PERSONAL: The Daily Post Challenges

There’s been a recurring notice on my WordPress about The Daily Post, a blog that gives you a topic every day to post about. While I hardly have the dedication to doa so, I enjoy taking random topics and seeing what comes out, so I’m tackling some here. How many, I don’t yet know. Let’s see…

What made you decide to start a blog? If you’ve blogged about this before, go back and read it. Is that still the reason? What’s changed?

In my introductory post, I explained my intent: as someone with an overabundance of thoughts and need for constant diversion, this is my place to write about whatever I like. That’s largely held up over the four months I’ve been blogging, though it’s mostly ended up gearing towards writing. Partly that’s because I’m interested in the craft of writing, as are plenty of other people. Partly it’s because I think blogs that have a continuous undercurrent of a main theme work best, like a novel, and The Diversionist‘s niche seems to be ruminations on writing.

Partly it’s because I’m slightly uncomfortable revealing personal details on the Internet. It seems silly, but the only thing that makes it ‘just the Internet’ is the idea of anonymity and few people reading. That can change in an instant, in ways you have no control over: a blog where one post is singled out can suddenly have a lot of attention on it, positive and negative. This attention turns negative particularly for those who are activists against the status quo (like, say, feminists), which is also why I’ve refrained from offering up any ‘radical’ points of view, though I do hold, or at least consider, some. I could blog about the idea of gender being a social construct, or the separation of church and state when it comes to marriage, or Sarah Palin and her ability to constantly be the centre of attention despite being a failed onetime Vice Presidential candidate whose 15 minutes should be up any time now, but those ideas are targets of vitriol on the ‘net, and its easier to keep them to private emails then put myself in the crosshairs of every right-wing fundamentalist troll on the Internet*.

(*And yes, I believe in left-wing fundamentalist trolls too. In this specific case, though, I doubt many of them would show up to harass me.)

Since I’m blogging under my real name, its too easy to become a target for angry people who don’t like seemingly-radical viewpoints. I’ve seen too much Internet harassment of writers whom I deeply respect not to take it seriously, even if its hubris to the extreme to think this blog will ever become bigger than it is. So, in that sense, my intent has changed: I’ve deliberately ignored political subjects in favour of less-controversial topics, which is not something I intended on doing when I started The Diversionist. I’m a little ashamed of my cowardice, but I’ve seen folks have their families threatened and their personal details dropped all over the Internet because of their blog work, so I’m content to link to those whose work says what I’d like to much better, and offer them any support I can.

Other than that, my intent has largely stayed the same, though my activity level sometimes disappoints me. Still, four months later I’m still posting, even if not often, so I’m happy about that. I like writing about writing, and forcing myself to write regularly is great practice.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I’m looking forward to plenty this year. I have an internship I’m deeply excited for, started within a few weeks. I’m excited for the new seasons of shows I love. I’m excited to see how my writing grows this year. I’m excited to see what happens in the wor, how things change socially and technologically and professionally.

I’m looking forward to this semester,doing plenty of writing. I’m excited about the summer, where Toronto will once again become a joy to wander around, and possibly having the time to do so. I’m excited for the beginning of my final year in September, and planning for my giant Practicum project to tie up my undergraduate years. I’m excited for a new Florence + the Machine album. I’m excited for May, when the season finales will provide me with a thriling movie experience multiple times every week.

I’m looking forward to dancing, and meeting new people, and growing friendships.

I look forward to blogging more, to finding out more about myself, and more about the people I know.

I look forward to adventure. I look forward to excitement. I look forward to disappointment, to confusion, to worry, to the things that will build my life. I look forward to things getting better, moving forward. I look forward to loving more, andin greater depth and new shades of colour.

I’m looking forward to 2011. It’s gonna be a great year.

If you only had an hour to live, what what you do with those 60 minutes?

Drag my sisters to a beautiful place, and spend my last hour joking and laughing with them. Then, send them away before I die, so their last memory of me is of laughing and happiness. For my last ten minutes, I’d sit alone in the silence and look forward to what comes next.

Or, I’d just eat a ton of awesome food until my body exploded 20 minutes before the deadline…

Write about one thing you’ve never told anyone and explain why.

When I was a kid, quite young (probably before I hit age 11), I seriously questioned my gender identity. Though I’m pretty secure now, I’ve never quite fit into ‘guy’ culture, rejected team sports and automobiles, and I’ve always loved some ‘feminine’ things like dance and art. I’d seen things about transgenderedness and considered, seriously, whether I might be trans. Even now, most of my friends are women, and I’m more likely to dance alone in my apartment than play an NBA video game, even though having considered it, I’m definitely not trans. I just didn’t fit into the gender stereotypes that much of our culture seems to be built on. Of course, I also seriously considered the possibilities I was an alien and that I might have been kidnapped as a baby, so I had an overactive imagination. But I do think that feeling of outsider-ness, and that ability to question everything about my existence, helped me engage with groups I otherwise would have had a harder time with as an ally.

What do you want to be remembered for?

I want to leave my mark on the world in my writing, and help create a better world. But personally, I just want to be remembered as someone who loved widely and deeply, as someone who helped brighten your day, and not as someone you ever punched in the face.

How do you stay focused on a task or activity?

Typically, it’s depends on whether I’m engaged by the task. If I’m not engaged, I have to intersperse the task with something I am engaged in, so at least I can move forward in increments to get back to the more engaging thing.

As a writer, this is an especially key topic because I’m constantly trying to move forward. Procrastination kills careers, no joke. If you’re late on a script by one day, you can get fired, because an entire production crew is being paid just to wait for you. So, procrastination is bad, bad, bad.

The main thing I do to break it up is by multitasking, as mentioned above. I might not have the creative juice for five pages in a row, but I might the juice for three, then a blog post, and during the blog post I might get more sparking for the script. The other thing that charges my working drive, oddly, is having another high-pressure project I’m avoiding. I can think about working on a pilot for months, lets say, but its only when I have a big project due in school that I finally feel free to write it. That might say something about the pressure  put on myself to produce good work, or it might just be a writer thing. Who knows.

That’s six for now. That’s pretty decent, actually, and made for good inspiration. Perhaps, on a dry day, I’ll revisit Post a Day for ideas.

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