this has been the problem. I set this blog up as a blog about writing. Indeed, writing is my passion and to become a professional fiction author is still the dream, but my life is so much more than just my writing. I feel my blog should reflect more than that. Plus there are my readers to consider. I am a writer, but I don't even want to read blogs on writing all the time. It's silly to expect you who are not writers to be that interested in a blog devoted to writing either.

So coming soon: either I'm going to dive into travel a little bit and talk about my recent trip to South Carolina or I might talk about what it means to me to have a daughter about to turn 2 years old. We'll see how I'm feeling in a few days!

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