It was only a matter of time. I’m probably the only member of Generation Next (Generation Y, cusp of Generation X, whatever) who loves sitting at a kitchen table with a cup of coffee or a pastry and the daily paper, who reads novels and creative nonfiction for fun, and who keeps online chatting to the minimum amount where she can pretend that she’s actually networking and not wasting the precious hours of her life away.
What convinced me of a bleak future, shaking a cane at people and mumbling about how “That’s not how we do things around here, I don’t like these new-fangled changes” under my breath?
It was an article in the St. Pete Times by my friend, Arleen Spenceley.
What makes it worse is I have a blog post similar in style (conversational, extolling the virtues of my intended subject, etc.) in Sticks of Fire about a local chocolate shop. (If you love chocolate and live in Tampa, you should definitely check it out, even though it may pack a death blow to your wallet.)
What originally put me off about Arleen’s article was that it was too friendly towards the reader. Arleen’s general writing tone since college has been “Hey there, good friend! Sit down, enjoy a cup of tea, and let me tell you about this awesome singer/ organic food/ boot camp exercise class!” Arleen doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, which stands out in her writing. (With my multitude of mean bones, I’m not sure how we get along so well.)
My thoughts while reading her boot camp article were that it would be better off as a blog. From the first couple of paragraphs, I’d written the article off because I’d seen it in print instead of online.
I glared at my alarm clock through tired eyes.
Worst set of numbers a half-asleep Arleen had ever seen. But I asked for it weeks earlier, when I signed up for boot camp. I slapped the alarm, slipped into some athletic garb and dragged a bag of dumbbells across the floor.
I hate boot camp.
Then, I realized how many minutes I read the paper every day versus how many minutes I read blogs with conversational tones like Arleen’s. Or, like my favorite sections of my own blog posts.
I’m not too proud to mention my chocolate addiction. Out of all the addictions to have, chocolate’s one of the most tame. I’ve been known to hide Mounds bars in my office at work and buy a Hershey’s bar on the way home. But, these are mass produced chocolates diluted with wax and milk. The chocolate offered at Choxotica is pure chocolate art.
Oh yeah, there have also been all of the times I’ve screamed at other writers to stop making every story a “Who cares, this is boring, I can’t get past the first paragraph of this generic drivel” story.
So, while I continue to plunk away at my unjournalism design/ marketing job and scrabble for every freelancing gig that comes my way, I should probably relax and enjoy the writing of the next wave of journalists who actually get it; I’m beginning to think I’m already falling behind.