An old proverb declares, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” but I think it’s more like an aunt or cousin. The mother of invention is desperation.
As I’ve worked on this blog over the past few months, I’ve sometimes felt on the verge of running out of ideas. I improvised some posts mere days, or in a few cases mere hours, before they were due. What can I say? Panic is a powerful motivator.
As I struggled once again, at the eleventh hour, to come up with an idea, any idea, for a quick and easy blog post, I had an epiphany.
“Eureka!” I cried, flinging up my hands in unrestrained ecstasy. The “Solved a puzzle!” sound from the Legend of Zelda series rang triumphantly in my ears. My cat, startled awake, tried to flee, but I swept her up and hugged her to my bosom, weeping tears of relief and joy. (I may be exaggerating the scene slightly.)
I’ve been a bit hard-pressed lately to come up with ideas for new posts, so I’m thinking of taking some requests from readers. What do you want me to write for this blog? Are there any specific subjects you would like TMTF to cover before it ends later this year? After all, the blog is taking its final laps, so if there are any topics you want to see discussed here, time is running out!
If you have any requests or suggestions for new posts, feel free to share them in the comments below, through this blog’s Contact page, or via social media! I won’t necessarily accept all of them, but I’ll consider every one.
What do you want to see from TMTF before it bites the dust later this year? Let us know!
As I’ve mentioned, I always loved the “That Time I” posts. Obviously those require experiences, but I think you’ve lived a few more stories that could still be told! (“That Time I Went to a Writing Convention” can fill at least one day of the last lap quota, eventually.)
Also the short stories are always a treat. I know they take time, but maybe you could make them a bit shorter and lessen the load? “The Field Where No Flowers Grow” is 3,500 words or so, but a cool mini-tale could be told in under 1000. When I used to write 750 word short stories every day it usually only took me 20 minutes or so (unedited, of course). So that could be an option. It’s not like every story had to have a full conclusion, they could even end in fun cliffhangers. You know how Penny-Arcade sometimes breaks away from the usual comics and does a one-off series for a few days? They just jump right in and out, so it’s doable.
I also really enjoyed your analysis for Animator Island on Disney films that one time. Maybe you could do some other analysis, even if they’re short ones covering just one aspect? Not really “reviews” which are done and over with on the blog, but “Here is this particular story-telling concept in X film (or game, or book).”
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[Part 2] You could read The 15 Day Creativity Boot Camp and do the exercise on Page 85, just for blog posts instead of Character names. JUST SAYING.
You can also try praying about it. God usually has some good ideas on what He’d like shared with the world, and they often come in unexpected places. When I was climbing a volcano last weekend there was a Park Ranger who yelled a little kid for climbing on the rocks outside the path. She was mad that he was disrupting nature. I wanted to say “Hey Lady, that giant Park Ranger Station and Parking Lot you built right over there is way more disrupting than a five year old having fun for 10 minutes, cool your jets.” But then I had to consider my own hypocritical nature, and it was like a nudge from God to say “Maybe its YOUR jets that could use some cooling.” It gave me something to think/write about, just plopped down in front of my journey because I kept my eyes (and in this case, ears) open.
Whatever you decide, it shouldn’t be a chore. That’s the issue with regular updates, of course, they can become a chore. You need to be free. Don’t limit yourself by worrying about what anyone reading will think. This whole thing is in the swan song! You can stretch your wings and just enjoy it, knowing there’s no longer any “maintaining readership” to worry about! Come December, we’ll all be gone. So you should just enjoy each moment of the final round. We create our own stress. Which only adds to our stress. So let it go, Frozen-style, and know you can put anything you’d like up for these final months and the people reading will enjoy every moment along with you. 🙂
Thanks for your ideas and encouragements, JK. After that last paragraph, I’m now fighting a strong impulse to start singing “Let It Go,” which I probably shouldn’t do since it’s past two in the morning.
I’ll try to remember anything else that might make a good “That Time I _____” post. (I’ve got at least one more planned.) I also like the idea of discussing a certain storytelling aspect in a particular work of fiction. Maybe, when I’m farther along in my Disney movie marathon, I’ll write a bit about that.
I know you’ve done posts on individual authors, but I don’t recall a Top Ten list for authors.
Maybe your favorite fictional modes of transportation? No, wait … not fictional transportation – transportation found in fiction. I don’t want to rule out dirigibles.
Of course, more short stories are good. I’ll take the opposite stance as JK – make another serial, like The Infinity Manuscript.
How about some more details on your monkeys? Maybe how each one came to be employed by you, what they plan on doing after the blog is done, what they want to be when they grow up, their hobbies, etc. And I know you’ve listed their names, but I can’t tell which one is which in the picture.
TMTF has done a lot of Top Ten lists, sure enough, but authors have such wildly different strengths and styles that ranking them numerically would be really difficult. Of course, I could always favor a subjective approach over an objective one, and list my Top Ten Favorite Authors instead of the Top Ten Best. I’ll think about it.
As touched as I am that readers have enjoyed my creative writing on this blog, I’m reluctant to do more. Fiction is much harder for me to write than ordinary blog posts. Before resurrecting the Lance Eliot saga, I kinda want to enjoy freedom from creative writing while I still can. 😛
I love the idea of spilling some details on my blogging assistants: “The Ballad of a Dozen Dirty Monkeys.” I’ll work on it. 🙂
Thanks for your feedback!