Tuesday, January 17, 2023

My hopeless process


On a holiday morning, a Monday, MLKj day specifically,  I wandered over to the staging area of clerkmanifesto. I had to write a blog post and I thought maybe I would be magically inspired. But because you have never seen the staging area of clerkmanifesto I need to describe it to you. It won't take long.

It is bare and featureless.

One might think it would be full of leftover parts and colorful bits and all manner of delightful tools, but no. It is pleasantly useful, yes, but it is bare, old wood, with a few simple cranes to move around large objects, and a lot of "very's" scattered about on the floor. There are a lot of "a lot's" as well. I really need to do some sweeping, metaphorically, which really just means that if I want to clean things up I need to write blog posts that use the words "very" and "a lot" a lot. This is very hard to do! What normally happens is that I cram my blog post with "very" and "a lot", but it makes the blog post end up sounding terrible, so I have to edit them out after all, and somehow in the end there are even more very's and a lot's scattered about than I started with.

My point is that poking around in the back areas of clerkmanifesto is not a source of inspiration.

So what I inevitably do at that point is check out the public areas of clerkmanifesto. That is, I read old blog posts.

This is equally futile.

Sometimes I am not impressed and I understand all too well why I never got, er, popular. This is no inspiration. Sometimes I am very impressed by what I wrote though. Today, for instance, I tracked back to a series of posts from December 31 of 2018 and read backwards to Christmas Day, and... whoa. 

Now I must confess this: My vanity used to make me bitter.

In the not terribly distant past I would read a blog post of mine, or a series of them, and think "Wow, these are great!" and then I would be mad that I am not a rich and famous author like, um, Nora Roberts or David Sedaris. Or Sue Townsend or Colleen Hoover (side note: in coming up with odd names for this tiny list I decided to look up the current bestselling author. Colleen Hoover? By a landslide? I had no idea!). Now I do not feel bitter about my lack of global recognition. I just try to enjoy that, according to me, I can write bracingly good blog posts. I also try and stop reading before I stop thinking my blog posts are so great.

Here I managed to stop after seven posts. So I'm still thinking I'm a pretty good writer.

But there was nothing about reading any of these four year old blog posts that gave me great inspirations for what to write now. After all, what I said was so complete. What else was there to add?

And so I was on my own.

I wandered back the clerkmanifesto staging area and, with nothing else for it, just... started... 


Maybe in four years I'll know how it turned out.

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