People often cite the importance of lowering expectations. For instance, if I have just begun a writing project that I hope will one day blossom into a full-fledged novel, it might be in my best interest to lower expectations – for instance, by telling family and friends that it will likely turn out to be a lengthy writing exercise, or if I’m lucky, a short story or a self-published chapbook, when all is said and done. That way, if I do fail, no one will hold it against me.
But I have decided to take a different tack. Instead of lowering expectations, I try to raise expectations impossibly high. Like, instead of letting people know that I am trying my hand at writing a novel, I instead proclaim – both boisterously and repeatedly – that I am working on a heptalogy that will sweep the nation and make me heir to the likes of J. K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin, despite the fact that I don’t even have any initials in my pen name. I even promise my family and friends that, once I clear the 50 million books sold globally benchmark, I will take them all out to dinner, to a really really nice restaurant.
Of course, they won’t likely believe that I will reach my stated goal. So essentially, this unreasonably-high-expectation approach accomplishes the same overall effect as lowering expectations: It takes the pressure off me, and allows me wiggle room if I do fail. But on the plus side, it is way more optimistic!
I am never quite sure whether I should “punch up” or “spruce up” the language.
So rather than putting the finishing touches on this piece and submitting it for publication, I’ve instead decided to pour myself a glass of wine, take the last remaining Percocet from my root canal last year, stare at the textured patterns in my stucco ceiling, and contemplate all the (if you ask me, quite significant) differing implications of “punching” versus “sprucing” up language as it applies to my forthcoming listicle about the thirteen most unflattering dresses worn at this year’s Academy Awards™. Which will be coming soon to a pop culture, and/or fashion, and/or entertainment, and/or Hollywood gossip, and/or serious news outlet desperate for advertising revenue, website near you.
But not until I finish the damned thing.
Go ahead haiku
With your perfect syllables
Showing off once more
The typical haiku
Has 5 then 7 then 5 syllables
This haiku is atypical
Why use up three lines
When two will often suffice
They say that time heels all wounds. But sometimes, you also really need sutures. Plus antibiotics. And an overnight hospital stay.
Let’s face it: Time isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
in preparation for my soon-to-be short-lived comedy career, I have crafted a handful of esoteric “walks into a bar” jokes:
an anthropomorphism walks into a bar. get it?
a solipsist walks into a bar. or perhaps it was merely an internal mental projection of some sort.
a premonition always had a feeling that it would walk into a bar.
a paraprosdokian walks into a bar and no one gets the joke.
a malapropism walks into a barn.
a simile walks into a bar like a metaphor checks into a hotel.
that’s all I got . . .