The wrong post – I made myself write

September 27, 2010 § 4 Comments


Ok, I admit it, this one is a force. A bit of sheer will applied to the keyboard. It’s been almost a month since my last post and that’s just not how long I want to go between posts so I’m giving myself a guilt trip.

Or maybe it’s an ego trip.

You see I have this thing. I like to feel clever – it feels good to write a post where you feel you shared a great idea or pointed out some cool observation. I try not to be smarmy about it… or falsely modest either: I believe that on my good days I’ve got something worthwhile to say, don’t we all? But that’s the trap isn’t it? That sneaky bit of self-indulgence wrapped up in the word worthwhile, that’s what gives me these frustrated moments sitting and staring at the screen, trying to come up with something that’s blog-worthy. Yeah, really, “blog-worthy” – like that’s even a thing. Yecch.

Usually this is where the browser opens up and I let the web distract me away into oblivion – excusing myself for not writing with a shrugging “at least I tried.” But really, I gave up – I let the words get too hard, put too much pressure on them, got caught up in importance and meaning. I lost touch with the idea that these words can be playthings. Oh just give me a limerick! A bit of badinage, a freeform stream-of-conscious romp through alleys of artful, alliteration. Give me a stumper – any old excuse to run to the dictionary. Give me a crossword, an acrostic, challenge me to Scrabble! Those are words having fun!

So why do all the cool, fun, tongue-in-cheeky bits of language evaporate into thin air when it’s time to write the blog? Are they sucked into the cooling fan of the computer? Are they secretly meeting behind my desk plotting to dangle a participle? These words that could be here doing their job, are they experimenting with some exotic punctuation? “…but Dad all the cool vowels are getting umlauts this year…” Are they in the closet trying on fonts to see which ones make their ligatures look fat? Why do the words abandon me just when I need them most?

Because they’re hanging out with all my ideas.

Seriously, it’s past curfew – time for at least one idea to come home and shout “I’m here!” and then eagerly pop out on the screen and say “I’m sorry I kept you waiting, let’s get to work now.” It doesn’t even need to be a good idea. Rejoice! The prodigal idea returneth!

But I guess it’s just going to be one of those nights where the ideas stay out until dawn drinking with their no-good buddies, the concepts. No doubt, tomorrow I’ll think of a bunch of great posts. Posts ideas that are really worth your time, filled with sage advice and clever quotable passages. Inspired concepts for life changing posts that could solve the energy crisis and bring species back from the brink of extinction. But I’ll probably forget to jot those down.

So for tonight all I’ve got to say is that I stepped up to bat and took a swing. I saw it through. I checked in. I did the writing. 583 words to say I was here. I think tonight that will just have to be enough.

Veni, Vidi, Scripsi.
(I came, I saw, I wrote)

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§ 4 Responses to The wrong post – I made myself write

  • Julie Stuart says:

    Good for you!! Yeah, I wonder too sometimes where are all the good words. Sometimes they are in my head when I’m in the shower and then immediately once I’m out they evaporate. Not fair. I love the doodle. Love. Love. Love.

    • davidscohen says:

      Thank you, thank you thank you! :)
      I’m sure there is some great research out there on why the shower is such a good place for ideas. I actually keep dry-erase markers by the bathroom mirror so I can scribble on it in an idea emergency – something that I find useful, but somehow your namesake, my shweetie-pie, fails to see how clever that is, so I have a limited window of opportunity to copy down the idea before the Windex comes out. :)

  • Yes! The trap of “worthwhile.”

    When it’s been too long since my last post, I usually have to find some way to take the preciousness out of posting. So that I can just get something out there. And then once I’ve done that, I almost always have another post idea (or three) that follows immediately.

    And if I’m lucky, I remember them long enough to write them down. :)

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