A banana in time saves nine


Breaking: Nine lives were saved today by a banana that jumped in to the ocean and swam each of them to shore, depositing the ninth person on the sand only moments before the ship, the HMAS Tropical Fruit Salad, sank.


Banana issues statement after rescuing 9 from drowning.

Banana issues statement after rescuing 9 from drowning.

Pic: © Blathering 2016

Dear readers, lately I’ve been feeling a bit bored with my own writing. I’m never quite happy with it, particularly when I try to be amusing. If only there were more banana rescue stories, it would be more fun for all of us.

This navel-gazing causes me to once again wonder what the purpose of writing this blog is.

I can’t deny that writing a blog whiles away the time. I suppose that’s one purpose for it. After all, statistics suggest that, based on averages, I have a good chance of being on Earth for 40 more years – give or take – that I’ll need to fill up with activity somehow. (Heaven forbid I should sit and just look out at the back yard while sipping a cup of tea.)

So I thought I’d fill at least some of that time by writing a blog. Of course I’m aware that this is written largely for my own amusement and that of a few kindly souls who are generous enough to read it every now and then.

Perhaps there are some of you out there that feel the same way about your writing sometimes? I enjoy writing – it’s become a hobby that I can’t do without – and sometimes I’d like to do more with it, but sadly I seem to lack the drive, or ambition, or determination – something necessary, anyway – to turn my love of writing into anything more than an that of an amateur hobbyist, plugging away at a personal blog.

I miss, too, the silliness that I used to achieve here in the first 12 month period, when the only reader I had was (still my favourite!) the imaginary reader, who always loves everything I write, without discrimination. So sweet!

It seems to me that if you have an interest in developing your writing, the downside of writing a blog is that after a year or two, any time you start to write something, it ends up being for your blog, and after a while you develop a sort of  lazy”style” or shorthand approach that doesn’t change much. I’m sure I’m guilty of doing this very thing, right now.

So I decided to challenge myself, and signed up to an online course that requires me to write for 10 minutes – on the Course project page, not here on this blog – each day for 10 days in a row, inspired by the deceptively simple prompt “Today I noticed…”.

(Try noticing anything useful once that challenge has been put to you. So far, 2 days in, I’ve posted 2 pieces and I’ve noticed myself feeling happy, and that the bananas were ripe. An effort that is surely worth a sad face emoji.)

However, the more important thing is that in this ridiculously short time, I’m already feeling very motivated. I think that’s because I’m writing there for a different purpose, and for a different audience (delightfully, on the course project page, my posts so far have been viewed largely by a bunch of imaginary readers, and they are always so encouraging!). I enjoy writing to a time limit too, as it forces me to get ideas out, not worry too much about editing and re-editing every sentence, and not write pieces that are 1000 words too long, as I usually do here.

All in all, it’s quite liberating.

Now, it should be obvious from the lackadaisical style of this blog that there is no commercial sponsorship involved. Even so, I don’t like to act as if I’m being paid to endorse commercial operations – heaven knows, if they want to pay me, I’ll probably endorse them – so I won’t mention the name of the course here, but you can locate it if you are interested, via this link which will take you to the course work I’ve done so far, where you’ll be able to identify the course and the site offering the course.

I’ve never signed up for an online course before – free or paid – but decided to see how much value I got from it for 3 months. So far, unless there is some hidden clause I haven’t read, it seems very worthwhile, given how motivated I’m feeling after 2 days! I was otherwise considering enrolling in a short 8 week course at my local community centre that would have cost $100. It would have been more detailed and extensive than most of the courses on offer through this site, but on the other hand, I would have had to give up all my Thursday nights for two months and made the effort to go out in the cold and dark to attend! Weighing up the pros and cons, people.


Call the Motivating Banana for more writing ideas.

Banana now available as a motivational speaker.

Pic: © Blathering 2016

In terms of value, if I manage to do even just a few similar courses in a year, and find them motivating, then the $96 will be worth it. The site offers courses in all sorts of things, not only in writing.  I filtered the categories down to Writing, Photography, Design and Techology and saved 58 courses I was interested in before I could’t bear to keep scrolling any further!

So I thought I’d tell you all about this. I know that learning online is not a new thing and there are a million different online course providers out there, and I’m a complete novice, as it’s the first time I’ve ever signed up for one, so I have no comparison to make. But even if just for the sake of providing some motivation to write,  it could be worthwhile to try out one of these courses if you’re in a rut, writing-wise. Why not join in Creative Writing: 10 Days to a Daily Habit with me and try the challenge yourself? It’s harder than you think.

What did you notice today?



Leave a comment


  1. I would say that if you derive pleasure and inspiration from your writing courses and challenges, then they are worthwhile for that reason alone.

    I think there is a danger of a blog that has been started for fun turning into a responsibility and therefore a chore. The best results are achieved by writing for oneself, when one is interested in something, rather than when trying to please a supposed readership. Your blog’s combination of whimsy with discussion of heartfelt issues is very attractive as it stands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Silver Tiger! Sometimes it’s nice to get some feedback about what the weaknesses or strengths in your writing are (I was hoping this online course would also provide an opportunity for feedback from the tutor and from other students, but so far, disappointingly, it has not) so your comment is particularly appreciated. I like your summary: whimsy and heartfelt issues – because I do often wonder if it’s possible to combine both successfully. So it’s good to know someone enjoys the mix!



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