Useless Thoughts Running Through My Head

various musings of a generation x kad

Why are you here and what is up with that blog title?

Posted by thoughtful1 on April 6, 2007

Let me tell you why:

A long time ago I had to take a 4 hour personality test to get a job. I am serious, and no I was not trying to become a police officer or submarine commander. Instead, I was going into retail! (I suppose it’d be bad if the store manager went postal, but still!) Anyway, I had to answer a bazillion questions to answer. I think I was really filling out some form of the DSM-IV. I’m not certain, but I have feeling that was it.

Many of the questions were repetitive. I learned later that part of the design was to detect inconsistencies. Some questions were just plain silly, such as which activity would I prefer? Building airplane models, woodworking, or basket weaving? Others were a little scary, like True or False: I have been angry enough to kill someone. (False) But, my favorite one was:

I am bothered by useless thoughts running through my head – Y/N (N)

Fast forward, oh, about 13 years to now. I no longer work for that company (apparently I was sane enough to get the job) . Instead, I am in a completely different industry. And I’ve decided that it’s time to try to recapture that childhood dream: I wanted to be a writer.

I used to write stories and my senior year high school project was writing short stories. I think I wrote three or so. Anyway, my creative writing impulses were crushed under the weight of reaction papers, assigned reading, and math problem sets in college. Sadly, my university managed to kill much of my joy in learning. And with it, my ability to write. Through college and up until a few years ago I rarely felt any inspiration for a story. I just couldn’t muster any enthusiasm to take a glimmer of an idea and flesh it out on the page. Very, very sad.

Coincidentally, my ability to read for pleasure also dimmed. In weird turn of perfectionism, I didn’t want to buy any books I might end up hating. Of course, I could have just checked books out of the library, but I went through a period where I was moving every few years or so, and combined with a retail job that required me to work nights and weekends, I never put down roots anywhere.

But now I’ve lived in the same place for nearly 10 years, I have a library card, and I’m even in a book group. Reading again has made me want to write again. Plus, I listen to NPR at work. The constant stream of news and ideas into my ear must be working some sort of magic because not only do I want to write fiction, but I also want to write essays. I’ve never wanted to do that before.

So I want to start writing again.

But, when I get home from work I just want to get dinner, check e-mail, and watch TV. That, I am not good at making myself do something every day. It’s a small miracle I’ve been able to make my bed each morning for the past few months. And I know that to do this writing thing seriously, I should pick away at it on a regular basis.

My solution? Do you really need to ask at this point? 🙂 I decided over the summer that a blog would be a good way to get me back into the groove of writing. But, I was never good at keeping a diary, so a general diary blog would most likely fail to hold my interest. A blog with a theme would work best. Yet, there was another problem with that idea: I can get bored easily, and spending time on a one topic blog would bore me after a while. Or require too much work to provide meaningful, well-researched content.

Well, after mulling it over, my favorite question from the mother of retail employment tests came back to me. I could create a blog around those random things that you think about as you go about your regular business. It was a focused enough theme that would help focus my thoughts, and it was broad enough I wouldn’t get bored. Basically, it was a cheap mental trick to allow me to write about whatever without staring at my computer screen wondering, “What the hell am I going to write?”

So, that is why I am here and that is the deal with the blog title.

I’m still not certain I will be a steadfast blogger, but I will give it a go. Besides, blogging will give me an excuse to play with my shiny new computer, and listen to my station on Pandora.


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