In defense of the ordinary

82 thoughts on “In defense of the ordinary”

  1. Being present in a moment is definitely meaning enough!!!
    When anyone asks me what my blog is about I struggle to explain all that is on it as I write about my life, my extraordinary ordinary moments… And I’ve thought several times about whether this means anything to anyone and I’ve realized that it means a lot to me and so I must share it. If it also means something to someone else that’s bonus!!

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    1. There have been few times in my life where ex-students and other folk I’ve worked with have mentioned that something I said to them, probably in passing, has had an impact on their lives. Who knew? It reminds me that what we say can often profoundly influence others. I think the same goes for writing. You just never know when an idea may resonate with a reader and if it doesn’t, well that’s okay too. I agree with you. Keep writing about your ordinary life and it’s extraordinary moments. It could mean a lot to someone.

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  2. It’s been many years since I read Natalie Goldberg’s book and your post has inspired me to re-read it. Thank you for this lovely post. It reminds me of a lovely story I heard about a famous writer giving a talk to wannabe writers. He asked the audience to raise their hands if they wanted to be a writer. Most of the hands in the room went up and then he said, “if you want to be a writer, go home and write” and promptly left the podium. It made me laugh but it’s also quite true. I spend a lot of time thinking about writing and not actually writing. Please keep up your blog which I really enjoy reading.

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    1. > “if you want to be a writer, go home and write”

      I love it! That’s what I’ve been living by this week. When I think about wanting to write, I get out my notebook and write. It makes me feel very productive even though it’s all nonsense on the page 🙂

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  3. I write poetry and lots of it and I’ve got no big meanings, no message. Just ordinary things. That’s what I know about and really, it’s where and what I want to be and discuss. Seems to me that all this examination of ordinary, taken together, might have a bigger meaning, but for me, I just really enjoy the small things. This post made me feel at home with you. Thank you.

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  4. Many times in my life I have been reminded to just share what I know. As a yoga teacher I live by this idea. I am discovering the same applies to writing. True passion can only be expressed when you write from the heart – when you stick with the things that are familiar to you. I guess that’s what finding your voice is. Great post and awesome discussion!

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  5. It seems to me that the goal of rendering the ordinary is to in some way elucidate its connection to the numinous. Mere recitation is inadequate for what is poorly related derogates by association its analogue in life which because we live it risks draining if ot meaning sans which wherefore we should all become prone to suicide. Who would live for meaninglessness? For it is bad enough to be alone upon a lonely street and know not what the meaning of things are then to be certain that even less than this ignorance, and the self not excluded, there is no meaning.

    The point of any story is to revim the perilous life. Even the tragedies. If King Lear shoves us into close proximity to the futility in all its laughing ghast pomp then the confrontation also terrifies us into a search for meaning, for the image of the horror is what we aught at least seek to forefend in the continual sustenance of our lives.

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  6. I’m so glad to come across this… I just started my blog a few days ago and sometimes I feel like my thoughts aren’t so unique like other blogs I’ve read. But it’s very soothing to write anything on paper even if it’s crap. Uploading it as a blog makes it seem like it’s original. But then there’s these silly second thoughts that make you think “this is stupid. Or this doesn’t make sense” and throw it away. Thank you for posting this ❤️ means a lot!

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  7. Love this post. I have been making a living as a writer for a decade and I still have to remind myself that it’s okay to put “writer” down as my job on my tax returns. Somehow I think that because I write mostly marketing things, or that only a few pieces of my fiction have been published, that I’m not ‘enough’ of a writer. This is why I have a post-it note on my monitor that says WRITERS WRITE.

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  8. Best ‘writers self-help’ book I’ve read. It’s THE book that, after 10 yrs of thinking about it, got me started writing my novel. My favourite lines from the book, found at the end of the preface:
    “Believe me, you, too, can find your place inside the huge terrain of writing. No one is so odd as to be left out. Now, please, go. Write your a***s off.”
    Marianne

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  9. Reblogged this on Aysabaw and commented:
    My favorite quote till date is Find Joy in The Ordinary and this has been my blog goal > > to write and create literature out of my daily (and ordinary) life experiences.

    Whenever my mind wanders through another path, I remind myself of what I wanted to do with my blog and here is yet another reminder, a very good post ‘In Defense of the Ordinary’ by Andrea Badgley.

    Happy reading!

    Like

  10. Thanks for this piece, I blog about my personal experiences and thoughts. My life is ordinary to me but extra ordinary to everyone else…. This had given me e courage to continue writing and sharing.

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  11. I think it’s important to just write whatever you want. I love the fact you started straight after dropping your kids off at 7.30 too, it normally takes me a cuppa to get into my morning spell. Becoming a writer is an exciting moment. I think mine was when I started writing emails home about my travels. Everything I did got logged in my brain for next time I sat down and I ached to let family and mates back home know about my adventures. Now I’m thinking of starting a new diary for my blog too as I enjoy that type of freedom and you never know where it will take you. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  12. Hi Andrea,
    I love your phrase ‘let go and write’. This was my push to resume blogging six months back, when a friend, after hearing me lament about how I would love to write and blog, but just can’t get over with the ‘who cares what I’m writing about’.

    And recently, I was very discouraged over some comments (offline) that I wondered again, what on earth was I thinking about, that my writing may be good to anyone! So, thank you for your article as an encouragement to just ‘let go and write’. Because for a thousand times, if anyone were to ask me what would I do if I knew I have a year to live? A thousand times I would answer—I would write, write, and write.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Hi Andrea,
    I love your phrase ‘let go and write’. This was my push to resume blogging six months back, when a friend, after hearing me lament about how I would love to write and blog, but just can’t get over with the ‘who cares what I’m writing about’, said, ‘if u wanna write, just write’.

    And recently, I was very discouraged over some comments (offline) that I wondered again, what on earth was I thinking about, that my writing may be good to anyone! So, thank you for your article as an encouragement to just ‘let go and write’. Because for a thousand times, if anyone were to ask me what would I do if I knew I have a year to live? A thousand times I would answer—I would write, write, and write.

    Like

  14. Thank you for this post. I think that meaning is something that we define individually. Surely, your post is meaningful to me! And it is inspiring. Focusing on ordinariness is one of the most powerful writing tools and it requires a sensible and sharp eye. I have just started running my blog and this is probably my top-one challenge to write about the ordinary with ease and confidence.
    I love how you manipulate the language to describe the crispy freshness of the sunny morning.
    Also, I like how you introduce the poem by WCW which nicely represents the nature of his poetry in general.
    I hope you are just teasing when you say you’re not a real writer ;).

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Yeah!! Pretty much true.Someone hardly cares about what’s going on in the life of other people.They are too busy with their own life stuff.For me my blog is really important i wanna share my daily life experiences with them.And if people like it then its a lot to take in.

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  16. Great post! Whenever I look back on things that I have written, my favourite pieces are just those simple, descriptive ones about a very specific item or point in time. It’s amazing what you can come up with when you’re focused on that one thing and how that sense of time and place is so tangible (I feel like that’s the word I want to use?) afterwards, when you read it back.

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  17. Incredibly true Andrea! Perfectly encapsulates the power of mundanity in one’s writings. The roughening of the textual surface in any artform is a powerful tool and one that I believe is ignored in lieu of massive set pieces, which is a shame as I feel the ‘ordinary’ roots the text into one’s own reality. In any case, a very thought provoking piece!

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  18. Fantastic point to be made here! I always get so self conscious about the everyday life stuff I write about. But it all has value and its all the little things that add up to the big ones anyway! As long as it gives meaning to you, go for it 🙂 keep writing about the little things, you have many followers and I am now joining them. Its very easy to relate to rather than being over complicated and hard to follow.

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  19. Me too. I find myself stuck, searching for the most interesting thing to write. When I couldn’t, I totally shut down and ask myself why did I even start a blog. I’ll most definitely check out Writing Down the Bones!

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  20. Being present in the moment is more important that looking for some deeper details.

    We usually don’t focus on the small details of our lives, which are the lights of our happiness. We instead look for some deep thoughts and meaningful actions.

    I believe that the more you simpler, the closer you are to happiness.

    I’m currently struggling to start writing on my diary, writing the ordinary stuff. But after i read your writing, I’m encouraged to really start, so thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I have literally just posted my first blog post ever… in my life… I’m hoping to bring an anonymous view inside my life as i experience it day to day… most days are quite uneventful and boring i will admit, but i look at this as me letting go of my day’s stresses and triumphs in order to begin the next. I’m not sure my posts will hold any meaning to anyone in passing, but they do mean something to me… and that’s all i want 🙂

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