The Writing Mystic

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

There’s some form of mystic associated with writing professionally that, in some ways, I don’t understand.

It doesn’t exist with, say, web development — there are scores of web page designers and developers who would be appalled at having to do what they do as a hobby, as a job, day in and day out. In addition, there are those who garden, cook, drive, sew, and care for children who wouldn’t even consider doing the same for a buck.

But writing, well, writing professionally somehow imbues the written word with a higher degree of importance than the word that’s given freely. Even if the written word is included in the biggest jumble of disorganized crap that ever existed on any planet in the universe, and the freely given word is the epitomy of elegance, grace, and clarity.

Perhaps the reason for this mystic is that if one is paid for the word, one is somehow supposed to be more proficient with the use of the word. I write this word — apple — and I am not paid for it. Therefore, the value of –apple — is worth less then the word — Apple — as long as it is followed by OS X and I’ve convinced some editor somewhere that it is worthy of inclusion within their magazine, eZine, book, or other form of publication.

It is true that when one is paid for an act, one improves over time. Based on this we can conclude that when we pay for an action, we should be able to expect more from that action.

This works for sex — why not writing?

The act of writing professionally. The publication process.

As an example of the publication process, take a look at the following sentence:

My recommendation would be that you flibit the gidbet and then flummer the dummer.

One publication prefers that writers not use the familiar, so can the professional writer remove all familiar references?

Okay, how’s this:

It is accepted practice to flibit the gidget and then flummer the dummer.

Another publication prefers the familiar form, and also prefers witty repartee with the reader. Can the professional writer please adjust accordingly?

Okay, how’s this:

My recommendation would be that you flibit the gidbet and then flummer the dummer, and you’ll be kicking ass at that point.

A third publication hastens to add that words such as “ass” might be offensive to some readers. Please edit this remark.

Okay. Is the following acceptable:

My recommendation would be that you flibit the gidbet and then flummer the dummer, and you’ll be much happier with the results.

There’s another publication. This one likes to have notes, sidebars, and annotations.

Okay. Then how the hell is this:

My recommendation (being aware that I have enormous experience with this) would be that you flibit the gidbet (see for more info) and then flummer the dummer, (see sidebar A1), and you’ll be happier with the results (happier: increased sense of well being).

Are these examples of writing somehow worth more than the unpaid version of the same, such as one could find at a weblog?

Weblog version:

To hell with the gidbet, who cares about the flummer, go get a beer, and screw it all until tomorrow.

I think not.

(Legal Disclaimer: The publications referred to in this document are entirely fictional. Any similarity to an existing publication is purely coincidental.)

Diversity Weblogging


Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Steve at OnePotMeal provides his interpretation of a men’s blog in response to a challenge for same from the Blog Sisters weblog. Cracked me up, big time.

I’ve been following the initial efforts of Blog Sisters with a great deal of interest. A couple of times I even thought about throwing a posting or two into the stew; however, I refrained because me thinks the stew has too many spices, already.

And that’s the thing, isn’t it? Individually, the members of this new weblog are fascinating, well written, interesting, gusty, bold, and incredible women. However, I am finding that taken together, the sound is becoming overwhelming.

Question: Can a group weblog whose only limitation to membership is sexual classification survive without imploding under the weight of all the voices? The topics range in a dizzying spiral of sex and melted wax and vibrators and motherhood and death and RageBoy and Daypop — all in the course of an hour.

What happens over time as the membership continues to grow, the members become more comfortable, and, one can assume, consequently more verbose? Will finally meet its match?

I will continue to watch the metamorphisis of Blog Sisters in fascination, not sure if it’s because I’m seeing the evolution of a new way of communicating on the web, or because I’m about to witness weblogging’s first 100 car pile up.

Regardless, what a bold bold move.