Let Season 8 Begin!

Well readers, it’s the second most wonderful time of the year, the first being Christmas of course! This second most wonderful time of the year though is the beginning of a new season of LJ Idol! Yes Idol contestants, I’m coming back!

     For readers of this blog who may be new, LJ Idol is an amazingly fun spin-off of reality shows like American Idol where each week, you are given a topic to write about. People vote for their favorite entries and whoever has the fewest votes for that week is eliminated, or should I say, “sent home.”

     Last year, Season 7 was my first experience as a contestant on LJ Idol. I had a wonderful time, but unfortunately was sent home on week 10. But this season, I can officially call myself a veteran. In other words, things are going to be different this year.

     I would like to say with confidence that I will win, but I won’t be that arrogant. I hate how every contestant on shows like American Idol introduce themselves by saying they are confident they will win. While it is great to project confidence and think positively, the reality is there are a lot of excellent, and for that matter much more experienced writers in this community and only one person can win. If I win, that would be so amazing, but if I don’t I am alright with that too. However, it is my goal to at least make it further than week 10 this year.

     Finally, I should apologize to my fellow contestants for not being able to read everyone’s entries or respond to all the comments regarding my own entry. I know that when I signed up to be a contestant last year, I mentioned wanting to meet other writers and make new friends. I genuinely would love to do this, but unfortunately, I quickly discovered last season that being a full-time college student doesn’t allow me to be as social as I would like to be. I could catch up on entries on semester breaks, but it feels kind of awkward to comment on entries after everyone has moved on to the next topic. So what I ended up doing last year was reading the entries of contestants on my friend list and then go to the polls and read a couple of the entries receiving a lot of votes in my tribe. If I don’t read your entry, it is not because I don’t care about your writing. I simply cannot read them all, and I don’t think my parents would be pleased if I failed college classes over LJ Idol! No offense.

     The same is true for responding to comments on my own entries. The braille computer I use is kind of slow, so even replying to one comment takes forever. I could reply to one or two of them but don’t want it to appear that I appreciate some people’s comments more than others. So since I cannot reply to all of the comments and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, I typically won’t reply to anyone’s comments. But please know that I do read and appreciate them all. I will graduate college in May, so by season 9, I should be a college graduate with a job and no more homework and therefore a lot more time for an online social life.

     With that being said, some of you readers are probably understandably asking, “if you don’t have time to read everyone’s entries or respond to comments, why compete?” My simple answer is that life can be pretty dreary this time of year where I live. It is midway through the semester, right when classes are at the height of boringness. My trek to class often involves cold damp wind or rain and since I am too old to get dressed up and go trick-or-treating and our neighborhood is so spread out that trick-or-treating is no fun anyway, there is nothing to look forward to until Thanksgiving. But reading comments about my writing, having the opportunity to read as many entries as I can from other amazing writers and the thrill of watching the polls is just enough to put a spring in my step and give me something to look forward to amidst the monotony of school life, and although I have no way of scientifically proving it, I feel like when I have something to look forward to, I have an easier time staying motivated to get my school work done.

     So I understand the reasoning that “if you may not be able to read my work, why should I read yours?” If you don’t read my writing, that is fine, especially since I would really have no way of knowing. But if you would like to motivate a student to keep writing and study hard in school, I sure would appreciate it and I promise that next year I will pull my weight and more actively support you. On that note, let the games begin!

Published by Allison Nastoff

As I write this in 2020, I am 30 years old. I am blind, and Gilbert was my first guide dog. He passed away on December 2, 2020, but I decided to keep the title for my blog as a tribute to him because he will always hold a special place in my heart. In 2012, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a journalism emphasis, and went back to school for a Paralegal certificate in 2014. I worked for five years at a Social Security disability firm. When the pandemic hit, I did some reflecting and decided to resign from this job and take seminary courses. My dream is a career as a teacher or writer where I can be a blessing to others.

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