As I continue on into the closing days of the 5th month of the Post A Day 2011 Challenge I have decided another retrospective look at another thing I have learned is in order. People ask me all the time when they hear I am doing this how I find something to write about every single day and I will address that question. Coupled with it, in my mind, is how to conquer writer’s block when it is 10:30PM and you have nothing to write about that day. This is especially true when you just wrote two huge posts for another blog and poured a lot of your creativity and writing ability into them. It is only then you realize that you still have to write a post today for yourself and you have next to nothing to say.
To address the first question I will say that I consume A LOT of media every day. Often times I hear something or see something that spurns some thoughts and I write it down on a piece of paper or even start a draft and put a few notes in which I can develop into a blog post later. As well, remember how I talked about being a “Yes Man“? Well, part of being a Yes Man means that I often go out and have life experiences that give me content to write about. Last night’s post about going to The Guvernment couldn’t have happened without my being a Yes Man. I won’t go into details but suffice it to say that contacts I made going out to other events and functions and even just being out there is what led to my being hooked up by those awesome folks at Ink Entertainment.
Now, what do you do when it’s late and you’ve got nothing? Well, to start with there is the obvious choice of going to one of the blogs written by WordPress for just this purpose – The Daily Post at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/. The point of that blog is, as stated by them:
This is an experiment in blogging motivation from the folks at WordPress.com. We will post every day here with ideas, suggestions and inspiration, hoping it will help you get the most out of your blog.
Sounds good right? The problem with that is when you’re like me and you read a ton of blogs every day you don’t always have time to sit and read what The Daily Post’s suggestion is for that day. As well, more often than not I have not had an issue finding something to write about so I only check that RSS feed in my Google Reader when I need it preferring to keep those ideas in the hopper, so to speak. Currently there are 42 unread posts from The Daily Post which means I haven’t even taken a look at it in over a month, let alone used an idea from it. This means that I would have to start scrolling through all the ideas they mention and think about which of them are the diamond in the rough I would like to post about that day. That takes time and at 10:30 PM I got to start writing already!
Secondly, I read more media! I don’t know if this will work for everyone but it is what I began to do tonight when I started reading other people’s blog posts in my Google Reader. Almost immediately I was hit with the idea that – “Hey, why I don’t I write about what I do when I have NOTHING to write about?” It was as if a light bulb had actually gone on on top of my head (an incandescent not a compact fluorescent…the latter take time to warm up and this was more instantaneous). I think it has something to do with seeing what other people are writing about or maybe it is just taking my mind off the need for creativity spurned creative thoughts. Maybe this whole post is a cop out as a post and I will be ridiculed in the comments below for writing this and expecting all y’all to be satisfied with it. However, I do hope that someone can take something from my findings on what works for me when I am in a bind for something to post about and use it to make their own blog better or find some of their own creativity when they need a boost.
On a sunny long weekend Sunday morning in February I dragged myself out of bed to learn something a lot of people learn in Home Ec.* – sewing. This was definitely one of the more “out there” tweetups I had ever been to but in the words of a tweet by JoAllore (@ClickFlickCa) “Trying something diff is rewarding”. As well, my readers already know my “Yes Man” outlook on life so I was off to The Sewing Studio for 10am – ya, there’s a 10am on Sunday mornings…I also though they had cancelled mornings on Sunday until this weekend.
The reason for my outing there, as mentioned above, was a tweetup organized by @ClickFlickCa and @TheSewingStudio‘s owner, Denise Wild, where we sewed our own underwear!
When I got to The Sewing Studio and parked I found I still had time to go get myself a coffee as only @ClickFlickCa & @CorySilver were there. So I walked up to the coffee shop a couple blocks north to get myself a coffee and ran into @LorettaLouise who also was there for a morning “caffeination”. When we got back to The Sewing Studio Denise had everything laid out for us and everyone else quickly arrived and checked in on Foursquare. The rest of the #TSSParty Toronto crew included @JonGauthier and @JennaKellner.
One of the first things we had to do was pick our fabric and then figure out what size we wanted our boxers to be – even though the option was there to make panties or boxers we decided as a group to all do boxers. The first bit of fabric I cut away from the form looked like a perfect sweatband and I knew that this work was going to be intense so I tied it on my forehead. As you can see I went with the camo fabric.
I really had no faith in myself as a seamstress (there doesn’t seem to be a difference between the male and female version of the word) and actually somewhat lost faith in the whole process midway through. Were it not for Denise’s bubbly positivity and personality and encouragement I very well might have given up and walked out the door. But in the end it was well worth it as I got an awesome new pair of boxers to replace my old favorite pair of camouflage boxers which recently gave up the ghost after many years of faithful service.
Our only casualties of the day were me and Cory Silver. Cory pinned himself with a needle within the first 20 minutes of us beginning the boxer creation process – serves him right for getting the awesometastic cougar print fabric I wanted for my own boxers, haha. I stubbed my finger when I was trying to take a pin out of my fabric as it was feeding through the sewing machine and I forgot to take my foot off the pedal…the needle and its holder came down again and stubbed my finger and THEN I decided it was a good time to take my foot off the pedal. Oops.
I was amazed at how little it mattered all the mistakes I made while sewing and cutting and serging. Of course, any practiced and educated seamstress will know exactly where to look to see if I did a good job on my boxers. However, to the untrained eye they look pretty darn good. People don’t even believe me when I tell them I made these boxers from scratch. It is something I am now quite proud of but I honestly gotta ask myself if I can ever actually do it again (to be honest, probably not). I assume at the ‘real’ classes The Sewing Studio holds they actually show you how to thread a needle and set up a sewing machine and whatnot. Out ‘class’ was too quick and dirty for all that stuff – we actually almost ran out of time, especially me. I am, what Denise called, ‘meticulous’, so it took me a while to do everything everyone else did quicker, I guess.
All I know is I had tons of fun and encourage you to check out the folks at The Sewing Studio today. I can see this being a great thing to do as a couple (Note To Self: Find girlfriend) especially if you each have the same amount of sewing experience, or lack thereof.
Maybe I will wear my glorious new boxers next year at the 2012 Toronto No Pants Subway Ride.
Here are the details of The Sewing Studio:
- Toronto Phone Number: (416) 901-0758
- Toronto Address: 1225 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4T 1W4 (Link to Google Maps Place Page for this location)
- New York Phone Number: (646) 961-4747
- New York Address: 134 West 29th Street, Suite 804, New York, NY 10001 (Link to Google Maps Place Page for this location)
* I never took Home Ec. as I went to a private, boys only, Jewish Day School and they didn’t see the need for Home Ec. at Eitz Chaim.