I’m always on the lookout for ways to engage the writers at Backstreet Arts, and by “writers” I mean “people who think they might like to write,” not necessarily “people who actually write.”

Notice the spiffy blue leather-bound journal! This means I’m serious about this.

Notice the spiffy blue leather-bound journal! This means I’m serious about this.

Recently I ordered a little set of cards called Empowering Questions, thinking these could be nice prompts for anyone who needed a quick start on something to write about. They are very empowering, if by “empowering” you mean “directly embarrassing”: they ask you things like “What are your best qualities?” and “How do you hope others will remember you when you’re gone?” and “WHAT IS YOUR VALUE TO THE HUMAN RACE, KENNETH?”

I may have made that last one up.

Anyway, I made a little stand for them, labeled the stand, and set them out on the writers’ table at Backstreet.

Then—because I am perverse—I realized I could use these to assist me in my TASK AVOIDANCE. I decided that if I am at Backstreet and I am not actually working on anything or working with someone, I would have to draw one of the cards and answer the stupid, affirming/empowering question. I would have to be honest and affirm/empower myself.

In other words, create a TASK that I actually want to AVOID, even unto the point of working on the work. Ugh.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not self-effacing, nor do I doubt my value to the human race, KENNETH, but neither am I very good at talking about that out loud. I do not tend to brag; I just do what I do and assume that everyone appreciates my efficiency and skills. (Mostly they do. If they don’t, it must be because they aren’t paying attention, right?)

So answering these sloppy kisses of questions is absolute agony for me. I’d rather do almost anything else. I began last Thursday. Ugh.