I wish I knew how to put pictures on my blog. I have no idea. I tried once to put my picture on the side but failed. Even to put the OUCH symbol on my blog I had to get my friend, blog princess, to help. If I could put pictures on the blog, I'd put the picture of the 'Roar of Powerful Words' lion that's given as an award by another blogger for 'powerful writing'. I was given this once before and then again on my birthday by ettina of abnormaldiversity. I went to her blog to see what it's about and apparently I'm supposed to give three bits of advice about writing and then award the 'lion' to others.
Pay attention. I never go out, go to work, go to the bathroom without a story happening. People are interesting, their reactions, their relationships, their way of being - to me being a writer (or playing at being a writer) means being alert to the world, seeing what's hidden in plain view. Almost all of my blog writing is about day to day events, things that just happen. I'll admit it's probably easier for me because I'm different from most others in three ways - differences call forth responses that are fairly easy to note. But I'll bet if you are honest with yourself, you're different from others in at least three ways yourself. Use that. Pay attention. One of my regular readers is a friend of mine who calls moments where she really notices things 'Dave moments' because she is now alert to and alive to what's happening around her. She says she's learned that from me and from my blog. That's a great honour.
Develop boundaries. There are some things that are just mine. There are some things that are just Joe's and mine. These things I won't write about. Having a private garden in your heart where you grow sensitivities, where flowers unique thoughts - gives you the 'spices' you need for your writing, this is what makes your writing uniquely your own. I care for my private garden, no one's feet has ever trampled therein, I visit there daily, I take comfort there, I nurse hurts there, it's the still, quiet place where I talk to God. Its not for public view. That boundary allows me to share much, much more than I would - because I know what's sacred and be damned with all the rest.
Keep focus. I decided that this blog would be about disability. Someone 'joked' (I put that in quotation marks because it was a 'joke' that hid a 'criticism') that my blog and my life was 'all disability, all the time'. While I think that's an unfair criticism there may be some truth in it. Chewing the Fat was set up to be about disability so that's what I write about. I work in the disability field, so that's what I think about, I have a disability so that's what I live. I'm guessing that most people who read Chewing the Fat do so because of that focus - they know if they come here I'm going to be banging on about disability. I'm not writing for a general readership - I don't have those skills or that broad an emotional palate. I think focus helps.
Now I'm supposed to award this to five others. I'm not going to do that. It's not because I don't recognize powerful writing in others, it's because all the blogs I read, I read because of the powerful writing. Having been a child never picked for a team, I can't pick one and leave out another. So, I'm awarding the award to anyone who wants to do this. It's kind of fun to stop and think about your writing - so if you want it ... the Roar for Powerful Words award is yours. If you want the picture, go to abnormaldiversity.blogspot.com and find it there under the blog entery entitled 'Lion Award Thingy'. I don't know how to get it from there to you but I'm assuming most of you know how to do that.
(Please don't write me back with detailed instructions about how to put pictures on my blog, I'll read what you say but after step three I'll start crying. I don't want to cry. I need someone to show me, not explain it to me.)