Friday, June 12, 2015
One late night recently I started reading through a few dozen random old clerkmanifesto blog posts. Sometimes I am amazed by myself. This time I was not, alas. Despite their tendency towards shortness, the little essays seemed complicated and intricate. I occasionally felt like I had to really work at understanding them, and I'm the one who wrote them. I might hardly have known what they were about had I not already been advised by myself earlier on that score. And here is a curious pattern, one perhaps familiar to other artists out there: The things I am working on, or have just finished and am prepping for release, tend to be far more fabulous than the things I have already done. Usually. Sometimes. This time.
But I refused to give in to defeat, and I will not retract my enthusiastic claims to greatness. But I will not be complacent, and I shall strive to improve. And with that in mind I have composed this new, guiding blog motto:
Always seek brevity. Brevity and clarity. Brevity, clarity, and concision. Brevity, clarity, concision, and focus. Brevity, clarity, concision, focus, and economy of thought. Do not try to do more in a paragraph than the paragraph will bear. Stay on task, and don't venture into impressionistic commentaries on your commentaries. Do not overuse italics. Do not turn every essay you write into a shaggy dog story. You don't even like dogs that much, though you do find shaggy ones are usually fairly pleasant. Don't use extra words that aren't necessary merely for the sake of having a rambling, discursive, off-putting, obtuse, facetiously over-explanatory, impish rhythm. Do not make readers run a gauntlet to prove they are paying attention, but rather simplify. Wait, Yes! Simplicity! Brevity, clarity, concision, focus, economy of thought, and simplicity. And minimalism, definitely minimalism too. These are the watchwords that forever shall ye go by. And never use arcane language like "Shall ye". Which I just did. And I'm sorry. And none of this will happen ever again. I mean, as long as I can remember this new blog motto, which is probably now far too long to actually remember. Indeed, at this point I suppose it has sadly become too long to even reasonably call it a motto.
But I have found a silver lining in all of this:
I am finding this post, despite all its rambling and buffoonery, or perhaps because of it, to be perfectly delightful. So there is, fortunately no need to apply the rules of my new super long motto to any of my writing right now. However, if, in four months, I happen upon this post and am disappointed, then I can apply all the wisdom of my new motto at that point.
I think it's a good idea. Of course, to do this, in four months I will need to be able to figure out what it is I'm actually saying here, which may be a tad too much effort to be worth it.