the laid.back Buddhist has MOVED...back!

Monday, October 1

The Time Where I Forgot To Follow My Own Advice

I’ve a confession to make.

Then again, it seems I’m always blog-confessing about something or another…

However, this confession is rather embarrassing since just the other day I gave this tip to anyone with an internet connection to read:

“Write for yourself first. Remember that it takes time, effort, patience…and above all, daring.”

But before I make that particular confession, I must confess that I actually have another confession I need to make beforehand (jeez, perhaps I should consider re-titling this post as “The Time Where I Overload Everyone With One Too Many Confessions”?).

Anyhow. The BIG news is that I’m officially one of the bloggers (I think there’s about 10 of us?) for my university’s newspaper, Collegiate Times (CT).

“Officially” meaning that I’m published and “published” meaning that my first blog article for the CT was posted last night.

Yay, me!

It’s interesting how unexpectedly these things result from a random culmination of chance chain-reactions:

  1. girl meets boy

  2. girl falls for boy

  3. boy breaks girl’s heart

  4. girl is miserable, decides she needs to find herself again and does so through writing

  5. girl chooses blogging because she is inherently lazy when it comes to penning in a paper journal and has a perfectionist tendency to edit everything in sight

  6. girl realizes that she actually really likes blogging…a LOT

  7. girl discovers a deviously humorous blog-sparring partner, ever new communities of blogger-friends, and widgets that were born to be lusted after

  8. girl is promptly (and seriously) addicted to blogging

  9. girl begins revealing said blog addiction to her close friends

  10. one of those friends is an English major who happens to receive a flyer asking for volunteer blog writers for the university's student-run newspaper

  11. abovementioned awesome-slash-excellent English major friend forwards flyer to her blog-obsessed friend

  12. girl conveniently forgets promise to herself to limit this year's extracurricular activities

  13. ...thus, blog-obsessed girl seizes opportunity!

Now before I get too carried away with my story in list-frenzy form and end up exposing my embarrassing confession in the list form as well, I must admit that writing for my university newspaper’s blog feels VERY DIFFERENT from writing for my own blog, even though both are (to varying degrees) the same sort of informal personal writing.

You see, I’m required to stick to one category.

I know…quite the mind-boggling madness of a notion for a niche-free personal blog (aka a rather narcissistic place where I muse about anything and everything that strikes my fancy and how it all relates back to yours truly)!

Therefore, after much maddeningly mind-boggling thinking, I finally chose “Health” as my topic. I have some experience and a fair amount of knowledge, although I am by no means an expert. At the very least, I figured it’d be a broad enough subject to accommodate any impulsive tangent I might wander on to. Practical, huh? ;)

I also figured it'd ensure that I wouldn't drone on about the clichéd topic of "relationships, love and dating" for apparently I do enough of it already, if this is any indication.

So, I decided that my first post would be titled “Why More Men Should Take Yoga” and thought up a really catchy first-liner to introduce the article using a mild sexual reference.

“Why More Men Should Take Yoga

Well, besides the fact that they may feel like they’ve stumbled upon a piece of heaven in a room full of women and…mirrors.”

And that, my dear friends, is where I choked.

Because apparently writing for my peersand by that I mean the people with whom I attend the same universityturns me into a self-doubting coward.

It was a sentence that I wouldn’t have hesitated to post on The Laidback Buddhist, but when I write for other people I was surprised to feel a need to censor myself out of fear for being considered inappropriate or unacceptable. Needless to say, I didn’t like that writer’s voice because it wasn’t entirely MY OWN. I had encountered something worse than Bloggler's Block and I had a choice to make. See, I adamantly refused to be dull but then was too scared to follow my own tip to be daring. To write for myself first.

And, oh boy, was it seriously hindering my ability to complete the CT blog add to the problem, now I have DEADLINES to make!

So, there you have It.

My embarrassing confession of the time I forgot to follow my own advice.

I’m happy to report that I kept the original intro and finished writing “Why More Men Should Take Yoga” without restraining what I wanted to say by how I wanted to write it. Granted, the style is slightly different (e.g. more organized and a bit less casual) than my preferred writing style used for my personal blog…but I’m content because it’s still my voice behind my words.

I know this because I somehow managed to seamlessly work in “relationships, love, and dating” into the middle of an article for a "Health & Medicine" category.

No joke! To prove it, I shall proceed to…(narcissistically) quote myself:

“Now before a collegiate mass of single guys eagerly rush over to McComas Gym to flex their muscles for the unsuspecting ladies of yoga-hood during group exercise classes, I ought to warn how a person’s natural aptitude for balance might be an obstacle in their quest for, uh, yoga-enlightened love.”


I laugh at Life, but it seems like Life always gets the last laugh.

23 Musing(s):

keeyit said...

I want to say about this "Why More Men Should Take Yoga" No doubts, everyone of us should take yoga. :)

dnordstrom said...

Should or should not, I wont. I do more than flex my muscles at the gym, fitness is a misunderstood sport that is often more mental than physical. Bodybuilding is probably for me what yoga is for you.

I'm not saying that you specifically are misunderstanding it, though. But I see a lot of people both in an out of the gym that think bodybuilding is about pumping the iron and flexing the guns.

I tell you, when you're getting ready to deadlift a barbell with twice your weight, your physical state won't matter. Your state of mind is the only thing that matters. All bodies can go on until they pass out, but few minds can.

Congratulations, by the way. Health is a great and very broad subject that you'll have a lot of fun with.

Brent said...

First, congrats :) that's really awesome.

Second, you should submit past LB articles. You have a lot of content, this will be easy for you. Expand LB!

Just a thought.

conan_cat said...

lol you sure made me laugh with the last narcastic quote of yourself! XD yoga-enlightened love indeed, i don't think girls will find guys in yoga classes that attractive after seeing them in so many different *angles* through so many mirrors XD

newayz, glad that bloggin brought you to a whole new world! lets sing the Aladdin song~~ A whole new world~~~

erm, i'm carrying myself away.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Joanne, and thanks for adding me. I enjoyed reading your blog so I'm sure you'll do well with your new blogging assignmens. Good luck and keep it up.

Chris C said...

I just wanted to let everyone know that in honor of a special blog milestone my column today is open to the readers to create in the comments section. I have a great list of funny topics, and you can write what you like on any of them. It can be a sentence or two. It can be one hundred words.

But it is yours to create. So come on by and have at it.

raqqash said...

Eheh good job your seaming ;-)
And well, you're still writing for yourself, since you do it because you like writing. So no need for confessions, uh? :-)
Just think of how many new couples (potentially) will be born and it will all be thanks to you!

mikkers said...

congratulations on being published! you are an awesome writer and have tremendous dedication and personal perseverance, all the qualities that make a good and thoughtful blogger. does this mean you will write less on this blog?

Anonymous said...

Congrats Joanne!That is a good first topic. Many will be encourage to take yoga on that, specially men :)

Joanne said...

Keeyit: Agreed. BUT it’s whatever floats your boat, everybody’s different in what makes him/her happy…and who knows, maybe it’s just the wrong time in their life. I mean, I knew about yoga beforehand and it was offered at my health club free for members, but I didn’t really get into it until last year!

Daniel: Yeah, I did some weight-training last year. It was fun. Thanks for the congrats, I’m pretty excited about this whole thing.

Brent: Haha, thanks! Hm, I did think the same thought as well, but I think I’m going to wait a bit and first focus on the category I’m supposed to write for first. I did get the approval from my editor if I wanted write for another category every once in awhile, so haha we’ll see! =)

Conan: LOLs. Yeah, it’s amusing to poke fun at...although when I’m in yoga class I’m not really paying attention anyone else except for my yoga instructor and my own body. Haha, a very suitable song indeed.

Wildcatsthree: Thanks, I’m definitely excited about the challenge.

Chris C: That sounds like a great idea! Definitely will check it out sometime this week. =)

Raqqash: Hahaha, but what if the matchmaker herself is looking for a match, what happens then? ;) LOLs, yeah I’m still pretty surprised by how much I enjoy writing, and blogging especially.

Miki: Thank you, Miki!!! I think I’ve got a rhythm going on the blog, so I’ll still be posting pretty consistently (although, if you look at the numbers in my archive, I’ve been progressively posting less and less for each month). I think I’m used to all the fun blogging brings me, so I’ll continue doing it for my own pleasure. I probably won’t be spending as much time PR’ing my blog (i.e. social networking), though, because I hope to post at least 2-3x a week for the CT.

Thira: Aww, thanks! Yeah, I thought up a lot of topics…but that one was the first one that really called out to me. I don’t know if it’ll convince any guys to try yoga, but at the very least, people will be more aware of what yoga entails…and hopefully, be amused by my words, haha.

dcr said...

I'm "deviously humorous" now? ;-)

To get more guys to yoga classes, advertise it as naked yoga. They'll find out when they get there that that means there's no mats on the floor. By then, the doors are locked so they're stuck.

peteej said...

Funny you mention narcissism - my wife pointed out the "Me and My" title of my blog, rather pointedly I might add. (did you see that? pointed, pointedly? yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about...)

Anyway, being an ex-journalist and current marketing person, I can tell you that what you're feeling is normal and part of the profession. It's writing for an audience. You can still be yourself, in spite of strict editorial guidelines. I think you handled it great.

The Pete (since we're being narcissistic) sends his regards and congratulations. :D

Joanne said...

Dan: Hah! Don’t try to act all innocent as you turn around a tag me with yet another meme…plus, I always thought you fulfilled both those adjectives, so why not combine ‘em? Now this promo idea you have here, is this from personal experience? =P

Pete: Haha, I humbly thank The Pete! It is an interesting challenge (albeit one I’m thoroughly enjoying) to write for a specific audience with a specific topic. Plus, I make sure I understand all the guidelines so I can figure out a way to better bend them for my own needs (hence, I asked if I could write articles for multiple categories, lols).

david said...

You should ask the person in charge of the university's newspaper to just use your blog post for their articles. You get to promote yourself and you will be able to stay true to your voice and opinions.

Joanne said...

David: Haha, that is a thought to consider, but then there's all the legal stuff that I don't want The Laidback Buddhist to have to deal with. HOWEVER, I did notice the other day that there's a trackback plug-in (the CT blog is self-hosted on wordpress), so I'm on the lookout for a suitable opportunity to make use of that, haha.

Holly said...

Congratulations on writing for your university's blog! That's exciting and I really admire the fact that you stayed true to yourself and your writing even though you were writing for people you go to school with. That is definitely a stand up thing to do and it's amazing, congratulations!

Joanne said...

Holly: Thanks for the encouragement! =) I realized in a meeting the other day that blog posts may show up in paper as an actual CT article, so this is definitely going to be a pretty stimulating experience for sure.

Fruit species said...

Congrats, Jo. You can write very well. I am hopeless when comes to writing. It will take forever to complete :)

Joanne said...

Fruit Species: Aw, thank you. Sometimes, it takes me forever as well so I'll just put it aside and let it...dwell a bit, lols. Just keep at it, I think your site is really informative (then again I LOVE fruits).

Erina Hart said...

Don't put yourself down for having difficulties, Joanne. I am so proud of you for getting that position on the Collegiate Times staff! It makes me happy to see that all of your hard work is paying off.

I think you will do well with the topic of Health. You seem to take care of your body and you are active in your yoga.

Your first post is always the hardest. However, I am sure that you will triumph over any obstacles that come your way.

Once again, I am proud of you. I can't stress that enough. You just keep writing and telling all of us about your new posts over at CT. You are doing great!

Joanne said...

Erina: Awww, it's really nice to feel rewarded by doing something you love. I think the first couple weeks of post will be the hardest, actually...since I've yet to find a momentum. I'll have links up to each week's posts over the weekend. =)

meleah rebeccah said...

Well I am happy that you have become an obsessed blogger because you are FABULOUS.

You are in my daily read blog roll starting...NOW

Joanne said...

Meleah Rebeccah: Aww, haha I'm so glad I de-lurked myself ;)

Winston Churchill