“The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon. You can always do it better, find the exact word, the apt phrase, the leaping simile.” Robert Cormier
I am going to let you in on a secret. Do you know one of my favorite things about blogging? I’m funny when I write. Embarrassing, right? But I like to be funny, and I’m just not quite as funny in real life. (Unless I am with my cousins or my best friends who share my weird sense of humor and can toss movie quotes back at me with lightning speed.)
The hurdle to me being funny in real life is timing. In real life, I tend to get tongue-tied or anxious and before I know it the wittiness window has closed. For example, last week I packed up my 3 month old and braved the icy roads to get groceries. I pulled into a moderately-good parking space, mentally preparing myself to push a giant Sam’s Club cart through the icy sludge, when a very-good parking space opened up. I pulled through, checked to be sure I wasn’t stealing anyone’s spot, and took it. I felt pretty good about myself; everybody loves rockstar parking, right?
As I got out of the car, a 50-something “gentleman” walked towards me and said, “Young lady, you are pretty lazy for taking a parking spot that is only a few feet closer.”
Brain freeze. Did a complete stranger just tell me I was lazy? “But I have a baby to carry,” I explained.
“Yeah, well, you would get more exercise if you would park farther away.”
Whaaaaaat?!??! So, now I’m lazy AND fat? But here’s where the story gets really unflattering. Of all the choice, witty, scathing things I thought of to say later, all I said at the time was: “That’s true.”
“That’s true”? “THAT’S TRUE”?
I’m a bright girl who has a college degree in teaching “kids who can’t read good (and wanna learn to do other stuff good too)” and all I could come up with was “That’s true”?
The main bullet point of that story is that if I have more time to think about what I am going to say, I don’t end up sounding like a moron. Or at least not quite so big of a moron.
What’s the difference between real life and blogging? Well, lots of things, but for today’s purposes the difference is the ability to plan. By outlining post ideas, creating blog series, and planning publication dates, you can maximize the funny (or the smart or the creativity).
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR BLOG PLANNING1. Set aside a time during the day. Since none of us likely has the schedule flexibility to sit down at the keyboard whenever inspiration strikes, the next best thing is to have a block of time dedicated to writing. For me, it’s usually in the morning while the baby is taking her morning nap and my son is trapped in his high chair for breakfast.“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” ~Agatha Christie2. Outline your posts. I know this probably sounds like a high school composition assignment, but it will help your writing. Sometimes I just type up some headings right in the blog post itself, then I fill the spaces between them with content. Last, I delete all those headings. Wham! Bam! Orderly blog post!3. Have a rough weekly schedule. Some bloggers are really good at this: Me Mondays, Tutorial Tuesdays, Wordless Wednesdays, uhm, Thirsty Thursdays, Freaky Fridays… you get the picture. I am not that regimented, but I try to have a plan for what kind of thing I am going to post over the course of the week.4. Keep a blogging calendar. I haven’t personally tried this yet, but I know bloggers who swear by their calendars. If you have a stockpile of unpublished posts, a calendar can help keep you focused and organized. Google has a calendar feature that is pretty self-explanatory (and free).
Great tips! I think I am waaay funnier when I write as well. Just think of your scenario like this…that dude wasn't worth a snappy comeback!
Oh, you just described me as well! I am a HOOT when I write sometimes-lol! I have a BA in Enlgish and a MA in education and I NEVER have snappy or witty comebacks in real time. Thanks for being transparent and making me smile at my lack of witty commentary. That man needed some manners–"Sir, I might be lazy in your opinion, but you are rude in mine, and I think you should mind your own business." It isn't funny, but he didn't derserve any humor–just a good dose of his own medicine. Sorry you had to deal with that! Ugh!