Part 1 of the Series “Writing From ‘A To Z'”
I read a wonderful blog post about failure recently. I have been reading so many blogs, reciprocating comments as I try to build my traffic, that I, sadly cannot remember where I saw it. The blogger had attempted to meet a challenge to write a post every single day that was about something that started with each letter of the alphabet. In the end, she decided she couldn’t keep up with it, and, in her opinion, the quality of her posts was suffering. She had a great attitude about learning from failure that I agree with wholeheartedly. Her experience made me think of this C.S. Lewis quote: “We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
But, I have been thinking about this challenge quite a bit. While I have not received this challenge, I have decided to do a series of posts based on the letters of the alphabet. I recall, many years ago, reading that a famous author (I don’t remember who it was now . . . do you see that my poor memory is a bit of a challenge?), said that, in order to be successful, you must commit to writing five hours per day. Of course, writing was his full-time job, and I don’t have that luxury. But, I do agree with some of his comments that you can’t always wait for inspiration. You see, you may be waiting a very long time. I think, with blogging, if you have long periods of no content, you lose your audience. On the other hand, as that blogger found, if you force it too much, quality suffers.
So, I am not going to try for one post a day. In addition, I may interrupt the series if I do feel a stroke of inspiration that does not follow the alphabet. If I decide it’s not working, I may abandon the idea altogether. How’s that for lack of commitment?! Maybe that is why I didn’t get married until I was 36 and “Perhaps” has become my favorite response to every question!
However, in thinking about it for several days, I believe this is something that could stretch me a bit (always good for growth) and I have several blog ideas that I have been kicking around that I can incorporate into this challenge for myself.
And now, this gives me an opportunity for a Mommy story that ties in nicely with the alphabet, and Mommy stories have been lacking on this (Not Just Another) Mommy Blog.
My 6 year old son and I have had a tradition for years, where I read him books before bed, and then sing some songs. His 3 year old baby sister joined our ritual many months ago. I tried something different two or three weeks ago that I thought would be kind of fun. My son is in Kindergarten, learning to read and write. He is a little obsessed with learning to spell words. So, I suggested, instead of songs, we play a game. We each say a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet. A few nights later, his sister joined us.
My son was very good at this game from the start. It has been fun to hear the different words he thinks of. His sister, on the other hand, didn’t quite get it. So, for “A”, I might say “alphabet”. My son would say “amazing”. My daughter would say, “unicorn!” with great enthusiasm. We tried correcting her and explaining the game. We would get to “D” and I might say “door”, my son might say, “dark” and my daughter would say “basketball!”. This tickled me so, and she loved hearing me giggle when she strayed from the rules of the game. I decided to stop correcting her, and just let her play it her way, because I knew she would learn it all too soon and the amusement of her saying whatever she wanted would fade much too quickly.
Sure enough, it was only about three nights later that she began playing correctly, and I was a little sad. But, joyously, that only lasted a few nights. She has now decided to make up nonsense words. As usual, my son and I say a word that fits in the with rules, but when we get to “G”, she says “Galockula”! Her brother, who is very much a follow-the-rules-to-a-fault kind of a kid (a little too much like is mother in worrying about doing everything right) has started following his sister’s lead and making up words. Unfortunately both of their nonsense words often end in “poopy” or “butt” because that, of course, makes everything funnier to 6 and 3 year olds. Or, is it fortunately? I don’t know. I’m just enjoying the ride.