Things have been busy in the Meadow for the last couple of days, and one thing that had to be put on hold was blogging. That’s getting more difficult to do, since I realize that I now think of myself as a “blogger.” Not as in, “what do you do most on your computer,” but more like “what do you do for a living?” And of course, since I’m not paid nor remunerated in any way, but for some free books (hey I’m not complaining, but of course I would die for a laptop and satellite service to do this more efficiently and thoroughly), that’s a fairly odd reply I think.
Yet, it’s undeniable that when asked what I do in the Meadow, I tend to remark as how I blog. This often brings on the question “what’s the name of your blog?” and then, I’m not always so sure that I should have said that.
Blogging, you see is somewhat personal. Yes, I know, sharing it with the great invisible world is hardly personal, but for the most part, readers are those I don’t know personally at all. So if they should gasp in horror at something I have written, well, it’s no skin off my nose as they say. So, I’m a bit unsure about the fact that people I do know, now know that I blog.
In any event, it is what it is, and the older I get, the more being authentic becomes, whatever the cost may be. Being me is most important. I’m not any longer interested in placing facades up for various “audiences” in my life. I suppose we do that, or at least most of us do. Age tends to dull the need for that, or the desire. Old people are rather notorious for “letting it all hang out.”
I recall someone saying, no doubt many have, that “I’ve never worked a day in my life.” They meant of course that they loved what they did to make a living, and never thought of it as work. That should be the goal of every human I believe, and blogging may be it for me. It fits me to a T as they say, (whoever They are, and why ever they say it if they do).
You see, I love to write, but I love to write in my own strange way, which fits perfectly this genre. I do not and have never written by the “book”. I have never in my life written a “draft,” first, second or otherwise. I’ve written several dozen rather large papers in my day, many of them quite technical, legal and otherwise. A couple have been more than one hundred pages in length with a similar number of footnotes and lenthy bibliographies to match.
I have a style of writing that is all to all my own. I don’t recommend it. But it is the way I do it. Let me explain:
I go to the library and collect the books I think might be useful. I start with one, and a notebook, with the name, author and all pertinent publishing information. They I take notes, and if I quote something I drop the page number at the end and circle it. At the end of my research, I may have several dozen pages of notes like this. Then I start from the top and read the first note, and number it #1. The second, if different is #2. I continue numbering each different note until I find one that relates to one I already have and that gets a repeat. So it might go as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 3, 2, 6, 7, 8, 1, 5, 3, 9, 10. You see?
When I get all done, I made have 40-50, maybe more, depending on the size of the project. Then I list all the “subjects” 1-however many. Then I look at the subjects until I start to see patterns and from that evolves a outline, until all the various category-subjects are accounted for.
Then I write, straight through from beginning to end. Of course all this may take days, depending on the length, but I figure out the order and work out the paragraphs in my head, and then commit them to typing.
Once done, I reread from the top, usually out loud, and revise. Now this only consists of corrections in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure if incorrect. I don’t shift paragraphs, or rewrite sections or anything like that. I then reread again, spell check, double check footnotes and bibliographies for accuracy, and bam, I’m done. Oddly, I tend to put the name on first, but sometimes last, or in the middle. It comes when it comes.
So blogging comes naturally, given that writing drafts is a serious faux pax in the art of the blog. It’s supposed to be “earthy,” fresh, straight from the gut. And frankly, lazy person that I am, that is perfect for me. Doing this blog is not work, but sheer delight most days.
I’m certainly not a major blogger like those found at the HuffPo, Drudge, and other politico/entertainment sites. I’m not nearly as witty as Garrison Keillor, or as hysterically funny as Dave Barry. I could never carry my weight with an Erma Bombeck. I’m more the average size city newspaper columnist type. I could turn out a passably decent piece once a week of witty/humorous/commentary on a large variety of subjects. I could have made a living at it I think.
Instead I went and became a stupid lawyer. Duh, I coulda had a V-8!