Why Keep Writing?

Welcome to the sophomore slump. A year ago, or maybe two, three or four, you started your blog because you loved writing and wanted to share your work with the world. You were proud of what you did and had grand aspirations, however a couple of years in, it is becoming obvious that you’re not rapidly transforming into the next J.D. Salinger. With tens or even hundreds of posts under your belt and maybe even having dabbled a bit with National Novel Writing Month, you can recognize quality but are struggling to produce it. Life is encroaching upon your precious free time and it seems easy to cast your once beloved hobby aside in favor of cleaning the house, finishing that project at work or just hanging out with friends. The question which pops up is “Why keep writing?”

  1. This is what you love

You started this blog because writing was your passion. Sure you aren’t going to be the next Hemingway, but in the end, the person you should write for is you. Keep writing.


  1. Your words are yours and you are the only person who can share them

Everyone’s perspective is unique, no one else is able to tell your story, whatever your method of storytelling, it’s valid and yours alone to share. Keep writing.


  1. This is your outlet

That feeling of creativity needs to go somewhere; pen a short story, a poem, a fictional piece, a limerick, a paragraph about the Boer War, anything as long as it lets your express who you truly are. Keep writing.


  1. Real work, house work and even friends can wait

Jobs are important, but so are hobbies, take a break from that project. Use that fifteen minutes set aside for housework to write- you can sleep in dirty sheets for one more night. Remember the dirt hypothesis; you’re actually protecting yourself against developing allergies. No doubt your friends are among your readers so they’ll understand if you need a half an hour to create. Sometimes life can wait however that perfect paragraph will only dance on the edge of your consciousness for so long. Keep writing.



  1. Practice makes perfect, or at the very least makes better

No piece is ever perfect, but through persistence and hard work, taking the perfectly formed words from your head and putting them on the page or screen becomes easier.



  1. Even if you don’t enjoy what you wrote, someone will

My most surprising discovery over the past year and a half has been that the posts which I’ve hated, that felt forced or boring, received as many “likes” as those that I’ve loved. Even if you don’t like it the words you’ve penned, someone else will. Share all your words with the world and be surprised by the reactions you receive. And above all else keep writing, this is your passion so it deserves your time and care.


This post is dedicated to my friend and reader Natalie*, who patiently waited for me to get ready yesterday morning because I chose to write rather than get dressed for our outing together.



*Names have been changed to protect the identities of understanding people who make a point of telling me they like my work.

Atomic Wedgies and Packing Fails

It’s underwear week here at The Great Unwashed. Oh heck, who am I kidding it’s always underwear week. I might as well change my blog’s name to “The Great Underpants”, given how often I discuss my bikini briefs. In fact, if either “underpants” or “underwear” are typed into the search bar, you’ll come up with about fifteen  entries, which considering that I’ve written just over one hundred and fifty posts here,  means about ten percent of the time I’m expounding on my skivvies.

I’m spending the weekend at my Dad’s house. For once in my life I was all “Boo Yah, take that, life!” because I remembered to bring not only the paint that my friend requested but also a puzzle for my uncle and I followed that up with storing the gift cards to shop at the sweet, sweet outlet store near my grandmother’s in the outside pocket of my weekend bag. I was feeling high and mighty having conquered the packing monster whom I normally lose battles with.

The Packing Monster has a laugh like Bowser from the Nintendo 64 Mario game. (Photo Credit : tidyawaytoday.wordpress.com)

The Packing Monster has a laugh like Bowser from the Nintendo 64 Mario game. (Photo Credit : tidyawaytoday.wordpress.com)

Then, while dressing to go to church this morning I reached into my trusty suitcase and pulled out tights, a skirt, an undershirt, a top but no underwear. And it was then that I heard the packing monster chortling it’s hearty laugh all the way from my home two hours away. “Ha ha ha” the packing monster guffawed, “looking for these?” it asked, holding up a pair of my underoos with a menacing smile. Of course, this entire scene occurred in my mind while I contemplated whether praying commando was a sin or not, and if my copy of “Strong’s Concordance of the Bible” could answer such a question.

Without consulting my concordance, I concluded that, while not a sin reciting the Lord’s Prayer in only a short skirt and tights was not ideal. Holding up yesterday’s unmentionables, I grimaced; I had both travelled and run seven kilometers in them. Not a great solution. With a heavy heart, I headed towards the chest of drawers that once held my entire wardrobe but is now a home for odds and ends that don’t seem to belong anywhere.

And that’s where I found them; underpants so giant that they make the pair that I bought for fifty cents which can be folded down over my jeans to create a thick lacy belt look small. A pair of underpants so enormous that once, Santa’s sack ripped and he considered using the briefs as a substitute but decided they were too roomy and gifts could potentially fall out.

I'm not certain how they managed to fit in my drawer. (Photo Credit : fark.com)

I’m not certain how they managed to fit in my drawer. (Photo Credit : fark.com)

Those were the undergarments I donned this morning. On the bright side, if it rains I won’t give myself a wedgie when I reach backwards and pull my underwear up over my head to protect my hair because the elastic band is already sitting just under my shoulder blades to begin with.

You Should See My Underpants

Wait. That came out wrong. The title was supposed to be like the joke in “Uncle Buck” when Macaulay Culkin walks into the kitchen and sees this.

(Photo Credit: wwwfyeo.blogspot.com)

(Photo Credit: wwwfyeo.blogspot.com)

Then John Candy adds “You should see the toast I couldn’t even fit it through the door.” The viewers never actually see the toast, much like my underpants. The title meant to imply that my underpants are really colourful. Tragically I forgot about the first part of that joke, which was the giant pancake, hence I should have started with a photo of my ridiculous ensemble for today. A better writer might have changed the title, however here at The Great Unwashed, we aspire to calamity not perfection, so the title stays despite the fact that it comes off as “Hey internet, are you feeling hot because I am. Maybe you should drop by my place for some tequila.” which is a lot to communicate in such a short, awkwardly written title, but there it is.

One of the benefits of going back to school, is that I’m able to express my true self with my clothing. In classes, there is no one to ask you not to come to work tomorrow because you insist on dressing like a colour blind rodeo clown. There are only confused eighteen year olds with camera phones, but I’ve always loved having my picture taken. And I can only imagine the lovely statements they’ll make about my fashion choices when they put the images online. Thus, with further adieu here is my outfit of the day.

Yes those ARE tights underneath pants. I  tend towards Mormon modesty chic.

Yes those ARE tights underneath pants. I tend towards Mormon modesty chic.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s glorious, and you didn’t even see it with my green and white monster mitts. And once again we’re not even going to mention hues of my undergarments are.


Eternal Optimism of an Unwashed Mind

Over the summer, my mother spent a week at my house with her contractor friend making various repairs. This visit was punctuated with text message conversations like this one:

Mom : “Your shower door is stuck. It won’t open.”

The Great Unwashed : “So?”

Mom: “No one can take a shower.”

The Great Unwashed : “I’m not seeing the problem.”

Mom : “Other people might.”

The Great Unwashed : “Who are these hygiene obsessed fanatics and why are they staying at my house?”

Over the next six days my mother and her friend made various necessary (the roof) and unnecessary repairs (the shower door) to my home. Thus when Sula, my closest friend drove me back to my house I was somewhat surprised to find this.

Who needs a thermometer when you can reach through the hole in your wall to check whether to wear a jacket?

Who needs a thermometer when you can reach through the hole in your wall to check whether to wear a jacket?

Sula: “Unwashed, there’s a hole your wall!”

The Great Unwashed: “It’s not a hole, it’s just an unplanned window. Admittedly a poorly placed one seeing as it’s directly underneath a window.”

Or maybe the window just had a baby?

Or maybe the window just had a baby?

Sula: “This is terrible!”

The Great Unwashed still nonplussed by the situation. “Well admittedly it is an awkward shape to find a screen for”

Sula: leans forward, inspects the unplanned window and adds in a horrified tone “It looks like something dug it’s way in.”

The Great Unwashed: “Cool! Free pet!”

Despite my need for light in this chronically frigid country, Sula insisted I stop up the hole before she left. Hence that entire wall is now covered in expanding blue foam. In my defense it was my first attempt at home repair and there is no longer a hole, however I question how the foam is made and whether or not my basement has become a biohazard, seeing as nothing natural expands to eight times it’s size.

Wild Gratitude

I slept outside last night. Shortly after nine, I walked up a grassy path to a tent that had been set up earlier in the day. The thistles and overgrown grass were soft and bent under the weight of my steps. Illuminated by the spotlight that was the moon, the tent waited patiently on a soft spot of dirt.

The air had just enough of a chill to remind me that I was alive. The wind, which would pick up to a strong breeze later on, caressed my bare face and hands, “be happy you’re here” the gusts said softly as they passed over my ears. Above me, the sky seemed to grow, declaring its dominion over the slumbering world. “You are here, you are mine”, the blackness spoke benevolently to my eyes as I tried in vain to take it all in.

Tromping into the brush to relieve myself before retiring to bed, the trees chided my wobbling form as I struggled to find a good position. “Try not to pee on your shoes” they reminded, the branches chortling their amusement.

As I zipped up my sleeping bag, the coyotes sang me a feral lullaby. In the middle of their song, the wind joined in to create a harmony, swishing the through a nearby field of wheat. Through the nylon fabric of the tent, the moon became a nightlight. “Goodnight world, thank you” I whispered, settling down onto my pillow and pulling the warm covers closer to me. The cold kissed my cheeks gently and pressed itself against my nose. “You’re welcome” it replied.