There was a time when I was convinced I was writing for myself and myself only. This blog is an ongoing example of that: a subjectless ramble of personal thoughts, few of which are constructed for anyone but me.
So I just wrote. I didn’t proof. I rarely edited. I threw missives out like candy at a parade, and I watched as some of them slid under the curb. When so many things are tossed out without regard to audience, they tend to be easy to miss. I wondered why people didn’t comment, and I wondered how long I’d be willing to do this, and I ultimately decided it didn’t matter. This blog is for me. I’m the audience. Screw you people.
The real answer: this blog allows me to be lazy.
Quite the opposite of its intention, which was to be my canvas for practicing the art of writing. Just write, damn it. Just keep in practice – a post-a-day calendar for a non-writer looking to break into the business. Truth is, I’m long past that, and while my skills have improved slightly, my work habits have not. I am a lazy writer. I don’t do drafts. I’m a one-take-and-it’s-done guy.
When I write posts for Eating Elephant, I take great care in writing something worth reading. I write for an audience. I don’t have an editor, but I do have an internal scribe yelling at me to be better do better write better just be better aargh. And, now that I’m trying to get something together for the upcoming Contents Magazine, I finding that scribe is yelling even louder, this time backed up by a Real Life Editor Who Offers Suggestions.
(The Real Life Editor is much nicer than the internal voice, thankfully.)
So, yeah. Writing for others? It’s hard.
For nearly seven years, I’ve misunderstand what I was supposed to be practicing with this blog. I wasn’t supposed to write for quantity, but for quality – to develop some kind of writing methodology that could force its way through writer’s block and insecurity and all of the other crap that we as writers deal with every single day. Now, with a deadline looming and an audience waiting, I find myself wishing I’d have been a more focused student.
I really wish I’d have gotten the syllabus in the first place.
Time to learn focus, I guess. Time to stop being lazy.