Taking the Mic: Thoughts on NaBloPoMo (Part 1)

on the air

Rachelle (not Rochelle) over at A Rich, Full Life In Spite of It has referred to posting on a blog as “taking the mic.”  I hadn’t thought of blogging in quite that way, but she’s right, you know?

Among the things I’ve wanted to do for years but have been too afraid to try is standing up in front of total strangers and taking the mic, either for karaoke (and I don’t even drink) or to perform an original comedy routine (à la Jerry Seinfeld).  But I am a lily-livered chicken-coward and I doubt that I will ever have the guts to fulfill either of these.

I actually got close once.  I did stand and take the mic to sing a Toby Keith song at a company Christmas party a few years back.  But the folks in attendance were far from strangers.  I knew everyone and kind of wanted to show off.  Which is laughable, as my singing is of the quality that causes the neighbor dogs to howl in pain.  Hmm, what did they put in that egg nog?

The idea of taking the mic also reminds me of my years working for a major phone company.  At the start of my shift, I’d sit down at the console, adjust my chair and don my headphones.  As I entered my code to log into the workstation and receive my first call of the day, I felt like a conductor at Carnegie Hall when he steps up to the orchestra, taps his music stand and raises his baton.  It’s show time, ladies and gentlemen!

Which is exactly what we do, fellow bloggers.  We take the mic.

And during the month of November, our crazy NaBloPoMo posse do this every day for thirty days.  We take the mic because we have something to say.  Even on those days when we don’t think we do.

Talk About Yourself

I know how this song goes.  We sit down at our keyboards with heavy hearts, clueless about what on earth we can say that we haven’t already said.  The empty page mocks us, as it does all writers.

When I was a child and the family was preparing to have dinner guests whom I had not met, I would ask my mother:  What should I talk about?  I was afraid of sitting at the dinner table like a silent lump while my parents had to embarrassedly apologize that I was shy.

But I didn’t want that to happen!  My parents always had the same answer:  Talk about yourself.  And that, dear bloggers, is the advice I have to offer for NaBloPoMo.  Talk about yourself.

What’s that you say?  Your life is boring and no one would be interested?  You’d be surprised to learn otherwise.

Here are just a few ideas for talking (blogging) about yourself:

Tell us about your favorite uncle when you were growing up.  What did he do to make you feel special?  Tell us about your most embarrassing moment as a kid and your most embarrassing moment as an adult.  Compare and contrast, as all those tests back in school used to say.  Tell us about the thing you hated most in junior high.  And the one food you would never eat no matter how many times your mother tried to force it on you.  Was it liver?  Spinach?  Brussels sprouts?  Tell us about it.

As you can see, your formative years are a gold mine of ideas.

Or, look out your window.  Describe what you see and what you would really rather be seeing.  What would you like to have across the street?  Your favorite department store?  A field of golden daffodils?  A casino?  Your BFF’s house?

I think about kids a lot, as I have been spending a considerable amount of time with my one year old grandniece lately.  So:  Tell us about the day one of your children (or a nephew/niece) was born.  Or your kid’s first day of school.  Or the time your kid did something really stupid that frightened the bejabbers out of you.

Tell us about the hobby you’ve never pursued but would like to try.  What is it about rock climbing or skydiving or stamp collecting or gourmet cooking that sounds exciting?  What has kept you from trying it?  What would convince you to give it a chance?

Tell us about the furniture in your house or apartment.  Yes, the furniture.  Where did you get each piece?  Is anything an heirloom?  Tell about how it was passed down to you.  Where did you purchase your chairs and beds and sofas?  At a discount store?  From an ad in the newspaper?  From an eBay auction?  Did you get a real bargain?  Did you pay too much and then your dog/cat/kid barfed all over it?

Don’t Be Afraid to “Tell On Yourself”

Or tell us about your first car.  Did you name it?  Was it a real hoopty?  Did it ever leave you on the side of the road in the middle of the night?  Did anything memorable happen in that hunk o’ junk?  Here’s a link to my favorite Dan Seals song to get you started:  My Old Yellow Car  (If you’d like to make fun of my love of all things from the ‘70s, by all means, blog about that.  You have my permission.)

Okay, now you’re making me reminisce about my first car.  When I took ownership of that eleven year old bright blue Plymouth, it already had about a zillion miles on it.  One of my friends named it “the mouth” because the PLY had fallen off its rear end sometime in its checkered past.  I went crying to my dad when it broke down a few days after I got it.  It was then that I learned my first lesson about automobile maintenance:  The owner does have to feed it gasoline every now and then.  Oh, and I almost forgot!  Tell us about how you got rid of that car when its days with you were done.  In my case, The Mouth met its demise at the hands of an elderly gentleman driving up a blind hill on the wrong side of the road.  Now that I had learned all about gasoline, it was time for a lesson in insurance claims.  Vocabulary word of the day is “totaled.”

See?  I’m not afraid to make fun of myself.  Of course, this isn’t my current self, this is my past self.  A little humor goes a long way.  Don’t be afraid to “tell on yourself.”

Still not enough inspiration?  Check out your daily prompt on the WordPress Daily Post or the DP Challenge (weekly writing challenges).

I will do my best to come up with some more ideas for you next week.  In the meantime, keep plugging away.  Together, we can do it!


NaBloPoMo November 2013

5 thoughts on “Taking the Mic: Thoughts on NaBloPoMo (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Telling Your Story: Thoughts on NaBloPoMo (Part 2) | A Map of California

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