Introducing the Alphabet Series - A
Last week I wrote about a friend I have known since I was four. His father was a writer. I remember when we teenagers growing up in NYC and my friend and I would go out at night, come home late and we would find his father writing in his office. His office was stacked with books and papers and I thought it was pretty cool to work in a space like that at all hours of the day and night. His father would always stop what he was doing and talk with us about our evening and he never said - "Please don't bother me, can't you see I am working." He seemed to welcome the interruption and when we finally left his office I could hear the typewriter clicking away. My friend's father wrote books and was a syndicated newspaper columnist. I remember one time going with him to the Western Union office so that he could have his article wired to the newspaper. It was all very romantic for me and made me want to be a writer. But there was something about being a writer I didn't know.
I never spoke to my friend's father about the pressure of deadlines and having to write a column when you didn't really have anything in mind to write about. I was thinking about the pressure of his deadlines as I faced my own. When I decided I wanted to write a blog, I wanted to produce something every week. Before I ever published my first post I wrote over twenty posts so that I would be ahead of the game. That made my early posting easy as all I did was look over what I had written, edit it and post it. Occasionally I would add a new post when something struck me, but I had no pressure to write something new every week. But, now I do.
I have a few more "old" post that I can post in a pinch, but for the last few weeks I have been writing something new every week. I like doing this as it makes my post more in synch with what I am currently thinking, but I don't like the pressure of having to come up with something new each week.
Last night I woke up around 3am with a thought. I would write an Alphabet Series. Sort of like Sue Grafton who has written a mystery series that began with A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar and she is now working on Y. I thought I could write a post about an A word. I thought of acceptance, allow, achieve and annoy. I could write a different post about each of those A words along with any others that crossed my mind. Then I could write one on balance, basics, branding and bamboozle. The possibilities are endless. I don't have to go through the alphabet a letter at a time. I might just focus on some A words and then move over to B or just skip around. I haven't decided yet. But I have decided I am going to write an Alphabet Series and I am going to start with Annoy.
I can be annoying. Not really to myself. But I have heard others use this word when looking my way. My older sister was the first. When she became a teenager, I was not allowed in her bedroom without her permission. I was seven years younger and since she was my only sibling when I wanted someone to play with she was my default. Looking back on it I can see why she did not particularly want me hanging around, but then I was just hungry for another A word - attention. Since I was not allowed inside her room without permission I would camp outside her door and when she ignored me I would put my toe across the threshold and tell her that I had my toe in her room. I think we can agree that was an annoying thing, but it was effective. She would tell me to go away and when I persisted she would raise her voice and suddenly we were engaged in an interaction and I was no longer hungry for attention. They say negative attention is better than not and I was living proof of that.
My annoying ways continue. I would like to think I have tempered them, but they still come from the same need for attention. When I want attention I inject myself into someone's space and try to engage them. I use humor, engaging questions and now I resort to wanting to show them something I have discovered on youtube, instagram or other social media. While I don't get the same protests, I can tell that sometimes I overstay my welcome.
I have begun to think that maybe my desire for attention might have something to do with the fact that my father was doctor and an administrator in a hospital and I never got to see him work. I had some vague idea about how he spent his time, and one time I surprised him in his office and saw him sitting at his desk with his feet up on it. I thought that was pretty cool and it made me like my dad more. But he wasn't around that much and unlike my friend's father I couldn't regularly drop by his office and chat with him when I wanted. I don't think I got as much of his attention as I would have liked and have spent a good part of my life trying to fill up that void.
So if I happen to come into your space (which I am doing now) and I start to annoy you and you have had enough of me, please just say something akin to "Hey, I like the Alphabet series idea and am looking forward to when you do one on Alone. Which is how I would like to be left now." I will leave and do my best to give myself the attention I need and not stick my toe across your threshold for at least another week when I am going to have to come up with another post. Maybe B for Bother. Or hopefully B for Better - as in better able to take care of my own needs.