Archives for posts with tag: writing

Well, this is embarrassing. The last time I posted here, I had no idea that it would be so long before the next time I posted here. As days, weeks, and months passed, it seemed more imperative that my next post be extremely meaningful or otherwise great to make up for my lack of productivity.

This is not that post.

This post is my “Welcome home, all is forgiven” message to myself.

I’d feel better about myself if I had been writing all this time, but I didn’t and I can’t fix that now. All I can do is pick up and go forward. So here I am.

It feels good to be back.

The worst thing about blogging and job hunting and blogging about job hunting (especially blogging about job hunting) is probably the complete lack of response that follows a given post or application.

I didn’t necessarily start this blog for an audience, and have, in fact been reluctant to draw much attention to it. I have to admit though, that a “like”, a comment or a “follow” can make my day. The problem is that now that I’ve had a taste, I want more, (There. I said it.) and I fret a bit when I don’t generate a reaction.

That’s nothing to how I feel after submitting an application. I am pathetically grateful for an automatic email response, or a chance to track my application online. Something truly is better than nothing.

The best thing about blogging and job hunting is that there is always another chance. All I have to do is write something else, and find another job that looks interesting. Practice may not make perfect, but it should make better. I can find a new topic, or refine my arguments that I am the best qualified applicant.

In the meantime, I remind myself that I do exist in the real world. My family and  friends, the people at my little job, and the folks at the Literacy Center, B.R. in particular, provide a warm-blooded context to counter the cold-blooded isolation that is writing and looking for work.

Not too long ago, a dear friend and I were chatting online. We covered a lot of conversational ground; it had been a while since we’d been in touch.

We checked in on some serious subjects. “I felt better when I was writing” she remarked. “Me too,” I replied.

I had been writing sporadically, when I wrote at all.  I had abandoned drafts waiting here, and subjects I wanted to explore elsewhere. I had more than enough time, so what stopped me? Me.

So I sat down and faced my lonely blog, and chose a topic. I wrote and I posted. And I did it again and again. And I did it some more. Guess what?

I feel better.

Fellow writers (bloggers especially) has this ever happened to you?:

Have you ever, in the middle of a perfectly good, idle, random thought, ever pulled up short and started to edit it? Do you find yourself, while  absent-mindedly scratching your dog’s ear, wondering how you can turn that experience into prose with A Larger Message? Do you collect titles the way you used to collect comic books/45 rpm records/ Matchbox cars? (My personal favorite: Is Everything a Metaphor?) Do you attempt to turn everything you see or do into a metaphor?

Or is it just me?

Some days I can’t tell whether my little blogging habit has heightened my awareness of life, or simply turned me into a self-conscious, self-absorbed jerk.

When I am engaged in something that demands my complete attention, like work, tutoring, or talking with my friends and family, the “writer switch” is off. I don’t start  composing accounts of those experiences until later, if ever.

Any activity that requires less than complete focus can trigger the condition: washing dishes, walking the dog, driving anywhere alone.  (Not that it  gets me anywhere; you should see my drafts folder.)

Fortunately, I don’t go through the day narrating it in my head: “I walk briskly into World Market, intent in finding the green tea I like, and wondering again why Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry it. I love Trader Joe’s…I pause, momentarily distracted by the seasonal display at the entrance. Wait- I have things to do. Back to business.  The heels of my boots resonate against the concrete floor as I grab the tea, along with a bottle of ginger syrup I hadn’t intended to buy.  Next, I’ll  head to my store, to pick up the quilt I forgot to buy at the end of  my last shift. Checking out, I decide to drop by the garden department at Lowes’s for pansies to plant by the mailbox.  Or should I go to Home Depot?…”

If it ever comes to that, I may have to abandon writing altogether.

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (

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