what should I talk about?

I am sitting here, staring at my laptop, and I have no idea what to write. Sometimes this happens to me. Sometimes I have weeks where I want to write about everything. Everything is a good idea. Someone coughs on the subway, and I’m inspired. I’ll do an essay about riding the subway! About coughing! It’ll be witty and relevant and perfectly constructed!

Right now, I feel like I don’t have a single good idea. And no one on the subway has done anything interesting for like the past four days.

So rather than wallowing alone in my failure, I thought I’d ask you guys. What do you want to read about? Specifically, what do you want to read about from me?

I think my posts on this blog tend to fall into some basic categories: body image, relationships, what’s the deal with life, and totally random (like the one about politics).

Are there other topics you think I should cover? Do you prefer posts that fall into one of the categories above? WHAT DO YOU WANT?

I’m sorry for yelling. That was wrong of me. I will make it up to you, with some great posts. But first…let me know what you’d like to read.

OK, I’m going back to wallowing now.


(this is my wallowing face. it’s kinda boring– all the chaos is internal)

*  *  *

Unroast: Today I love the way I feel when I’m wearing skinny heels and a big coat.

P.S. RE: secret date: Bear took me to Shake Shack (wherein resides my favorite cheeseburger in the world) and then to see The Book of Mormon!! I was ridiculously happy. I’ve wanted to see it since it opened. It was awesome. He was proud of himself. I was impressed. And then we came home and made grilled cheeses. Hooray, romance!!


Kate on February 1st 2012 in writing

53 Responses to “what should I talk about?”

  1. Belen responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    I have no idea what theme to tell you to write about because every blog post I read is inspiring and spot-on for the moment. I just wanted to tell you that your “wallowing face” photo is awesome! Very Byron-esque! Hubba!

  2. Belen responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    (oh, god… I didn’t mean that I think you look like a man, just that you pull off brooding very well.)

    *hops over to chair, removes foot from mouth*

  3. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Oh my god!! YOU THINK I LOOK LIKE A MAN!!!!

    Kidding. Actually, I think I look a little like Mr. Darcy here, and I’m liking it.


  4. Hunter responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Write with your claws out. Write the stuff you fear putting into words. You are always a great writer, Kate, but sometimes your posts seem like a flamethrower being used to light a birthday candle. Blogs can be dangerous for writers because they make the writer conscious of her reading audience. They can make you feel like a “blogger”, not a writer.
    You are a writer. Write for yourself. Authenticity always reaches the right people.

  5. Belen responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    *so ashamed*
    Honestly, I kind of like it on the days when I look a little more boyish.

  6. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Because it’s a good look!

  7. Kerry responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    As a fledgeling writer, I always appreciate your posts about your work – the ups and downs of rejections, seeing your work appear in various forums, and then the reaction it creates.

  8. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    I’m not sure what you mean with the flamethrower reference. Unpack?

    But it’s an interesting conversation– being a writer vs. being a blogger. I definitely think of myself as a writer who blogs, so you’re spot on there.

  9. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Interesting! I’m glad I asked these questions, because I almost never think to write about work!

  10. lik_11 responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    I like to read your relationship posts the most- whether it be how you relate to Bear, friends, family, yourself…. or strangers.

    Unroast- I love my hands today. When I clench them into fists- they look like my hands from 5-10 years ago. But when I straighten my fingers- all the wrinkles show.

  11. katilda responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    i’m curious for your feedback on the BofM musical other than it being “awesome”! haven’t seen it myself, but heard it’s pretty inaccurate of the actual religion….what do you think?

  12. Hunter responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Hi Kate! By “flamethrower used to light a birthday candle” I meant that your talent and capabilities are vast and deserve vast focus. Sometimes a post seems to contain too much self-apology, or the topic is lite. Of course with a blog this is unavoidable…And it’s yours, so you can do what you want. However, some posts are just blow-away grand (“The Time Before” comes to mind). Such posts seem privately motivated and I bet you have enough ideas that you don’t have to look to the peanut gallery. Don’t let writerly ennui get you down!!

  13. katie responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I’m with @kerry, i’d love to hear about your writing/getting work/freelancing, etc process. I can’t claim to be a fledgling writer, but I can claim to be someone who dreams of claiming to be a fledgling writer. So I like to read that stuff.

    Also, because I haven’t been reading you from the beginning of your blog (shameful), and I haven’t read all the archives (double shameful), perhaps you’ve already covered this. But I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how female images in the media affect women and girls. I know, not a new topic. But I got riled up when I was reading Bossypants and Tina Fey said, basically, “let me have my photoshop, it’s not harming anyone, it makes me feel better, and go worry about problems that really matter.” It wasn’t that I didn’t see some of her point (hey, i’d probably want to be photoshopped if i had the chance), but I do think it’s a real problem. Anyway, that was rambly (probably why I’m not a fledgling writer), but I’d love to hear your thoughts about why body image issues and the portrayal of women’s bodies in the media ARE real issues that matter. Which ties into the other issue of hierarchical issue ranking, i.e. I cannot care about body image issues in the U.S. because it’s not as important as tsunamis or the drought in Africa, etc.

    Whatever you write about, I always love it, so thanks!

  14. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Are you a Mormon? The play is definitely making fun of Mormonism, and it’s definitely hilarious. I don’t think the theology was inaccurate. It’s more that theology is always pretty funny when you don’t believe it.

  15. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Thanks! I really appreciate this. I struggle a lot with how bold to be and how broad my topics can be. I also like staying focused sometimes, because it’s hard to sit down and just write about the world, without any constraints.

    Do you write?

  16. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Great feedback. I actually did a little interview with someone from the BBC a while back about the media and body image, and I realized that I write about body image all the time, but haven’t taken very much time to figure out my own broader views about why it’s so important, and what role the media plays. Sort of embarrassing.

    And I definitely don’t care if you haven’t read me from the beginning. I was total crap back then!

  17. Diana responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Write about what’s in your fridge, on your nightstand, under your bed and in your favorite drawer.

    Write about dogs barking, snow falling, cats purring and lights twinkling in the night.

    Write about what you found and loved on etsy.com, omg.com, dailyom.com or about your favorite .com place (besides eatthedamncake.com, of course).

    I want to read about everything that intimidates, scares and inspires you; it’s all so interesting to me!

  18. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    I wish everyone was like you, because then I could write about anything! This is so sweet. And it also made me wonder what my favorite sites are (not ETDC– I’m not that interesting to myself). I read XOJane a lot, for Emily McComb’s writing.

    Now I want to have a favorite drawer. Do you have one?

  19. Melanie responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    I say write about whatever is on the top of your head. Don’t worry about what we want. Write what you want. It seems to work very well when you just write from your heart. My blog is so all over the place I’m stunned anyone reads it at all. But mine is most definitely more for me and my need to journal, than for others.

    I love your blog. Even when the post is about you having nothing to blog about. Wow, that sounds pathetic. :)

  20. Diana responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Yes, I have a favorite drawer in a small box on my dresser.

    It holds little sentimental things like my grandma’s wedding ring, the card from the first bouquet of flowers from my then-boyfriend-now husband, my favorite wooden button, a wallet-sized photo of me at age 4, my dad’s favorite pen he used for 40 years, my daughter’s tiny newborn baby bracelet made by her night nurse and a woven friendship bracelet my son made me at camp.

    Silly little things that mean the world to me.

  21. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    I love that. That sounds perfect.

  22. gwen responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    It feels insanely nosy to admit this, but I have always wanted you to write more about your homeschooling experience (like, what your “average” day looked like) and whether you’d homeschool any kids you might have someday. I found your blog through that essay… um… somewhere? HuffPo?… about homeschooling, and it really challenged some of my preconceived notions about it, and I would like to hear more.

    I also love it when you write about politics and random stuff. Actually I love it when you write about pretty much anything — seeing the little (1) beside your blog in my Google Reader makes my lunchtimes a little brighter.

  23. Dana responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    What about more about food/exercise? I’d like to hear about your body image connection to both of those. Does your diet matter and why? For the health purpose of it? For the nutrition purpose? For possible weight loss? Does this change regularly?

  24. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Here’s the post I wrote on my oft-neglected homeschooling blog today, when I couldn’t think of anything to write here: http://skipping-school.com/?p=813

    Not nosy!

  25. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Good thoughts. I’ll try to do a post on this soon.

  26. Michi responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Add this voice to the chorus of people who want to hear more about your writing! And to see what kinds of amazing things you’ll write about if you aren’t too worried about what your readers will think.

  27. Sari responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    AH’sa DI’ga EE’bo’wye.


  28. katilda responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    @kate Yes I’m a Mormon :) I’ve heard mixed reviews on the play from people both in and outside of my faith. I know we have plenty of quirks to poke fun at; it’s inevitable that our traditional and conservative ways make us a bit odd in many people’s eyes. I guess my opinion is that, even if the theology is off, if it sparks curiosity & prompts someone to look to more correct sources on my religion and they find they can benefit from accepting our beliefs, then another avenue of publicity can’t be entirely bad!

  29. gwen responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    I didn’t even know you HAD a homeschooling blog! Thanks. :)

  30. Spelling responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    You do a great job of writing, no matter what it’s about :)

    Just keep on writing about what you feel like! And don’t pressure yourself into writing anything, or feel like you have to blog because people are counting on you or something. I used to have a blog, and I felt like it was my obligation to blog, as if I needed to blog or the world would end. So I deleted my blog and my feelings of obligation went away. (Note: I’m not telling you to delete your blog, this is just my lame story)

    No matter what you write about, it’s always thought-provoking and interesting. So no matter what, I’ll keep reading.

    P.S. – I love posts about (your/reforming) education and body image. But like I said, whatever you write, I’ll read it! :D

  31. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 5:07 pm #


  32. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    I don’t know that the theology is off…Like I said, theology sounds ridiculous to the non-believer, which makes it fodder for comedy. I think mostly the creators of the play are fascinated by how earnest so many Mormons can seem/be, especially in a cynical world.

    I knew a Mormon family growing up, and they really were earnest. It was nice! And confusing.

    Which is not at all to say that all Mormons are like that, but those characteristics definitely stand out.

  33. katilda responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    @kate haha “earnest”! i love that. i know the type, and now you’ve given me a great word for it.

  34. Cate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 5:32 pm #


    I am a very lurker-y readerand never comment, BUT, I saw this and do have a massive request. All these people saying just write what you want are, of course, absolutely right…

    But as a favour?? :) I’ve been having a massive mental struggle at the moment, as what you might call a massive overthinker. It suddenly occurred to me, all out the blue, that I will not change the world (gotta love a bit of youthful hubris, right?). I’m 20 and have always been encouraged and told I will go far and whatever, and I think subconsciously I defined far as you know… Bill Gates curing malaria type far. And I realised- today- most people don’t do that.

    In fact, I’m sort of coming to terms with my own powerlessness. With the idea that yes, you can touch people’s lives in small (albeit wonderful) ways, but at the end of the day… people are so complex and 3 dimensional that you can’t really change their entire life, because there is so much of it… Does that make sense?

    I’m feeling a whole lot of things like a bit sad, let down, relieved… but somehow I feel you might empathise with this? A little? I always thought I would end up being one of those people who have a massive long obituary in the paper when they died and loads of people crying (like Steve Jobs style) and it occurred to me that most people aren’t him.

    This probably sounds really up myself! But it ties together a lot of feelings of powerlessness I have been experiencing (like a friend of mine passing away suddenly, another dropping out of university with depression). it all seems linked.

    Basically, I’m a mess! But I get the sort of vibe that maybe you might appreciate where I’m coming from? And I would appreciate your insight because, heck, your blog can literally make my day while I sit and scream “OMG, that’s what I’m like!!” at my computer.

    Cate x

  35. Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    You got it!! I struggle with this ALL THE TIME. Thanks for speaking up!

  36. Marie responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Your creative process!!!! And also, I am reading this book called Fat!So? about the series of magazines. It’s exactly what it sounds like (having good body image at any size) – I would love to hear YOUR point of view on it :)

  37. erika responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    You have mentioned that growing up you had very strong self-esteem and lots of confidence in your appearance and that this changed when you went to college. Could you write more about the specifics of what exactally influenced your change of mindset? Was there just one event that caused this or was it a gradual process, and if so, what was involved? Also, what steps did you take, or what events occured that finally led you to accept your appearance?

    You often mention how you used to see yourself and contrast it to how you currently see yourself, and I’m intrested in what caused the transitions.

  38. Another Kate responded on 01 Feb 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    re: date: Your romance sounds like the best romance.

  39. susan responded on 02 Feb 2012 at 12:06 am #

    I like your body image posts. They are the reason I found this blog and they helped me through a tough time. :)

  40. San D responded on 02 Feb 2012 at 2:11 am #

    Re: Book Of Mormon. I see my share of musicals and plays, but refuse to see this one. Why? Use of language. I don’t particularly think using the “C” word in song, or the other foul language is funny. Maybe it’s a generation gap thing. Maybe I am a fuddy duddy. I have seen many straight plays where the “f” words are flying, but they are in context of the piece, in other words the characters are so damn mad that between the spit and vinegar out fly the curses. (oh and yes, I have been known to use blue language myself) But from what I have been told about the Book of Mormon, some of the songs are squirmingly filled with gratitous cursing. It’s a shame because from all accounts it is a traditional musical. What did you think, Kate?

  41. Deedee responded on 02 Feb 2012 at 8:24 am #

    While it’s not worthy of a long essay…what did you wear on your surprise date with Bear? You left out one of the more important details…:o)

  42. Kate responded on 02 Feb 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Of COURSE I had to mention that somewhere. There’s a picture on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/EatTheDamnCake/status/164459748052312064/photo/1

    Does that work?

  43. Eat the Damn Cake » goddamn dreamer responded on 02 Feb 2012 at 3:23 pm #

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  44. Kate responded on 02 Feb 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    @San D
    I didn’t mind the language. I was expecting it– because of South Park. I actually thought it added something, because it was funny to hear profanity in gorgeous harmony! Very playful and silly. I think that’s what made it so good– it was silly without giving up any of the stuff that makes Broadway big and thrilling and fabulous.

  45. AT responded on 02 Feb 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    I’m not sure how to explain why I enjoy your writing so much, even about the mundane and even when I don’t completely see eye to eye with your experiences or opinions. I think it’s your authenticity, to use that practically trendy word. I see myself in the way you appreciate and view the world. You just come across as someone I’d like to be friends with :)

    In regards to your question: I’d like to hear more stories about college and how you came to be a freelance writer. I was also super intrigued by your First Christmas post and your comment about observing some religious traditions more to connect with the community than because of a belief in God. I’d love hear more about your spiritual journey because I’m in a strange place in mine!

    And sorry in advance if you’ve already covered these.

  46. Erin responded on 03 Feb 2012 at 3:02 am #

    I would like a post about your grilled cheese recipe/technique. I never seem to get them just right.

  47. Kate responded on 03 Feb 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Interesting! College and spirituality…Hmm…Let me think about that. Sounds like a challenge!

  48. Kate responded on 03 Feb 2012 at 11:58 am #

    You got it.

  49. Eat the Damn Cake » grilled cheese and soul-destroying rejection responded on 03 Feb 2012 at 3:36 pm #

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  50. San D responded on 04 Feb 2012 at 9:29 am #

    @Kate re: The Book of Mormon’s use of language.
    Here’s where we part company. When words like the “c” word are couched in lushious harmonies and humor that still doesn’t make it acceptable. It’s been thrown out into the public forum, and there you have it. And people pay $150 to hear it used as a descriptor about women. Sorry. Something is not quite right to me. I may be the last woman standing not to see the show, but at least I feel good about why.

  51. Eat the Damn Cake » the upper middle class made me eat it responded on 06 Feb 2012 at 1:21 pm #

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  52. Eat the Damn Cake » the media did it! responded on 09 Feb 2012 at 12:04 pm #

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  53. Eat the Damn Cake » God. And why I don’t believe. responded on 15 Feb 2012 at 1:00 pm #

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