A fair warning dear os.me reader – this is a post containing random thoughts – if you want to skip reading, now is a good time 🙂

With that said, let’s plunge into randomness!

I Had No Idea What to Write Today

Today is Day 29 of my custom 30-day NaNoWriMo challenge

For the last few days I’ve not been feeling like writing. When I crafted my challenge, I gave myself some leeway: I would publish 30 articles in 30 days in os.me – not write 30 articles in 30 days. I have been writing on Medium.com, and have been experimenting with my writing. The good thing about online writing is that you own the copyright to your articles – you can publish them on as many platforms as you wish.

Some people believe every article can be posted on multiple platforms. I don’t agree – I believe each platform has its ethos. Os.me has a unique ethos. Some of this ethos is described in the writing guidelines. Some of the ethos I gathered from experience, as a result of reading several articles on os.me and responding to comments from my articles.  

The last 2-3 days, however, I’ve been posting articles from Medium that I had not been planning to post on os.me. 

If you’ve had a post featured on os.me, you would have received an email containing the following sentence: 

Our community does not like posts that are preachy and dry, or posts where the author speaks from a distance.

The last 2-3 posts I’ve written qualify as ‘preachy’. While I’m largely preaching to myself, posting it online may give the impression that I have things sorted, and I’m qualified to dish out advice. Not even close.

Medium.com is full of preachy advice – I don’t mind reading them, I don’t care whether the author is qualified to give advice or not, I don’t care if the author follows it or not, if the advice is good, I want to read it. I tried my hand at writing articles that would be okay with the ethos of Medium – if they were preachy, so be it. But I had one rule – I had to believe that what I wrote is true. I wouldn’t write something for the sake of writing. I gave myself some leeway – if I didn’t follow the advice, that is okay – writing the article counterintuitively would increase my chances of following the advice – I had written it in public after all.

Coming back to the last 2-3 days – I didn’t feel like writing and I took the easy way out and posted some articles I’ve written on Medium. Each time someone praised the article on os.me, I would cringe – I had no business posting the points as if sitting on a pedestal (I know that I am not) and here was someone praising the post. Medium writers give the following advice – write ‘you’ instead of ‘I’ – you’re addressing the reader. I did the opposite on os.me – I took all the ‘You’s and replaced them with ‘I’, ‘Me’, ‘We’.

And still felt that the post’s tone was preachy.

Well, today I didn’t want to post another of my Medium.com articles. I was going to write an article from scratch. I wrote 5 drafts … I either needed more time to work on the piece, or couldn’t get my thoughts and arguments in order, or simply didn’t feel like writing it today. They remain safely shelved in my drafts section.

I then learned about an os.me category called ‘random thoughts.’

Random thoughts? Are you for real?

Christmas has come early! There I had my article – one with random thoughts!

A Category Called Random Thoughts

Did you know that there is an os.me category called ‘random thoughts’?

I didn’t, and I’m excited that it exists! Do you know what this means to a writer writing random thoughts?

  • This is a license to type whatever random thoughts I’m having now.
  • There is no need to think about the reader.
  • There is no need to worry about article structure.
  • There is no need to worry about whether the article will be good or not – remember, these are random thoughts, not well-researched and well-reasoned thoughts.
  • There is no need to worry whether the article will add value to the reader – if a reader wants value from random thoughts, then well … 

Arbitrary Thoughts?

My brother told me ‘random’ and ‘arbitrary’ are not interchangeable. 

Indeed, Wikipedia tells me that something is arbitrary if it is based on whim and impulse.

And what is ‘random‘? Let me allow Wikipedia to do the honors:

A random sequence of events, symbols or steps often has no order and does not follow an intelligible pattern or combination. Individual random events are, by definition, unpredictable, but if the probability distribution is known, the frequency of different outcomes over repeated events (or “trials”) is predictable.


So when I say something is random, I have to ascertain that while it is based on a whim, it should not follow a known probability distribution, and that the frequency of ‘repeated events’ is ‘not predictable’? 

So, instead of random thoughts, should I say arbitrary thoughts? 

I have it on good authority (read my wife) that my thoughts are random as well as arbitrary. Enough said.

“It is Not on TV Yet.”

Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza are trying to pitch their TV show to NBC executive Russell Dalrymple. 

Jerry goes about the pitch conventionally – “Well, we’ve thought about this in a variety of ways, but the basic idea is, I would play myse…” before George interrupts Jerry with his own explanation: ” I think I can sum up the show for you in one word. Nothing.” 

Russell Dalrymple is bewildered, of course. And Jerry is embarrassed – he tries to salvage the pitch, but George is adamant – the show is about nothing.

Russell Dalrymple : Well, why am I watching it?
George Costanza : Because it’s on TV.
Russell Dalrymple : Not yet.

I can imagine os.me editors cringing. 

Os.me editors: Why am I reading this drivel disguised as an article?
Me: Because it is live on os.me
Os.me editors: Not yet… Oh wait, it is live on os.me – anybody can publish an article! Even you! Sigh…

Stream of Consciousness 

In the os.me writing workshops, Medha Shri makes the participants write stream of consciousness posts. This is literally random thoughts. The participants then do requisite editing and post the final piece on os.me.

The random thoughts category makes it attractive to write stream of consciousness posts on os.me. The reader is warned beforehand – if they read the article knowing it contains random thoughts – caveat emptor!

Well, if I want to write an article, and I don’t know what to write about, you will now know where to find me!

In the Random Thoughts lounge!

Image Credit: Hans-Peter Gauster from Unsplash