Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Ordinary Part II

It seems that the concept of writing about "the ordinary" has raised some discussion for journal writers and bloggers. Time to take more of a look at it...

The Macquarie Dictionary describes ordinary as being "such is commonly met"; "of the usual kind" ; "customary, normal"; "the average level of quality"; "something regular, customary or usual".

It's not that hard. Ordinary events in your day are the things you do regularly. And the beauty of the ordinary? Is that 'ordinary' for me is going to be different for every other person out there.

Why do you think personal blogs get read so widely? It is about finding out about other people's ordinary lives. Taking a peek ...

So what have other's said about the ordinary?
  • On how the ordinary is actually an important part of our lives (if not the majority for most of us!) ...
  • "The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest." Thomas Moore (1779 - 1852)
  • On how the ordinary is just the begining of great things ..."Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well." Jim Rohn
  • Yet remember that because one person's ordinary is another person's extrordinary
  • ...."In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary." Wendy Magruder
So let's face up to the fact that most of our lives are ordinary ... most of the time. But that doesn't mean ordinary equals boring. Especially when read by others ... humans are naturally curious and like to peek in to the lives of others. To see what others see.

Which brings me back to journals and blogs. Write about what you know. And that is likely to be the ordinary acts and environments and events in your day. It comes across as authentic ... and in the end it's great reading. Give us a peek in to your life!

And just because I love this quote ... here's one more for the writers out there!
"If an ordinary person is silent, it may be a tactical maneuver. If a writer is silent, he is lying."
Jaroslav Seifert


Steve Hayes said...

The ordinary becomes extraordinary with the passage of time. What is ordinary now will be downright peculiar in 50 or 100 years time.

You have a picture of a telephone booth. I have an entire book about them, called Requiem for a red box, written when they were being replaced by yellow ones.

A hundred years ago newspaper death notices would report the deaths of "interesting children". "Florence Carpenter, aged 4, an interesting child...."

What on earth did they mean? What was an "interesting child"? Obviously at the time it was thought so ordinary to say such a thing that nobody recorded what it meant or why they said it, and now we read those things and wonder what they were on about.

So record the ordinary, explain the ordinary. You grandchildren might thank you for it one day!

Pamela J Weatherill said...

Hey thanks for your comments Steve ... Now I know I sure wouldn't want my grave stone calling me 'interesting' ... I would be SURE they were being sarcastic!!!