Templates

I like filling out forms. Is that weird? I like knowing what sort of information people are looking for so that I don’t have to think so hard about what to say. I like structure. As my Dad might have said once (and if he didn’t, the voice in my head that sounds like him did), “You can’t think outside the box until you’re in a box.”

Good ol Dad.

It’s one of the hardest parts of adulting, really. Creating your own box. I’m going off on a tangent now, but I think maybe that’s why people hold onto traditions with vice-like grips. We need structure, us humans. We need to know the shape of things. We need definitions and rules and purpose we can all agree on.

While I’m rambling, I’ll go ahead and tell you what I’ve been up to lately. I’ve an idea to improve myself, so I’ve been listening to self-help, go-getum kind of books. I’ll review them if I can figure a way to review a self-help book without proof of concept. I’ll definitely review them if I suddenly become something I wasn’t before. But they have me thinking about goal-setting. About knowing what I want and why I want it. Step-by-step instructions on how to formulate a plan from scratch, and it made me realize (I have so many realizations that I think I may need a different word for it – or maybe a section of my blog entitled “Daily Epiphanies” – something more seemingly profound than mere “Shower Thoughts“, even if they never lead me anywhere) —

I have to start over. I just digressed from a tangent to a digression (something my Dad labels “Sequencing,” which is probably the title of something I’ll write sooner or later).

Ahem.

So I had this epiphany that I have been defining myself by what I do not want. I look around, and I point at people and say, “I don’t want to be him,” and, “I could never be her.” I say, “I don’t want to be a smoker,” and “I don’t want to be overweight,” and “I don’t want to be a salesman,” and “I don’t want to do this or that or the other thing.”

All this talk of what I don’t want, I never stopped to put into words what I do. Until a couple of years ago when I decided that I was a writer. It wasn’t a decision that I made, really, but another one of those epiphanies I was talking about. I wrote a lot when I was young. Tried again some time later. Gave up the ghost, and them BAM! I done got straight possessed.

Building on that – the I’m a writer whether I want to be or not (I do) – I’m starting to add things to it. Dogfather, I mentioned previously. Musician, which is inexorably linked to my being a writer. A good son, whatever that means. A good brother. A good friend if I can figure out how to do that and still be a complete person on my own. Other things, I’m sure. I’m reading/listening to these books in an effort to build myself a template. A “How to be a person” handbook.

Energy Follows Action

This is what I’m working with for the now. It’s something gleaned from Zig Ziglar, and I’m sure it’s a misquote, but it’s close enough to be considered “the gist.” Essentially, it’s an acknowledgement that getting started SUCKS, but once you’re in it, you’re in it.

Maybe that’s true enough. It’s true today, anyway, as is evidenced by not one, but two of these Hofflebrockianismic ranticles.

Templates

Going allll the way back to what I was thinking about before I ran off and unloaded on you…

I like forms to fill out, so I’m creating a template for reviews. I just finished reading up on what a movie review looks like, and I have some thoughts. Mostly about what would be interesting to know before I start dissecting how, when, and why the main character Saves The Cat.

  • Movie Title
  • Year
  • Writer
  • Director
  • Actors
  • Budget
  • Earnings
  • Location vs Setting
  • Key grip (mostly because I don’t know exactly what they do, and I think it’s sort of funny that we go ’round pretending there aren’t a ton of people required to make a movie)

I may also find myself looking up random facts about these people, such as

  • Pets’ names
  • Zodiac sign
  • Quotes attributed
  • Arrest records
  • Other

I include these because the internet is a wormhole, and if I get sucked in, I want to have at least some idea of where I’m heading.

Et Cetera

While I’m at this template-building stuff, I might go ahead and think about how to end these random bits of whatever this sort of post is. I feel like they just end when I run out of steam.

It’s starting to feel lazy.

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