the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The One Essential Writing Question

There are so many blogging and writing conferences nowadays, that it is getting a little crazy.  And what good are they?  They take us away from our families and cost too much money.  Wouldn’t it be nice if one of us would just whittle down all our concerns about writing into one succinct question — a single query that explains it all.

I have done that for you.

Here is it  –the ONE essential question about personal writing that you must ask yourself, and once answered, will save you time, energy, stress, and gray hair, as well as bring you to incredibly success and fulfillment —

“How do I continue to be honest and open about my life, exposing my weaknesses, neuroses, fears, and failures, expressing my battered mind, broken heart, and timid soul with authentic words and emotions during the day, and still convince others that I am normal enough to have sex with at night?”


  1. Alex@LateEnough

    I’m so relieved that I don’t have to attend anymore conferences. Because if talking to people was a strength, I wouldn’t have a blog.

  2. daysgoby

    Wait, this writing thing was supposed to get people to sleep with you?

    I am so being gypped on this one!

  3. Slow Panic

    dude that is the one and only most essential question ever

  4. flutter

    that is the crux of it, isn’t it?

  5. Rufus Shepherd

    Live your real life as yourself and blog under a nom de plume.

  6. Pearl

    spin, baby.

  7. Rene Foran

    fortunately I only have to convince one person
    and I don’t even have to convince them
    they’re pretty much a sure thing

    was that poem about me?
    yeah, baby, that was all about you…

    • Neil

      You were smart to get your social life all arranged before you started blogging.

  8. Erika

    everyone has got some kind of emotional baggage, some just hide it better than others

  9. Jade

    I’ve been doing it wrong.

  10. felicia

    That’s pretty much the question I have posed to myself with all my relationships!:)

  11. beta dad

    Sometimes you should have the sex first thing in the morning.

  12. The Honourable Husband

    Neil, I’m going to spank you. When you’re extravagantly humble, I think you’re just fishing for reassurance. It’s false modesty.

    Some of us, in our backgrounds, are taught that behaving with dignity and confidence is tantamount to arrogance. My Catholic childhood was full of it. Perhaps your Differently-Faithed background contributed to this.

    On the other hand, American culture teaches that humility is for losers–a distinct national brand of philosophy. (And I use the word “brand” on purpose.) The Prosperity Gospel and Positive Thinking people are full of it.

    So, you’re an aggressively humble man in a culture that scorns the humble. Yet you know that you’re smarter than most and hotter than some. A double bind, as R. D. Laing would say.

    He would also say that constantly comparing yourself to the more successful (or, for that matter, gloating over the less successful) aggravates the your distress.

    Accept yourself, and others will accept you, too.


    P.S. Oh, and just get laid already. It ain’t that hard.

  13. unmitigated me

    This is why there’s never been a need for a BlogHim conference.

    I originally typed that as “BlohHim” which changes the statement entirely.

  14. Catherine

    You’re right, of course. Fucking brilliant really.

  15. memarie lane

    Well that’s actually an easy one Neil. You just tell people it’s a character study for a novel you have in mind.

  16. Holmes

    Noted, tattooed to forearm.

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