Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Variation on a Meme--Summer post writing exercise--Come Play!!

The Summer doldrums are here, inspiring sargasso-like lassitude in even the peppiest journal poster. It's the time when quiz results predict the date of your demise, or count the number of prepositions in your posts.

But I propose a way to avoid the tintinearbulation of listening to yourself think.
I suggest that instead of becoming mired in the mud from Summer rains, you lend your journal topic to me for a single post.

Yes, I'd love to suggest the topic of your next journal post. Let me be frank--I'd like to suggest more than the "topic" of your next journal post. I'd like to outline for you not only your post topic, but also some key questions I'd love for you to answer as you go, as well as a paragraph of "atmosphere" or setting.

I'm not talking about the banal questions about whom you've slept with, what you'd name your next cat, or which other journals I should read. I run polls for that kind of data, as well as your opinions on, say, how to name your fire ants or which failed 19th Century president you most admire. I find, by the way, that many of the "great scandalous secrets" in life really don't matter very much, while things more mundane can sometimes be more profound. But that's another topic for another day.

No, I'm talking instead about a good old-fashioned writing exercise. I'll give you a scenario--fact or fiction--and you run with it. You run far. You run fast. But mostly, you run into an entire journal post. In the words of the old Eno song, "it's happening and it's fattening and it's all that we can get into the show". I'll give you an absurdity or a profundity or a social concern or a bit of the trademarked silliness that I have come to think of as "Gurdonarkian". Then you translate it into your journal in the way that you write.

I don't plan to ask you to write about the glandular, things you might be bashful about, or things reprehensible. But I will ask you something mildly offbeat, and ask you to tackle it with more gusto than, say, the average post about the film repertoire of Dutch Reagan. If you don't feel that the topic is in your style, then write it in mine. But if you write in my style, do spare your friends' pages by using the "cut" functions, would you?

I have an ulterior motive for running this exercise. So many of you, and you know who you are because I have "friended" you, keep me rapt and fascinated. I'm hunting ways to learn more about you by having you tell me. If I ask you something straightforward, I will learn nothing. But if I approach you obliquely, we will join minds, for a moment.

Let's abandon "ask me anything" memes! Let's play in the field of literary and intellectual wildflowers!

Will you play with me? Shall I suggest you a topic?

If your answer is "yes"!, then just post this comment:

"Dear Gurdonark:

I will play! Tell me my post topic, a paragraph of explanation so I get the idea, and the three questions my post should answer. If you do, I will unself-consciously
write just such a post, without plea of writers' block or Summer blues.

Best, [insert your handle here].

Take a dare. You'll love yourself for it in the morning.
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