Friday, December 20, 2013

On blogging...


Oh the trials and tribulations of a blogger.

The website for Discover magazine is one that I visit daily to find news for both ESE and the science fiction I write.  I came across this post by George Johnson that really struck home with me.

He spoke of how bloggers, for the most part, don't have a panel of editors to send their work through before hitting "publish."  Sure, I look my posts over before doing so, but any professional will tell you that it is difficult to check your own work.  Only once it's up for the world to see do I find the glaring "typo" (I hate the hell out of that word) or Ahab Pope emails me with a correction or worst of all, I see a glaring gap in logic where my brain moved faster than my typing fingers.  Johnson seems to be running into the same thing.

In his post, he cites a quote from writer Susan Orlean on blogging:

". . . you have no editor and no opportunity to have your work filtered through a critical eye. . . . somebody who says, ‘This doesn’t make sense to me,’ or, ‘Why are you writing this piece?’ or, ‘This lede just doesn’t engage me.’ A blog just doesn’t offer you that."

Yes it is tricky and believe it or not, I do try to deliver the best possible content that I can.  On the other hand, a composition theorist might argue that being bereft of such editorial constraints might actually enhance the creative process.  You know it's all about the process.

Then again, things out of my control (or mostly anyway) tend to weigh on my mind as well.  Theorists also speak of such a thing as "loss of primacy."  That means that once you've written something, it is almost entirely out of your hands how someone can interpret it.  Indeed I have had people do this, mostly out of confusion or in a manner that I could honestly see why they thought what they did.  In the case of the latter, it's been due to my lack of clarity.

I have committed other comparatively small errors in print and paid the subsequent price for them. I'm certain I have lost several opportunities this way.  Oh well.  Live and learn.  But I shouldn't worry too much. Fewer and fewer people read these days so ultimately everything I'm doing is meaningless.

This blog is in reality, I'm finding, the equivalent of a golf game; a relaxing hobby but never going to get me to the PGA tour.



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