Ramona from Happily Writing has quite kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award, a pass-along award for bloggers! I have a bit of a confession before I begin this: I’ve been nominated for a couple of these tag awards before and always quietly resisted because, embarrassingly, I don’t follow all that many blogs to nominate in return and my general anti-socialness makes saying “Hey, I nominated you for X thing!” a somewhat more over-thinking worthy proposition than it should be.
The other thing is, of course, the slight uncomfortableness of still not having changed my username on this blog to my “actual” pen name, the one I plan to use for writing (because I’ve been blogging here for two years now, and at this point it is my “social media presence” dammit). Using a silly name from my first novel (aged 10) sounded like a good idea way back when, not so much so when there are actual people calling you buy it. I shall get around to changing it. Soon!
But seeing as how I’ve decided to try and push myself to do things I usually wouldn’t, let’s give this a shot.
Firstly, three things I’ve learned since I’ve grown up:
(Grown up? I count as a grown up now? Christ).
1. “Take a deep breath” sounds like the stupidest advice ever, but really isn’t. You just have to actually give it a go. A few long yoga breaths and usually I’m not fuming anymore. Still irritated probably, but not fuming.
2. 80% of success is just showing up/Just do it. Woody Allen and Nike are both saying basically the same thing here: You’re never going to accomplish anything unless you move your ass and try. I never got that until late in high school, and I’m still trying to work towards it. It’s easy to do what is simple and comfortable, but infinitely more worthwhile do the things that are hard and intimidating. For me, that means meeting new people, going places I haven’t been before, and taking risks.
3. It’s okay to fudge the numbers. It says over there that I’ve been writing daily for going on two years. This isn’t true. There was a space between Year One and Year Two where I was horridly undisciplined, and when I travel I don’t write daily but do a cumulative total. These things may not be to the letter of the law, but if I didn’t make allowances for being human I would have given up on the first week. Do your best. Try hard. But ultimately what matters is the big picture.
Secondly, two unsung/under-appreciated heroes:
1. David Pace Wigransky, who was actually the subject of some of my first blog posts (way back in April 2011). As a 14-year-old boy, David wrote a letter to the Saturday Review of Literature on the subject of comic books. This may not sound like very much, but back when he wrote it comics were being targeted as the source of everything from serial killers to juvenile delinquency, mostly by a “Dr.” Wertham, and towns all across America were burning them lest they corrupt their children (this would, eventually, lead to the silliness and inanity of 50′s comics, when creativity was killed and thousands of creators were laid off). David’s letter became a rallying point for the anti-censorship side, and he quite eloquently points out the logical flaws in Wertham’s arguments against comics (for one: if millions of kids read comics, it’s likely that many delinquent kids will read them too, but unlikely that comics are the source of the delinquency). For doing that at such a young age, David is one of my heroes.
2. Elisha Otis, who gets rather little credit for perfecting a major part of our daily lives. Back when Otis was alive (the 1850′s) elevators were a horribly dangerous system, useful only for moving freight, because if the rope snapped it would plummet to the ground and smush everyone onboard. Otis invented the safety elevator, which let the public feel comfortable using elevators and also made it possible to put them in skyscrapers.
Finally, the people I would like to nominate for this:
1. There always is one more story to be told…(Ricarda Tesch). I love Ricarda’s blog for her adoration of books, her craziness/refusal to take life too seriously, and our shared affection for fanfic.
2. Whoosh (Morgan M. Jordahl). This is a blog I only found recently, but one that is definitely awesome. Between Morgan’s hilarious deconstruction of rom-coms (notably Easy A) and her own personal stories, it is totally worth a read.
3. The Write Frame of Mind (John Hargis) John’s honesty about his efforts at publishing and the way he opens up his works in his posts are what I like about this blog. Plus, the steampunk/antiques angle never hurts.
And second-finally (additionally? fuck. It’s late), what these people have to write/pick, if they so desire:
1. Why they started blogging.
2. Two unknown facts about them.
3. One embarrassing childhood story (power corrupts. My bad).
4. Their own nominees, up to 5.