We all know that “sex” sells, whether it be cars, beer, cigarettes, or mustard, and if it’s personal enough, it’ll also get you to read about aneurysms. So today’s Yahoo headline reads: “Coffee, Sex Increase Aneurysm Risk.” But this headline is not honest, because it would lead you to believe that coffee and sex are right at the top of the list of triggers that lead to aneurysms and cause brain damage when, in fact, sex is a middle of the herd also-ran.
The headline is for a US News & World Report article that reads like a post-race announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, here are the official results of today’s sixth race: In a field of eight Drinking Coffee won by two-and-a-half lengths* over Vigorous Exercise, followed by Nose-Blowing and Having Sex.”
As you can see, there’s no win-place-or-show for “sex,” but that didn’t stop Yahoo from including it in the headline, even after it finished a full length behind “blowing your nose.” As it turned out, had you bet on “blowing your nose” you would have won a small fortune on very long odds, because who in their right mind would have bet that blowing your nose could possibly beat sex? About the only good thing to say about “sex” today is that it finished ahead of Straining on the Toilet which came in dead last.
My only question to the headline writer at Yahoo would be, “Why even bother mentioning coffee? Why not have the headline simply read, ‘Sex Increases Aneurysm Risk,’ if you want the highest possible readership?”
“Oh, no,” he would respond, “that would be appealing to people’s prurient interests and would be dishonest. We’re above that.” And I would say to that, “Me, too!”
I mean, look at the title of this post. It’ll definitely reign as the most often hit post on my blog for as long as this blog exists. In fact, it’ll probably set WordPress records for hits on posts that say almost nothing. I can’t wait to see all the intelligent comments that fellow travelers and bloggers leave. As Mayor Daley used to say, “Vote early and vote often!”
And now to fulfill my own social and blogging responsibilities I will embark on the other half of what my post’s title promises, “Writing.”
You really want to learn how to write? Write something every day and give it to your friend to read. When your friend refuses to read anymore, find a new friend and keep writing.
If you have nothing to say, don’t think you can write. You can make doodles. Picasso made doodles, but he said something.
If there is nothing intrinsically joyful in the act of writing, no amount of money will make it worth it.
Dreaming about being a writer is like dreaming about being rich.
Another great thing about writing is that everybody thinks they can do it. But don’t forget you need a reader–even if it’s only yourself. And if you don’t like reading it, would anyone else?
Writers talk about writing because it’s easier than writing, the same way door-to-door canvassers drive slowly around the neighborhood until it’s time to go home.
What’s the secret to good writing? Writing.
Isn’t there another way? No.
Imagine writing on a beautiful deserted island without a care in the world. With your foot stuck between two rocks. Permanently. That’s writing.
Most writers struggle and dream of becoming a “writer” because when they were ten years old they wrote something that their teachers and parents praised.
Writing is a struggle, but it has its perks. I can now spell aneurysm.
*A percentage point computes as a “length.” Drinking Coffee garnered 10.7%, followed by Vigorous Exercise 7.9% (2-1/2 lengths back), then Nose-Blowing 5.4% (5 back) and Having Sex 4.3% (almost 6-1/2 lengths back). I’m not encouraging betting on horses with funny names, but if I ever see a horse named Having Sex…