Day 16: Solving All Your Problems! (How to write like ME)

For today’s “Build a Better Blog” task, I get to solve all of your problems!



Correction: I get to solve ONE of your problems.

Let’s not try and catch a whale when all we have is a pole and one worm.

So what problems do you have that I can solve? I had to answer that question myself in order to write this fabulous post. In order to do this, I just answered the question FOR myself. What are MY problems?

Yes, the list was long. It started with ‘broken ankle*’ and continued on through ‘dislocated jaw,’ ‘imperfect vision,’ and ‘dislikes making phone calls.’ At this point, I realized that I don’t know how to fix my own problems. Yet. If anybody knows why in the world I dislike making phone calls so much and how to change that, do tell.

I then switched back to trying to solve your problems and thought I could at least offer some advice: how to write cool blog entries like Larrie.

Step one: Hate English. My 7th grade English teacher sent me to the Vice Principal’s office. He told me I was supposed to go to the higher English class. He couldn’t bully me into being in that class, thank you very much. I continued in high school taking the regular English classes because I told me teachers that I didn’t like English. They didn’t include my vocab/spelling tests in the bell curve grades for the class. (I’m such a word geek.) Then, my freshman year at BYU, I decided to scrap the Accounting degree and declare myself an English major. My high school AP Calculus teacher was very upset with me.

Step two: Write in lots of journals. I had a journal when I was younger. I mostly only wrote in it when I had mono in fourth grade and then again for a Young Woman’s Personal Progress goal. Then I signed up for a creative writing class my senior year. I hated the teacher, but I still wrote in my journal, as required. It became addicting. My friends gave me journals for birthdays and Christmases. I wrote in those. Sometimes I drew in them.

Step three: Come from a facetious family. I don’t have a choice. I am sarcastic. I really don’t compare to my siblings, though. I’m the quiet one. Promise. Everyone else is loudly facetious. It probably comes out when I write, though. Probably.

Step four: Be creative. You might have to work on this one over a very long time. Start with drawing books in preschool, graduate to a comic strip about unlucky Natey the fish in 6th grade, then draw the cartoon for the high school newspaper. Transfer this to attempts at creative writing and then evolve into a random blogger – emphasis on random.

Step five: STAY AWAY FROM BE-VERBS. Writing with be verbs and adverbs is dull writing. It’s like Mrs. Lake would say in high school: show, don’t tell. Which of the following sentences would you rather read? I was writing frequently. OR I wrote mini novellas every night about the quiet knight at the round table, the rat hanging out at Elsinore castle, and the alcoholics anonymous meeting with Puck, Antigone, Ismene and Linda Loman in attendance.

Step six: Read interesting writing. I mentioned some of the blogs I like to read already. That’s a start. The more you read, the better you write. I read Dave Barry when I have the time. He’s mighty hilarious. There’s also Mark Twain, David Sedaris, James Thurber, Will Rogers, Dr. Seuss, and Ann Coulter**.

*I broke my ankle as a kid, playing soccer (surprise). I remember sitting in the dining room showing the “double ankle” to my dad who examined me and determined that I was okay. He’s a chemical engineer turned project manager turned best-selling author, not a doctor. He sent me on my way and years later, an x-ray revealed the now floating bone fragment and I still have a double ankle.



6 thoughts on “Day 16: Solving All Your Problems! (How to write like ME)

  1. What do I do if I don’t draw? How can I draw comics if I suck at it? All I do is doodle. And if I’m 30? I don’t know if you realize this, but I’ve already passed preschool as well as 6th grade. And the high school newspaper? I don’t think they’ll let a 30 year old in that club. Solve THAT problem, will ya?

    (and, by the way… I despised English throughout my school career as well. Until I went to college and I considered being an English major… but then I dropped out and have yet to go back!)


  2. @clancy – train your kids… THEY STILL HAVE A CHANCE. it’s just too late for you… except I really really like your blog so doesn’t that mean that you don’t have to try and be like me, but that I’m just trying to be like you?

    @braden – I saw her at Emigration a few months back, wearing her sandals and a horizontally-striped shirt – some things never change


  3. I guess we’re trying to be like each other. You’ll have to look at my blog post today. There’s all sorts of Larrie-robbing going on. Amazing the influence people have over each other, even over the internet. I haven’t seen you for 4.5 years and you’re changing the way I do things. I’m all but “LOL” cured. It’s a beautiful thing.


  4. hi there, first-timer here. sent from clancy. who, funnily enough…i’ve never met in person either. but i like her muchly and she mentioned you twice in her posting. so i thought i’d come on over for a little looky-loo. and i wasn’t disappointed! hilarious, sarcastic, well-written. if i had more time i would stay longer. unfortunately i am hearing the call of my pillow and need to answer it. but that doesn’t mean i won’t be back. because i will, definitely. 🙂


  5. @clancy – please don’t be mad that I haven’t posted a remark about your awesomeness on your blog yet… I’m scheduling time in for it this weekend. Also, the fact that you are cured is a very beautiful thing. Very.

    @lynsey – thanks for stopping by. Hope you do come back and have a good laugh with me. I’ve added your fab blog to my list of must reads for this weekend. Should be a good weekend what with hitting up Clancy’s online world and meeting a new friend. And that’s just what’s happening on the internet.


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