Blogging Insights — Self Doubt

Blogging insightsFor her latest Blogging Insights prompt, Dr. Tanya asks us only one question. She wants to know about self doubt, an affliction, she says, that affects writers nearly as often as writer’s bock. It’s a fear, doubt, and/or lack of confidence that attacks writers from time to time. The doctor wants to know:

How often are you afflicted by self doubt and what do you do about it?

There have been many aspects of my life when I’ve been filled with and almost paralyzed by self doubt. But when it comes to my blog, I can honestly say that I’ve never been afflicted by self doubt. That may come across as if I’m full of myself, but that’s not the case. I just love to write blog posts. What’s not to love?

I love expressing my opinions and perspectives. I love writing flash fiction pieces. I enjoy the creative challenges. It’s not something I fear and I don’t lack confidence. And I rarely run out of things to write.

I’m not saying that I’m a blogger extraordinaire or that my posts are any better than those of other bloggers. I’m just saying that when I compose a post, I don’t doubt my ability to write something that I’m proud of and that I hope others will enjoy reading.

That said, I do doubt myself when it comes to my proofreading skills, as I’m sure way too many typos, misspellings, or grammatical errors have found their way into my published posts than I would like.

Time to Write a Poem

09C450E1-B82F-4E62-9267-BA968ADACB91There was that time
I decided to write a poem
Whenever others read it
All they could do was to groan


Written for Teresa Grab’s Poetry Challenge. Teresa explains that there are more than 100 different poetic forms and she asked us to find one form and to use the picture from Susan Cipriano from Pixabay as inspiration. The form of poetry I chose is FFFP, otherwise known as Fandango’s Free-Form Poetry. And although Teresa said that there is no such thing as a bad poem, I think my poem has just proven her wrong.

What Do You See? — The Balloonman

C8A98519-F9B6-4F1B-9D8A-1E74DDE6B576As soon as I saw this week’s image that Sadje chose for her What Do You See? prompt, the only thing I could think of was a poem I remember from high school written by American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright e.e. cummings (1894-1962). In his poem, “in Just,” which was originally published in The Dial, Volume LXVIII, Number 5 (May 1920). New York: The Dial Publishing Company, Inc., Cummings refers to the “lame balloonman,” the “queer old balloonman,” and the “goat-footed balloonman.”

So, in homage to e.e. cummings, here is his poem.

in Just-

spring             when the world is mud-

luscious the little

lame balloonman

whistles         far         and wee

and eddieandbill come

running from marbles and

piracies and it’s

spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer

old balloonman whistles

far         and           wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it’s

spring

and

the

goat-footed

balloonman           whistles

far

and

wee


Image credit: Alexey Avdeev.

Rory’s Daily Four More

4 leaf cloverI’m three days late on this one, but despite my tardiness, I’m going to go ahead and post my responses to Rory’s daily four questions from September 8th.

What truly motivates you to write?

I’ve always enjoyed putting my thoughts and stories down in writing, but my busy life raising a family and holding down a demanding job limited my opportunities to sit down and write for fun. (I did have about have a dozen papers I wrote published in several trade journals back in the day.)

Then, in 2005, a friend of mine suggested that if I wanted to exercise my writing chops, I should start a blog, so I did. I have to admit I got a bit of a rush when I read my words published on the internet and to have total strangers read and respond to my words. From that point on, I had found my motivation to write.

What’s cluttering up your life today and what are you doing about it?

As a retiree, I wouldn’t say that my life is particularly cluttered these days, so there’s not much I need to do about uncluttering it.

Did you enjoy a creative childhood?

I used to draw a lot, write stories a little, and invent games to play, both by myself and with friends. I had a pretty vivid imagination, but I don’t know that I’d specifically say that I was creative. Perhaps imaginative would be a more apt word.

Have you ever wanted to write a book? Or if you have written a book, do you feel accomplished for doing so?

Yes, I not only wanted to, but I started at least three or four. But I never finished any of them. I loved inventing characters and writing scenes, but I could never develop a strong enough plot or story arc sufficient to sustain a novel-sized book. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy writing flash fiction. I can  invent characters, construct individual scenes, and create dialogue while telling a short story with a beginning, a middle, and an end in fewer than 500 words, in most cases.

But maybe someday I’ll wake up and write the great American novel. Or not.

SoCS — Beginnings and Endings

720351BE-7122-45EB-98A7-03285D72CD92After my teachers in high school drummed it into my head that you’re never ever supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, I was shocked to find out that most language experts don’t actually abide by this so-called “rule.” Some grammar mavens even call that “rule” a myth.

What are prepositions? Actually, prepositions are some of the most frequently used words in all of English, such as of, to, for, with, on, and at. A preposition is a word or phrase that connects a noun or pronoun to a verb or adjective in a sentence.

On reflection, if the “never end a sentence with a preposition” rule is a myth, what about never starting a sentence with one? Well, it turns out that using a preposition or a prepositional phrase at the beginning of a sentence is both common and grammatically correct.

The word “after,” which is the very first word of this post, is also a preposition. And that’s a good thing because Linda G. Hill challenged us, for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, to start our post with a preposition. With that in mind, I started my post with the word “after,” which is a preposition. Yay me!

And while we’re talking about “hard and fast rules” in grammar that I was taught in high school, another was to never start a sentence with a conjunction.

Well, according to Grammar Girl, “It’s fine to start a sentence with a conjunction. And, but, and or are the three most common members of a group of words known as coordinating conjunctions. In fact, a substantial percentage of the sentences in first-rate writing begin with conjunctions.”

And with that, I’m going to end this post right now. It’s time to move on.