The words don’t flow like they used to.
I was reading Steph Smith’s article on writing today, and I was struck by several realizations:
- I used to write a lot more.
- The quality of those writings was all over the spectrum.
- I would like to get back to writing!
I think the biggest hurdle for me with writing and publishing it on a web page accessible by the ENTIRETY OF THE INTERWEB-SURFING CROSS-SECTION OF HUMANITY is, well, that. Concern over looking good or being coherent or the possibility of ridicule is fair, to an extent. It drives me to QA these pieces to some degree, and at least I’ll have properly constructed words up on a page that I can point to and say, “Hey, I translated some nerve impulses into glyphs that’ll translate to nerve impulses in someone else’s head! Isn’t that magical?!”. No, the biggest fear of all is writing something that I’m proud of that the rest of the universe doesn’t care a smidge about. That someone, somewhere, will stumble across my words and peruse the page for twenty seconds and shrug their shoulders and wish they could roll back time.
There are a few things in her article that I don’t wholeheartedly agree with, though. For example, she says that writing shouldn’t be just a to-do list item and that it’s fundamentally a mechanism to try to provide value to others. But for me, having “write something!” on my to-do list is a humongous impetus to actually get it done! I guess there’s no real conflict in these two views, but I wanted to highlight the power of the to-do list in the habit-forming process just the same. The second part though… for me most of the value comes out of getting ideas down on paper (or in a text file; stop being pedantic, sheesh). Sure, the compliments (if they come) are a bit of an ego massage, but the act of penning/typing is what makes me happy, all things considered.
The graph on how many days it takes to get a piece out the door… this may potentially be a “nipper in the bud” for a tyro trying to get started on writing. Who wants to be told that it’ll take an average of more than a month to ship a page of words? Perhaps perfect is the enemy of done here, or maybe I shou-
there is candidly a lot of crap out there
Noooo, I feel attacked. I think that’s a fairly strong statement to make; while I’m all for “don’t reinvent the wheel”, let people write whatever they want. There are easy ways to avoid it.
All in all, I like the article. It got me to write this, whatever this is. Critique? Not really. Commentary on how I relate to it? Maybe. Either way, here’s some words strung together in a way that they wouldn’t have had I not read it. And that, my friends, makes a world of difference.
So here’s to turning on the rusty faucet, to the sputters and dripping and hopefully, eventually, to the showers and splooshing and flooding as the words discover that there is another way out into the world. Here’s to getting the words to flow again.
P.S. I have to say, I love the phrase “idea arbitrage”.