Yet another challenging week nailing down a topic alluring enough to keep my fingers moving and my Central Scrutinizer at bay. Ideas came painfully slow, the rejections – Vin Diesel paced, fast and… you know the rest.
Up first, a comical analysis of ‘Narcissism in our Society’ – a tribute to those mirror worshiping individuals who keep Earth in orbit. The topic had promise, relevant to many, but in the end, didn’t pan out. My uncooperative creative-side argued the timing may be construed as an anti-Trump rant, an attempt at bandwagon jumping, and a sense that I had a vested interested in the presidential election. While I admit the Clinton/Trump debacle is captivating, even for non-Americans, political commentary is not my cup of Long Island Ice Tea, at least not in this forum. As a part-time Sunshine State resident I probably should pay more attention to the circus, but alas, I’m far too busy in my world of virtual make-believe. So, while narcissism was a potentially lucrative topic to exploit, especially in relation to social media, my enthusiasm dissipated into a thin vapor of discarded synapses.
Next came, ‘Top Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Mike’.
I occasionally allow a peek into my personal world, but rarely open that door past a sliver. Who is the masked man hiding behind the curtain of social media fodder? I enjoy reading Blogs that delve into the writer’s personal issues, quirks or rants, so why not me? A photograph can be misleading (and that’s assuming the photo was taken within the past 10 years), and a two-line bio does little more. A Google search may turn up some interesting tidbits, but in reality, who the hell is taking time out of their meager 6-hour daily Internet routine to delve into my personal world? Nobody. I’m the only one Googling my own name in hopes of discovering some fascinating, previously unknown link, buried on page 11 of the search results.
But ‘Top Ten Things’ had potential, offering a simple (no research required) solution.
Then it hit me.
Still warm and steaming atop the creative dung heap, was topic number one – Narcissism, discarded as an unfit subject. So what made me think a narcissistic account of how wonderful I am was an improvement?
Into the dung heap with number 2.
Nipped that one in the Bud. Wiser for it.
Two topics down.
With a time count violation pending, my mind’s eye wafted back to a few weeks prior, similar circumstances; mid-week and nothing to show for Saturday’s post.
Wednesday came and went with a creative whimper, word quota non-existent, progress deteriorating, laptop beckoning.
On Thursday, topic three materialized out of the ethereal plane.
Where the hell did that come from?
Most likely from the sordid depths of a plagued imagination, strapped for time, running on creative fumes. To my credit, I had read extensively on the subject years ago during my research into the paranormal and spiritual realm, back when writing was fun, and a 56K dial-up modem was the envy of every nerd on the block. The idea held promise. I hit the ground running with some initial research, ensuring I was topically current, verifying no theoretical advances materialized in my hiatus. With a green light I began to conceptualize the topic’s direction. What did I want to say, how would I make the topic relevant, and more importantly, how could I twist this peculiar choice into a memorable piece of fiction?
I couldn’t. My brain faltered. Flat lined.
Whatever led me to think this was a workable piece of fiction?
With that, I closed my laptop and made a sandwich.
Now there’s a topic everyone can relate with – Club House, Grilled Reuben, Pastrami on Rye.
Insert reality check.
Perhaps I’ll sleep on it.
And, with a solid night’s sleep and clear head, I came to a conclusion.
I’ve run out of things to say.
Have I reached the end? Has my failure to define my niche proved fatal? While a Blog without a niche allows for unbridled freedom, the lack of focus erodes the muse and dampens creativity, resulting in mediocrity that bubbles to the surface like flatulence in the tub.
I’ve faced this demon before.
What to do?
Change. Not a radical departure, rather a reengineered outlook, an alternate approach, a renewed roadmap. I’ve learned to accept that change is the only constant in life. Not venturing beyond one’s comfort zone results in complacency and stagnation, settling for mediocre. Opting for change, taking the road less travelled is a risk. But when you choose option two, even if you stumble, you’re still moving forward, albeit on your ass.
I’ll make a sandwich and sleep on it. Perhaps the topic fairy will leave an inspirational nugget under my pillow.
Hold on a sec. I reached my quota.
Until next time,