The History of the QOTD (form)
I want to take a little time here to address my writing style, as I think that it’s important I not only identify it, but actually dig in deeper to find out for myself what the hell I’m doing. I first started the “quote of the day” back in college and it was originally just meant to be a piece of nothing that would last from March until maybe the end of the semester. I sent out a message about something funny that my friend had said to 23 of the friends I had e-mail addresses for. It wasn’t really anything that impressive at all. It didn’t take me too long to begin to plug intramural games and tell short stories about stupid things my friends and I did. And that’s where it started. I don’t remember exactly how the transition came, probably on one particular subject that annoyed me (such as the art department at UMBC, my unimpressive dating habits or my plethora of injuries), but I started to rant about stuff that pissed me off. And it got popular. Too popular.
People began to write back and reply to the whole group and e-mail was relatively new at the time, so some people got pissed off that they had this spam (though I don’t think it was called that yet) in their inbox from people they didn’t necessarily want to hear from. And so then I had to make rules. Like “Kady, don’t e-mail everybody just to say stuff like ‘that’s funny.’ It’s starting to piss people off.” And there were e-screaming matches back and forth on there about whether or not this was technically spam and who had the right to appropriate my e-mail list to voice their opinions and when it was proper and so on. I’ve lost friends over dumb things on this list. Like when ACDC Mike wrote back after I gave the new Star Wars a bad review. He apparently disagreed and shared that with all my friends. I went two days without checking my e-mail and finally checked it when a buddy of mine told me that I needed to see what was going on. Holy crap! There wasn’t just an argument that had ensued about the movie, but also a line of responses (once again) about “You don’t have the right to send this to everybody. We don’t want to hear your shit!” “These e-mail addresses are public and as such, I have as much of a right…” It got ugly. Basically, I almost had to make an example out of ACDC Mike and he didn’t appreciate it all that much. I don’t know how mean I was (I’ve become a lot more laid back about stuff since then), but it became awkward for me to see him again. And he’d still occasionally write back about how much of an ass I was to all those e-mail addresses he still had a list of. It was then that my computer nerd friends told me about this feature called the “blind carbon copy.” Well, the BCC: was my new best friend. Which was good timing, since ACDC Mike no longer was. Ebb and flow, ebb and flow.
Anyway, I started to (as I already alluded to) make it more than just rants about stuff. Now I started to throw in movie reviews on every Friday and ratings of random things (breakfast cereal, ways to get money illegally and songs about women’s backsides) every Tuesday. Now it was turning into a legit “daily e-mail humor article” as I described it to people who I needed to describe it to. And like I said, it predates the blog. Well, once I entered the working world, it was a little difficult to find the time to write for 30-45 minutes a day. And I won’t pretend that I didn’t have 30 minutes a day to do it, but I began to get other priorities also. It became a weekly thing, but really just a “when I got around to it” thing. I’d take off 3-8 months at a time regularly and then jump back in where I left off. The first e-mail after I got back was always a funny one because I would get 5-35 messages back saying that certain friends didn’t exist anymore. That was always disturbing. Anyway, the entire time I would write all these, I’d include a quote at the bottom, which had started to become less and less what my writings were about. I would rant about a date I had but then I’d quote something that Tony said in a football game that we had. I was starting to be confined by the quote. I would have much more rant material than I had quotes to write. And I know that a lot of the people on my list don’t necessarily “have the time” to read the whole of whatever it is that I write. So they’ll scan down to the quote and just read that and really miss the good part.
This is unfortunately where I still am now. I’m trying to find a way to divorce myself from the quote, though it’s tough because of the history I have behind it now. Since first writing this, I’ve tried incorporating the actual quotes into the body of the text and crediting the people who inspired them at the bottom. This helps the flow of the piece of writing, and yes – I’ve begun to call all these “pieces of writing.” It is my creation. But even still, I just don’t have a quote a lot of times. And it’s become so confining, I believe it to be the major reason I go through these multi-month-long slumps. I have a website now that Good Joe and his brother John got me for my birthday less than a month ago where I’m going to start publishing all these past and present QOTDs. I’m not making it public knowledge until I have something decent put together to show people. Anyway, this is the next step in the evolution of the “quote of the day.” And I’m somewhat confined to the title, which is misleading. I need to figure a way out of this. But mostly, I just need to keep writing.