Need a Gimmick


Seems like lots of people these days are having their blogs made into movies or writing blogs and then making special guest appearances on CSI or going on a talk show or a radio program or a world tour or something. The trick is to have a focus; something compelling and exciting that makes your readers want to come back every day. For instance, we went to see Julia and Julia a couple of weekends ago and the "thing" in that is this woman deciding to make every recipe from Julia Child's French cookbook in one year and to blog about it every day (after the movie, Padhraig said he was going to give himself one year to make every recipe in the movie. All six of them). Then I read an article in The New Yorker this week about a man who decided to force his family in New York to try to live without contributing to the failure of the planet (i.e. produce no garbage, recycle, use cloth diapers on the baby, eat by candlelight, walk everywhere, stop using toilet paper). They created a documentary about his experiment and even though the writer of The New Yorker article was snarky about it, the writer has the attention of a large audience in part b/c of his blog (he has also written other books, though none as popular, I don't think).

These blogs are in some ways the written equivalent of a reality show; one like Ruby, for example, which follows the weight loss of a woman in Louisiana as she diets and exercises and struggles to get her weight to a healthy number.

So, I guess I need a gimmick, preferably one that has a one or two or ten year cycle. It also has to be something that doesn't require a person to quit her job or travel too often. And it must have the potential to evolve or change on a regular basis. Like, I could say that one of my goals would be to adopt a baby or become a foster parent, but that's a slow, slow process. Most entries would be: "Day 27: Still waiting for baby to arrive. Day 156: Saw a Pampers commercial and realized I don't know a thing about absorbency."

A task closer to what I could manage would be to write a book in one year, but there's nothing more boring than reading a blog about writing a book. The whole blog phenomenon anyway is an intense form of weird self-absorption. I could read a book a day and review it. I could attempt to identify a new type of fauna each day, take a cat picture, discover a new part of Philadelphia, make crank phone calls, follow several TV shows (my mother would kill me if I did this), do what Natalie Dee and her husband do which is to post a cartoon every day. Or like the daily observation on the subway. I see a lot of interesting things on the subway (most commonly, some form of child abuse or another). There's this one retarded guy I see all the time. He talks really loud with his mouth hanging open in a voice just like Lenny from Of Mice and Men. He's always talking to the person next to him, but I'm never sure if the two know each other or if he just frequently strikes up conversations with strangers. I avoid him. Maybe just a general South Philly blog with the window photos (I have a few; just don't have my cord to move them from my camera to the computer today).

Will think more about it.

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