My, How Times Flies #Anniversary #Blogging

According to WordPress, I registered on 15 years ago. I wasn’t planning to post anything today, but when this image popped up in my notifications, I took it as a sign that I should write … something.

Alas, words do not pour out of me, at least not onto paper or my computer screen. They whirl around in my head like a cat chasing its tail. As soon as I sit down to write, they vanish, not even giving me a chance to corral some or even a few.

When I do manage to write, it’s with a clean slate and is almost always prompted by something I read.

I am by nature a mimic. I can’t seem to help myself. For example, many years ago when I was a quickly-going-insane-doctoral student, I had a professor whose speech was quite distinctive. She had a smoky drawl that, without intending to, I started to mimic for the pleasure of my husband and other students. One evening I was talking on the phone with another student, relating to her something that this professor had said to me. Before I could finish, the student exclaimed, “My god, Marie, you sound just like her!”

Oops. Unaware of what I was doing, I had slipped into the professor’s speech. From that night forward, I put all my efforts into suppressing my mimicry. This particular professor did not have a sense of humor and at the time, she also held the purse strings of my research assistantship.

My mimicry is not limited to speech. When I’m reading and I’m taken with a particular format or wordplay, I naturally try to imitate it. Not intentionally. I don’t say to myself, “Hey, I really like how that writer develops a sense of urgency with a series of run-on sentences so I’ll do the exact same thing.” No, I think I’m just inspired, but, still, I have to be careful to not mimic the writer. I want my writing to be original … at least as much as it can be given that my slate is never completely blank.

And look at that … I just wrote almost 350 words.


31 thoughts on “My, How Times Flies #Anniversary #Blogging

  1. Congratulations!!! Wow, I did not know this about you. You are a chameleon haha. So good your professor didn’t hear you. I went to lunch with a friend when I was a senior and blabbed about my prof in very uncomplimentary terms. I even made a comment about her looks! (I was 21 and stupid). Turns out she was seated with colleagues at the table behind me. One of my worst moments. I still think about how embarrassing for her if her colleagues heard me say what I did about her. I was mortified which is an icky fuzzy feeling but felt her pain more like a blade, you know? Maybe they never heard….

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  2. Congratulations. I adore your admission that you wanted to write like someone using run-on sentences but then thought better of it. We all find our way, if we pay attention.

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    1. Oh, thank you, Merril! I’m blushing πŸ™‚ I wish I was better at imitating voices, even though it would get me in trouble. Seems like the only people I tend to imitate are those who get on my nerves … lol.

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  3. First, congratulations on your blgoversary, Marie! Second, I didn’t know you were in a doctoral program at one point. Third, I also have mimicked the speech patterns of others, thinking my own was boring and theirs more colorful. So how interesting to discover that you also mimicked your professors speech pattern. 😊😊😊

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    1. Thank you! And good point about mimicking because we think our own speech is boring. Now that I think about it, when I was quite young I was sent to a speech therapist because I had (according to my school) difficulty pronouncing “th” as in birthday, earth, etc. Unfortunately, the therapy didn’t quite stick. I still have difficulty with those words and a host of others. But now I wonder if that’s one reason why I came to mimic people. Somehow, trying someone else’s speech made speaking in general easier for me πŸ˜‰


  4. I think we are all inspired, in some way, by what we read. In fact there are some books on the craft of writing (can’t remember which ones) that recommend you write in the style of your favorite writer as a writing practice. Also, I remember in a university literature course we were asked to write an essay using James Joyce’s style of writing. πŸ™‚

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