NEW CASTLE — I have done over a hundred of these blogs for the New Castle News. 113 to be exact. The first of which was published on Oct. 30th of 2011. It was a quaint little piece about saying thank you and how meaningful the simple gesture is to your co-workers and fellow humans. I had submitted that piece to the News after inquiring about the possibility of doing a blog for them. They must have liked it, because they asked me to do one weekly. I was even able to continue doing it after I left my graphic design position at the News at the end of 2011.
This first piece was followed by a plethora of others, ranging in topics from charity, compassion, things that I had observed, and silly stories about my life. Each week I endeavored to make it an interesting and enjoyable read while still carrying an underlying theme of the human experience. It always amazes me that in our instant gratification society, someone freely gave away ten minutes of their precious time to dive into the universe that is swimming inside my head. That is an awesome compliment in my book. For that, I am eternally grateful. I am also immensely appreciative of all the comments and messages I get via people reading online (mostly on Facebook).
What you don’t see is the struggle I have each week crafting these stories or ideas. Do you have any idea how hard it is to come up with and develop an idea that is compelling enough to make people read week after week? The first twenty or so were easy. Then the idea stream dried up. I eventually hit a second wind and pounded out another 50 or so, but now that I'm pushing the one-twenty mark, my mind is blank and my ideas all seem tired. Each week I struggle with the idea phase. Self-censoring, second guessing, and forgetting all the good ideas seem to be commonplace in my process.
I was basically given free reign by the News as far as topic. This may sound like a magnificent thing, but to pull one poignant event out of the stratosphere and boil it down to approximately 500 words seems to become infinitely harder as the weeks pass. How many stories can I tell about my childhood, cats, or daughter?
My mind wanders from topic to topic and most fall by the wayside. I have notes jotted down here and there, along with a couple of sentences or paragraphs of abandoned ideas. When things get bad, I dig through them, searching for the gleaming diamond amongst the rubble of my mental waste. Probably the most common question I ask my family is, “What should I write my blog about?”
Eventually, a glimmer of an idea will pass through my mind, and I have to jump on it right away. I have to sit in front of the keyboard and pound out as much of the idea as possible before my A.D.D. and/or Alzheimer’s sets in. Once I have a few sentences, I can craft the endings or weave together the parts quite easily, but getting that first burst of inspiration and energy is the most difficult step for me.
With that said, I would like to iterate the concept of my very first blog for the News and tell you thank you for taking the time and reading these windows into my world each and every week.