TMTF is almost done. Today seems like a good day to glance back at some of this blog’s better posts—and to squeeze in one last top ten list, of course. Top tens are my beat!
To paraphrase Strong Bad, “My blog posts are like my childrens. I love them all!”
Wait, no—that’s not right. I love some of my blog posts. Others are frankly pretty bad. Then there are a shining few that have a special place in my heart. These personal posts allowed me to discover something about myself, cope with life’s difficulties, or create something meaningful.
These are the posts I’m glad I wrote.
I’m about to get personal, ladies and gentlemen, as TMTF presents…
The TMTF List of Top Ten Posts I’m Glad I Wrote!
10. Goodbye, Beatrice
I always supposed that at some point I would grow up and stop having crushes on pretty girls, but I never did. (I think I may have I failed the whole growing-up thing.) One or two of my romantic crushes lasted for years and years, gathering many what-ifs and regrets. This post was my attempt to let them go. It was cathartic to write.
Like Dante, I wrote about my crush; unlike Dante, I wrote a quick blog post, not an epic poem of enduring brilliance.
I was reading Dante’s Inferno at the time. Dante’s lifelong crush on Beatrice mirrored my own situation, and I’m really satisfied with how this post tied together our stories.
9. The Infinity Manuscript
Little-known fact: Back in 2012, as my ill-fated novel ground slowly toward publication, I wrote a fantasy novella titled The Infinity Manuscript. (This was years before I knew of Marvel’s upcoming Infinity War movies; I wasn’t trying to steal their title, I swear!) This tale of loss and determination has its fair share of flaws, yet showcased some cool ideas and a plot twist of which I’m quite proud.
The Infinity Manuscript had a desert, maybe? Hey, I wrote it a long time ago!
I haven’t read The Infinity Manuscript in years, but remain fond of it. Who knows? I may resurrect the story someday and write it properly. Even if I don’t, The Infinity Manuscript brought me many hours of writing practice, along with some creative satisfaction.
8. Working on Self-Respect
Writing this post led me to discover an important and practical truth: Self-esteem is a feeling, but self-respect is a choice.
I choose to respect this guy. For some reason.
I have a fairly low opinion of myself. The past four or five years dealt my self-confidence some devastating blows: my career plans failed, my dream project failed, and my faith sometimes seems to be failing. This post reminded me that maintaining a sense of self-worth is not only possible, but worthwhile.
7. Lance Eliot Is Dead
Speaking of my dream project, this is the post in which I announced its failure. I declared Lance Eliot dead. The failure of my debut novel, The Trials of Lance Eliot, took away my incentive to work on its sequels. I was already committed to this blog, trapped in a toxic job situation, and struggling through a darker chapter of my life. I couldn’t keep writing Lance’s story, but felt guilty abandoning it.
It was hard to let this one go.
In the end, I let it go. This post represents one of the best decisions I ever made. Giving up Lance’s story took away a lot of stress and worry… and allowed me, years later, to resurrect it without the baggage of earlier failures. I don’t know whether I’ll ever finish the Lance Eliot saga, but thanks to this post, I’m free to try again from the beginning.
6. Jerks, Trolls and Other Hazards of the Internet
Not many people celebrate Be Nice to Someone on the Internet Day, and with good reason—I made it up on a whim. This annual event, held on March 4, encourages everyone to send an encouraging message to someone on the Internet.
I like to think that all Internet trolls are actually cave trolls with laptops.
An earlier post introduced the concept of Be Nice to Someone on the Internet Day, but this post inaugurated it properly and confirmed March 4 as its official date. Ever since, I’ve promoted and observed the event every year, and plan to continue doing so long after this blog is dust and ashes.
5. Adam’s Story: The Characters
Since resurrecting the Lance Eliot saga, all I’ve accomplished so far is some story planning—but good gosh, after this post, am I ever excited to start writing! Characters are my favorite element of storytelling. Reimagining Lance Eliot and other characters for my story project is easily the most fun I’ve had working on a story in years.
I can’t wait to write about this guy.
This post is extra-special thanks to terrific concept art from Sabina Kipa and JK Riki: artists whose skills were matched by their patience and positivity. When I write, it helps me to visualize scenes and characters, and this post’s character portraits have been helpful as I’ve worked on story planning.
4. An Evil Scientist Explains Band Names
I wanted to put a Geeky Wednesday post on this list, but it was hard to choose just one. For years, Geeky Wednesdays were my way of pointing at cool things and saying, “Look at this thing! Ain’t it cool?” These (typically) shorter, shallower posts bridged the gap between this blog’s “serious” posts on Mondays and Fridays. (I put “serious” in quotes because TMTF was hardly ever serious.)
Doofenshmirtz is my Patronus.
In the end, I chose the very first Geeky Wednesday post. It inaugurated one of this blog’s most enduring features, and I’m glad it did. Besides, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz is probably one of the greatest television characters of all time, and definitely one of the funniest.
3. I Believe
I wrote this post during a particularly rough week last month. A number of unrelated struggles and uncertainties troubled me deeply at the time. Quite by accident, I managed to weave them all together in a post that was not merely coherent, but among the best I have ever written.
This post was far more coherent than it had any right to be.
In the end, by some miracle of God, a post that should have been a train wreck became something structured, meaningful, and deeply cathartic to write. When I finished this post, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest. I consider it one of my best. It certainly helped me to write it.
2. Marching Home
This post is a eulogy for my late friend Nick. I was reluctant to put it on this list, fearing the list might cheapen it, but finally decided that it belongs here. This list is for posts I’m glad I wrote. I’m glad I wrote this one.
This scene still brings tears to my eyes.
When Nick passed away last year, I felt emotionally numb. Writing his eulogy helped me come to terms with his death, and allowed me to tell the story of our friendship. I tried to honor Nick’s memory by writing this post. Whether or not I succeeded, writing it helped me to grieve. Healing started here.
1. I Nearly Left My Faith Last Year
This was a surprisingly easy post to write, but hitting the Publish button took some nerve. After struggling with profound religious doubts for more than a year, I finally acknowledged them publicly. I told my story. Whether or not anyone listened, and however they replied, I felt calmer and lighter for telling it.
I haven’t given up yet, and neither has he.
Quite a number of people listened. They replied with compassion and understanding. I felt less alone. Of all the posts on this blog, this is the one I’m gladdest I wrote.
I’m glad I wrote these posts, and do you know what else? I’m glad people read them. Thanks for reading, guys. You are the best thing about this blog.