This is a little ‘cart before the horse’ here, but that’s never really stopped me before. In the writing group I’m part of (check them out here…there are some crazy good authors in there), the topic came up of helping to elevate each other. Cross-posting blogs and events and the like. And the topic of guest blogging came up. It’s a simple concept. One of us asks another to throw a post together on a topic of interest. I threw my hat in to the ring and said I’d be happy to throw a post together.
I’m not sure at this point whether to cue the Disney ‘creatures of the woodlands singing and helping the princess in disguise get dressed’ music or the subtle but unmistakable tones of foreboding, foreshadowing that the shed in back was actually the gateway to hell.
Side Note: Backyard shed or not, the gateway to hell may actually currently be held closed by a pie pan that is hammered in to the ground in the front yard of a farmhouse in KY. Don’t ask me how I know, just take my word for it.
I didn’t really think too much more about it. Yes, I write a blog (I mean you ARE reading it, right?). Yes, I think I’m funny. No, I wasn’t actually thinking any of my fellow wordsmiths would actually tap me to tag in.
I should have known better. You see, the thing that I am constantly grateful for with this particular group I’ve fallen in with is this-they seek to lift each other up. The group succeeds because we all want ALL of us to be better. We all want each of us to take a chunk of that literary world and swing it around by the short hairs. I haven’t felt this genuine desire to elevate since first working with the Columbus Help Portrait group. It’s amazingly refreshing to have that kind of time with artists who want to share and grow each other in their chosen craft (in this case writing).
So enter Tim McWhorter. He came up to me after one of our writing group meetings and asked if I was still game to write a guest blog post. I nodded. And I asked about length, topic, shoe size. OK to be fair I really don’t remember how the conversation went. I was already in ‘wheels racing way the fuck ahead’ mode. I’d read some of Tim’s blog. I knew my personal blogging voice wouldn’t be too far off from his posts. We settled on the topic of inspiration.
And then I did something I almost never do with a blog post.
I kicked around the idea in my head for a couple of days before I started writing it. It’s not that planning is bad. I do it with some of the posts on here (what? You think this random-off-the-cuff vibe happens naturally all the time?). Or I’ll start a post and let it sit, simmering in the juices and come back to it.
That’s what I did with the post on inspiration. I was down on the Farm. And it hit me–everything I had written (at least what I had remembered of it) was just bullshit. Or mostly bullshit.
I tried to be smart and step out of my element. I did some research (*cough* Google and Wikipedia *cough*) about the Muses and their meanings to the Greek and Romans.
Damn thing almost turned in to a book report. And then this weekend, I caught myself.
I was here looking at this barn. This barn that has been part of my life since my earliest memories of coming down to Kentucky and I figured out what inspires me.
So? Care to clue us in Todd?
I know. I hate cliffhangers too. I don’t want to dive in to it. I would MUCH rather have a future post with a link to Tim’s blog and you can read my a-ha moment for yourself. Needless to say I did a 180 somewhere around the middle of the post and got back to my true voice. After all, it seems to be working for the 9 of you that put up with my antics here.
I guess the takeaway here is that if someone asks me to guest blog, it’s for one of two reasons (or maybe two of two reasons): they want a break from writing on their own blog and/or they find something cool about the voice of my blog that they want on theirs. And I guess a third option is that they want to help me by giving their readership a taste of something new.
In any event, I’m good with it. As long as I stick to my own way of doing it and stay true to my truly random (albeit charming) nature, then it’s all good. When I did that, it was a much better experience. Hopefully Tim thinks so, too. But if not, it’s no big deal. I’ll just have a post all ready to go some time down the line.
Remind me to tell you some time about that portal to hell. It really is truly amazing what you can do with a pie pan these days.