A good writer has a number of tricks that he or she uses to stimulate their mind so that the words start flowing from their fingertips onto their pad of paper or computer screen.
One of my own is to start writing about something that is completely unrelated to the topic that I need to write about. It is like stretching before exercise except instead of doing jumping jacks I start writing something frivolous and silly.
Earlier this week said stretching exercise led to a sort of incident. Let me set the scene for you:
I am sitting at my computer with a set of headphones on and am lost in the music and the moment. I have to write a 1,000 words on a topic that makes dull and boring look like a rave. So I am gearing up by sipping down a monster cup of Joe and dancing in my seat.
Since I am feeling pretty good I figure I’ll take a quite moment to check out a few blogs and then I’ll start writing. So I click on over to this post at Absence of Alternatives, read through the comments and type out a few potential responses of my own. I quickly decide that they aren’t really funny and proceed to delete them, but then I discover that someone has snuck up behind me.
Someone has crept up behind me and read the three words that are left there. Someone wants to know what I mean by using those three words. Someone wants their father, the man who is supposedly an adult role model to explain why he used those three words.
Ok, that eleven-year-old boy didn’t have any sarcasm in his voice or any sort of edge when he asked what I meant. In fact in retrospect it is clear to me that he is still pretty innocent so give me bonus points for getting that right.
But that didn’t stop him from asking what I meant when I wrote “Suck Me Harder.” This ranks right up there with the time he and my oldest nephew found porn on YouTube. They had been looking at sports bloopers and found the “porn bloopers.” That was all sorts of fun, especially since they stumbled onto it during the 90 seconds that no adult was in the room with them.
Anyhoo, when he asked me what it meant I told him that it didn’t mean anything and that I was doing a writing exercise that involved using lots of different words.
The kid scrunched up his nose and said that he didn’t think I was being entirely honest. I stared at him and asked if he has ever heard me use those words together. He told me he didn’t think so but he wasn’t sure because I have said “sucks” before.
If there were a judge here I’d state for the record that I am confident that I haven’t used those three words together in speech. It is not how I talk. That is not the common parlance of my county but that is a line of questioning that I think I’ll simply ignore because there is no reason to go down it.
Instead I’ll issue a written reminder to myself to be more conscious of what I am writing when the kids are home. I’ll also have to congratulate him on his ninja skills because the little managed to walk into my office without my hearing or noticing his presence.
Several years ago I told him that when I am not around he is responsible for protecting his little sister so those ninja skills are something that are both necessary and useful.
For now I am going to hope that his ability to forget what he read is intact because in a short time that is a skill that is going to be necessary and useful because he won’t want to associate his old man with those words.