Last summer, I did one of the most fun writing collaborations I’ve ever done with Aaron McGuire from the awesome basketball blog Gothic Ginobili. The premise of that project was really pretty simple. Each week during the offseason, we would send each other a random writing prompt and we’d each have one week to respond to said prompt on our respective blogs. The end result was some of the most fun I’ve had writing in years. I wrote about what the video game based upon my life would look like. I faced my mortality and wrote what I would do if I were facing certain doom. I had no idea what was coming my way and I loved it.
Why do I bring this project up? Because I want you all to submit me random prompts using Tumblr’s ask feature as a part of this blog.
I don’t care how random, weird or otherwise absurd your writing prompt is. The purpose of this blog get me back into writing, so something that keeps me on my toes and gets me writing weird, new, interesting stuff is perfectly suited for that task.
I’m terrible at finishing projects.
If you’re one of the many people that I’ve collaborated with over the past few years, I’m sure you’ve already figured this out by now. Without pausing to think, I can rattle off at least five aborted, half-started, or completely abandoned projects that I at one point in time desperately wanted to complete. Some of those could have been pretty interesting (an old school zine featuring short horror stories). Some were pretty best left unfinished (a series of haiku for every episode of The X-Files). Some were totally pie-in-the-sky and likely bound to fail (a choose-your-own-adventure graphic novel about time travel). The one thing they all have in common?
I never finished any of them.
This past weekend I was at my parents house and my mom was digging up old school projects from elementary school in a valiant attempt to embarrass me in front of my girlfriend. Amongst the slew of old art projects and tests, I found a lot projects that, while I had mostly forgotten about them, I instantly remembered upon seeing them again. The weird book I wrote and illustrated that was basically about a shapeshifting Sharktopus I wrote when I was eight years old (that story also contained the phrase “host body” which I think says just about everything you ever need to say about me as a child). A board game I made out of poster board and index cards about Wile E. Coyote chasing Roadrunner. A silhouette of me in fourth grade proclaiming that I was a “lover of basketball”. My old comic strips that I painstakingly inked onto bristol board with India ink during my years of cartooning lessons.
I didn’t have this problem with not finishing projects back then. While I’m sure a large part of that was the fact that I was a child with absolutely no responsibilities to speak of, I really can do a lot better than I’ve been doing as of late. I’ve written three articles that I can remember this year for a Cleveland Cavaliers blog that other writers would love to have the opportunity to represent. Outside of that, I’ve written two pages of a short story that is pretty iffy and this.
That’s it. We’re halfway through June and I’ve produced less than 10 pages of written work in all of 2014. I think I had surpassed that by the end of January last year.
The most striking thing to me about the cache of old schoolwork and art projects is just how similar it was to the things I’m passionate about creatively today. Weird horror stories. Cleveland sports. Board games. Eight year old me and twenty-eight year old me have a lot in common, barring one major difference.
Eight year old me finished what he started.
This is an attempt to get back on track. I have no expectations for this blog. There is no theme. I have no larger goal in mind other than to have a place to write when I want to. I don’t know what I’m going to write about, but that’s kind of the point. The last time I had a blog like this, it turned into this, which eventually led me to here. I wouldn’t have anticipated any of that when I was first starting, which made it that much more exciting and interesting of a journey.
Let’s see what happens this time. Hopefully eight year old me would be proud of whatever comes out of this. There’s only one way to find out.