November 24, 2016

The Irony of Writing by Tandy Balson

The irony was not lost on me.  I had been putting off writing this month’s blog post because I couldn’t think of anything to say.  Our prompt is to write about a time we were stripped bare and not able to write.  My difficulty was coming up with a specific time this has happened to me.  My subconscious mind shouted, “How about right now?”

My deadline was in mere hours and I needed to focus.  No ideas were coming but I had fifteen minutes before I needed to leave for an appointment so knew I should at least get a thought or two down on paper. Instead, my gift of procrastination took over. I set up the ironing board and worked on making my husband’s shirts wrinkle-free! I know I’m in avoidance when I choose ironing over writing!

As I ironed, I remembered a quote I’d seen on a t-shirt.  It said:  Irony – the opposite of wrinkly. I’d been looking for a place to use this quote and realized I’d just found it. My mind was wrinkly and thoughts were getting caught in those deep crevices.  If I could smooth out my thoughts I knew the words would come.  Perhaps the irony was just what was needed.

My writing mainly consists of short inspirational pieces that are posted online twice a week. Inspiration for these comes from events in my life or conversations I overhear. As an observer of life, there is usually plenty of material. In the times of creative abundance, I write as much as possible and save the extra stories in a file marked “Draft” on the computer.  This file is like an insurance policy. I know there will be occasions when I am not productive. For one reason or another, I am unable to string words together into a cohesive story.

Knowing I have backup material relieves the pressure of having to come up with a new idea. Sometimes I use one of these stories. Other times just looking through the titles springboards me into a new thought to write about.  I also have a file of pictures I’ve taken.  More than once I have looked through the pictures and been inspired to write about one of them.

These solutions are good when I can choose my topic.  Writing to theme is always more of a challenge for me.  Maybe what I did today works best.  First I engaged in a mindless activity and let my subconscious come up with an idea. Next, I sat at the computer and invited my subconscious to connect with my fingers.  Before I knew it, words had formed.  In order to write, I had to free myself of the need to write.  That plays directly into my sense of irony!


  1. I got such a kick out of your post today, Tandy! Thanks for a great start to my day!

  2. Tracy, thank you for appreciating my humour!

  3. I will never look at the word Irony quite the same again ;)I like humour in an article, especially when the topic is a difficult one. Great job.

  4. "In order to write, I had to free myself of the need to write." So very true! Happens to me all the time. Thanks, Tandy.

  5. You've given me something to chuckle about, Tandy, and that got my attention, which should help me remember your plan. You have also given some excellent writing tips. I love your idea to have a back-up file on your computer. What a timely cost-effective insurance policy.


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