On Writing

Sometimes this writing thing doesn’t come particularly easy. Lots of times I’ll feel this almost painful ache to write something but nothing comes out. I’ll wait while you make constipation jokes. Done? Great. But seriously, the inner creative voice always is in some sort of minor skirmish with the inner critic and while the great deal of blathering I do here at the Experiment would probably lead you to believe that I killed my inner critic with some sort of blunt force trauma and a 9MM enema, the critic usually wins the battle. I just spent 45 minutes trying to write something about code as inventory and nothing came out. I need a literary suppository.

I’m three fingers into a bottle of Balvenie and still, nothing. Writing is hard even to people that find writing easy. For every essay or idea that comes bursting forth from our heads fully formed and in battle armor all Athena-like, there are 20 more that decidedly more normal in birth and wonder or that get aborted before ever seeing the light of day. Like any talent, writing still requires work and sometimes the result of that work is a big pile of crap that sits in our Drafts folder if it’s lucky or gets deleted outright if it’s not.

I don’t have any amazing insights to share from this. After all, I’ve already said that I’m stuck tonight. I recently had a discussion with a friend about the relative merits and demerits of the ease of publishing on the web. His argument was that quality suffered when anyone with internet access and a blog could publish crap on the web and apparently, I’m trying to add data points to his argument tonight. To mitigate my crappy data point, go read about keeping your identity small. I’ve got an entire post about it but it’s crap too so you’re better off reading the good stuff.

0 comments on “On Writing

  1. I know exactly what you mean. I don’t blog that often because I have to be in the right “groove” to do it. I’ve been too busy lately to get in the right mode, but when I actually hit my stride, I usually wind up making a few posts back to back.

  2. I know exactly what you mean. I don’t blog that often because I have to be in the right “groove” to do it. I’ve been too busy lately to get in the right mode, but when I actually hit my stride, I usually wind up making a few posts back to back.

  3. The phrase “9MM enema” will haunt my dreams for years to come.

  4. The phrase “9MM enema” will haunt my dreams for years to come.

  5. His argument was that quality suffered when anyone with internet access and a blog could publish crap on the web.

    …in fact, he’s wrong – people’ve been writing blog-like mediocre-quality stuff for centuries. Go look at a collection of his letters, and (1) you’ll see he was unbelievably productive in that format ,and (2) you’ll an awfully familiarish shortish complaint format in most of them. And, yeah, even JEFFERSON could spout the mediocre blogstuff with the best of them.

  6. His argument was that quality suffered when anyone with internet access and a blog could publish crap on the web.

    …in fact, he’s wrong – people’ve been writing blog-like mediocre-quality stuff for centuries. Go look at a collection of his letters, and (1) you’ll see he was unbelievably productive in that format ,and (2) you’ll an awfully familiarish shortish complaint format in most of them. And, yeah, even JEFFERSON could spout the mediocre blogstuff with the best of them.

  7. …and, meanwhile, I can’t even get the top part of my message out:

    That’s why God invented blogbreaks. It’s worked pretty well several times for me. It also keeps you more on even keel, I think. Mine seem to last two weeks.

    Iā€™m three fingers into a bottle of Balvenie and still, nothing.

    Oh, oh! šŸ˜‰

  8. …and, meanwhile, I can’t even get the top part of my message out:

    That’s why God invented blogbreaks. It’s worked pretty well several times for me. It also keeps you more on even keel, I think. Mine seem to last two weeks.

    Iā€™m three fingers into a bottle of Balvenie and still, nothing.

    Oh, oh! šŸ˜‰

  9. @Casey: That’s true for me for lots of things too, like practicing the piano or learning French or whatever. Those are my passing fancies, things that just don’t hold my interest long enough to make a hobby out of it. I have ideas for writing every day but like you, work gets in the way. Gotta figure out a way to get paid to write.

    @Jon: I had no idea you had a blog and after some googling, can’t seem to turn it up. Fess up, mister. Where is it? As far as the quality of writing on the internet goes, I agree with my friend that there is a ton more crap available now but without the internet, I never would have read stuff by people like Paul Graham, Yves at Naked Capitalism or a myriad of others who I discover through the wonders of the internet.

    People wrote letters and journals back then but no one could read them. That’s the beauty of the internet and the democratization of publishing.

  10. @Casey: That’s true for me for lots of things too, like practicing the piano or learning French or whatever. Those are my passing fancies, things that just don’t hold my interest long enough to make a hobby out of it. I have ideas for writing every day but like you, work gets in the way. Gotta figure out a way to get paid to write.

    @Jon: I had no idea you had a blog and after some googling, can’t seem to turn it up. Fess up, mister. Where is it? As far as the quality of writing on the internet goes, I agree with my friend that there is a ton more crap available now but without the internet, I never would have read stuff by people like Paul Graham, Yves at Naked Capitalism or a myriad of others who I discover through the wonders of the internet.

    People wrote letters and journals back then but no one could read them. That’s the beauty of the internet and the democratization of publishing.

  11. I hang and blog at
    centerfield, but am usually too lazy to fill in the website, especially since I just changed browser to seamonkey, and it doesn’t yet have those things built up in memory.

  12. I hang and blog at
    centerfield, but am usually too lazy to fill in the website, especially since I just changed browser to seamonkey, and it doesn’t yet have those things built up in memory.

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