By Dave Fox
Seattle, Washington 

Most people in the English-speaking world know that “Bonjour” is the French word for “Hello.” But did you know that in France, if you’ve already said bonjour to someone once that day, you can say “re-bonjour” when you see them a second time?

Speaking of saying hello again, I’m on a mission to jump-start this blog after many months of slothishness. I figured out a couple of months ago the reason I was blogging so little was that I got caught up in the whole “social networking” phenomenon on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve come to realize that “social networking” is often just a fancy word for “procrastination.”

This became the topic of my August humor column, Back to Basics: How Social Networking Nearly Ruined My Perfectly Mediocre Writing Career. That was my first humor column in many months, and my attempt to start writing things of substance again. I followed it up in September with an article about an alleged homeopathic jet lag cure.

One of the things about writing — especially humor writing — is you have to keep doing it or you get out of shape. It’s just like playing a sport or a musical instrument, or speaking a foreign language. If you don’t keep it up, your skills weaken… but… you can get them back into shape relatively quickly if you don’t go for too long without practicing.

I was out last week with my friend, Solomon Davis, who is, among other things, a professional storyteller. (If you’re in Seattle, check out his funny and poignant one-man show, “Remember Being Born?” at Taproot Theatre, Friday nights through October 23.) I lamented to Solomon that now that my 14th season of European tour guiding is over, I’m finding myself deliberating over how to best spend my time.

A common problem among people afflicted with creative minds is we have a tendency to take on too many projects, and it takes us forever to finish any one of them. I told Solomon I’ve figured out I need to pick one project and fling myself into it whole-heartedly rather than skimming the surface of lots of stuff. But it’s tough to choose between revisiting my first attempt at writing a novel, banging out a follow-up to my first book of travel humor essays, growing my travel journaling tour program, putting together a storytelling performance of my own, or curling into the fetal position under my desk with a bottle of whiskey and whimpering. They are all equally tempting, but I only have time for one or two of them.

Solomon’s advice to me: “You should start a blog and document all the things you’re working on.”

“A blog?” I thought. “A blog? Oh, that thing?” I think I already have one of those.”

I learned a long time ago that I should not write about what I am going to write about, because invariably, things come up, and I need up not writing what I promised to write. But against my better judgment, I am officially announcing right now that I am going to try, try, try to start blogging more frequently than I have been these last few months… with a bit of a change in material. I’ll still be posting my idiotic humor rants from time to time, but I’m also going to get a bit more (brace yourself) serious, and write more about the creative process, my own creative endeavors, and whatever else seems to fit. And I’m going to try to get back to blogging several times a week.

If you’ve read my blog in the past, thanks for sticking around. If you’re new here, welcome. Feedback, questions, fan mail, and insults are always welcome at [email protected].


[Photo: Jonathan Lundqvist]

Published on Tuesday, October 6, 2009

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