The world of writing — and blocking

May 03

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been somewhat of a writer.

Rumor is, I used to do it at a young age and slid it under a door to my aunt when she was once visiting. I don’t remember that, but she once told me that.

When I was in high school, writing and English classes were always my strong point. Science and math? I was awful. But I could do very well in the English and writing classes. In fact, by the time I graduated from high school, I was already working and writing for the local weekly newspaper. One of my favorite teachers gave me a leather portfolio to store stories for future use.

Writing was in the future, it appeared.

That continued in college, where getting through basic algebra classes required me utilizing some others in class to try and explain things on a more simple level. Thankfully, I did well enough to allow those grades to transfer from the two-year school I first attended to my eventual four-year school.

When I got to my second college, five years or so later, I was told I needed to take four semesters of a foreign language. I never had to do it in high school, so I was a bit worried. Those four classes were some of the hardest I ever took. I went with French because I enjoy traveling to Montreal and thought it would come in handy.

You know what I found out?

I read and wrote it better than I spoke or understood it. Go figure.

If you check out the archives on this site, you’ll see it dates to 2005. And when checking that drop-down menu, you’ll see months and such with a number after in parentheses. That number shows the amount of posts for that certain month. Over the years, the posts go up and down and such. But I’ve always found a way to write. And it’s come naturally.

Obviously, there needs to be a point to all of this, right?

Kind of.

Part of the reason of this post is to write. I’ve recently — likely because of having this site and the Rattling Chains blog — been hitting a roadblock with writing. I’ve struggled. But it’s also in part because I have a few writing projects I’m slowly working on that I am really excited about. And that’s been in my mind.

See, I have the chance to write a few in-depth pieces on some people I’ve met over the past couple of years.

One of those will easily make a book if I do it right. The other I’m hoping to turn into a Kindle Single or something along those lines. It will take a lot of work, dedication and time. But I look forward to it.

Here’s the thing — I don’t expect to get rich off any of it. As a writer, like many others, my dream has been to write a book. I’m not concerned about making millions. I’m concerned about doing it right, telling the full story and, in the end, having something I’m proud to call my own. Will it get picked up by a publisher? Will I self-publish? Who knows. But the goal, truthfully, would be just to do it and then go from there.

See, I write because it’s what I do. I watch as people I graduated with have successful careers and do other things in this world. I’m an out-of-work journalist who sees more and more from my field be in the same position each week. It’s a tough market and it’s tougher by the day.

But I write. No matter why I was one who got this “skill,” I did. And though riches won’t likely follow, it’s what I do. But I write because it’s what I do. And it is who I am.

Of course, during all of this, I am still taking a lot of time to apply for jobs, interview when I get to that point, and search for more jobs. That is a full-time job in its own right.

Add all of these together and it can lead for a lot of writing things going through my mind!

I guess the point of this post is to let the readers of this blog know what’s up. That’s why, sometimes, you’ll see me go a day or two extra without a post. The readership of this blog isn’t through the roof, but those of you who do come and visit, I appreciate and want to keep in the “loop,” per say.

The two projects I want to do likely won’t start for a little while. I need to make sure I have everything lined up. But you can bet that during the process, I’ll be giving clips and such here on the blog. Why wouldn’t I, right?

Now to the final reason for this post.

It may seem like it was a random post full of nothing but ideas and such. But in the end, it was also a way for me to put everything out there. To get my thoughts on paper. As you can see, I have a lot of things rolling around in my melon. So hopefully this will help me organize those things, get a plan and attack.

The reality is, I have time to do a lot of these things. I just need to make it work. It doesn’t have to be a full-time job to have side writing projects — as I’ve proved (I’ve done blogs while employed and my job hunt is a full-time job now, so I do the writing when done with those things each day). And, I just need to figure out how to get my thoughts out there on one subject and get through this whole blocking thing.

So the reality was this post is hopefully therapeutic. And I thank you for getting through this and “listening!”

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook


  1. Jeff Soderquist /

    Very well thought out post. I always enjoy reading about people’s reasons for writing and the processes they go through to produce work. I’ve been doing more and more writing along side my photography, and find it very therapeutic. Though I must admit grammar and spelling are not my strong point. I look forward to following your blog and twitter feed.

    • Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate the words. And keep plugging away. I love writing about my photos, too, because though I think a lot of photos can stand on their own, it’s nice to put the thoughts of the photographer etc.

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