A while ago I re-posted a quote from a blogger who spoke of the importance in not worrying about your level or lack of wordsmithary. The truth in the matter is that that is wholly right. The style of publication we have here doesn’t require you to pause over every word, and it gives it all this very real and truthful texture. That’s all logical, and I like that.
Yet I have not being writing because of the opposite emotional pull. Part of me strives to express thoughts I know I have shared with others- or ones I think will be- but there’s this store of pride that’s holding me back. It’s not for lack of things to say and in a way I do know how, but I scramble to achieve those beautiful moments when what is often thought is expressed in the best way that it ever could be. But why for Pope’s sake am I trying so hard? I’m not Hemingway.
When I hit the publicize button I am never truly happy. I am truly finished trying, but it’s never as poetic as I hoped. I fight to craft line by line, word by word and try to round off the entire post where in truth I have made references and irrelevant tangents all over the place. They’re irrelevant and I still refuse to remove them, just as vehemently as I refuse to take any post down. When anything is edited it’s for spelling or grammar even where any normal person would scrap the whole thing. Now I have the unpleasant option of looking back at videos, lyrics and journal entries that drip with youthful ignorance, and my skin crawls with the embarrassment. Still, I won’t burn them. …Sometimes I hide them from particular prying eyes. As I have mentioned before, I don’t like people I know in real life knowing about this blog never mind reading it.
WordPress has had a good few words of encouragement for me via my email box. There are several interviews with “successful bloggers” that I have been linked to. I get about half way through reading before realising most have similar advice only worded in each individuals own way. Things like creating a schedule, knowing your audience, knowing your style, writing what you know, not worrying but reassessing after not before publication, blah, blah. I get it.
When I wrote my new blog outline I set a schedule and said I would explore subject lines x, y and z. Just as when I first started this thing I have not followed it. My outline should probably not exist, but how then to let people understand what I’m about without traipsing through my previous posts to find out how indecisive I am. What am I? A university drop-out, a half-blood with matching experiences, and someone who writes posts like they’re a mind map. The best way to describe it is like each post is a game of tetris; it always starts off without a hitch but a few misplaced building blocks later and the whole thing is screwed up and off-looking. How’s that for style awareness.
So… I work in a pub (I have a point, I promise) and we use boards to let people know about availability and seasonal dishes as is customary. The issue we have been having is that the boards must be updated twice a day and in nice handwriting. After much debate the team consensus is that only 3 of the 18 members of staff have nice handwriting, myself being one of them and the other two being on holiday. The reason my hand is desirable is because all of my letters are joined and have definite form. Graphology makes little sense to me because I write the way I do on purpose. I chose when I was learning to write to craft how it would look. I know that there are certain hand contortions that come naturally thus having an affect on the look of your letters, but nurture can defy some of this. Learning to read and write was difficult for me and I still can’t identify typos (thank you spell check, your Infallible Red-squigglyness).
One of my various work arounds was to follow writing form. Certain words had a certain correct shape in my head and to imitate this I defined them not as separate symbols that made words. Instead each word was a picture of definite flow. This made reading in different font difficult, but that didn’t matter because I already blubbered reading aloud anyway- when I didn’t blubber I mono-toned and misspoke. It was to my higher English class’s great amusement when I said “the devil is a willy one” when reading Arthur Miller’s Crucible. So much thought has gone into my writing single words as I have grown up that now I can’t stop myself. Each word has had to be worthy of the time it took to paint it. In what I type, the words must now be worthy of saying to strangers. It irks me that they so rarely manage to be worthy.
That’s pride talking of course. It shouldn’t irk me. It shouldn’t be that you ask more of yourself than your capable of. Or of anyone for that matter. Much of my first social experiences were filled with embarrassment of behaviours I couldn’t help, so the only way I could beat my peers was in striving for the best. I was only not embarrassed if I beat them at things and even then they still managed to make me ashamed of achieving every so often. Shame of achievement is easy to lose but the fear of embarrassment stays with us. Fears always do. The skin crawling feeling I have gotten looking back has meant that the things I planned to write about have gone unexpressed.
The conclusion in all this is that sometimes it is better to do a half-assed job, than not at all. Also that perhaps it is best not to look back. You can’t achieve those beautiful moments of expression when you don’t try. You also can’t achieve them when you have nothing to say at all. So a timetable means little for me. I have decided that the advice these bloggers give about schedules is silly. If you have nothing to say then you end up talking about fuck all, and if you rush something you have to say you might miss opportunities where your mind is working at it’s best.
Do you know… I haven’t ever read Hemingway’s work. Society has enshrined his name and although considered a great American novelist his work hasn’t come up during my education. Only his name. Oddly enough, the synopses don’t entice my curiousity either. I guess as far as audience is concerned, Hemingway and I have at least one thing in common- there are a lot of folk who just won’t be interested in the the things we have to say.