Death to the inner editor

Okay, I can see how this is going to be. Days on end with nothing, nothing, nothing to say, and then suddenly a flurry of ideas all at once. Maybe I'll get into a pattern of building up a backlog of not-especially-time sensitive posts on the days when I feel like writing and doling them out day by day so I don't end up with these big stretches of silence between bolts of sheer brilliance. ;)

Part of the trouble with blogging is that it's an instant medium, and I am a perfectionist. I don't want to float anything until it's finely polished, and I really know that this is really what I think, and that I've expressed it with perfect clarity.

Some of this obsession comes from the experience of sending carefully-crafted messages out into the world, and getting responses that indicate that some reader has completely missed my point. How could you get that out of what I said? That's not what I meant at all!

Some of my best writing is done in a blaze of passion, addressed to my parents or good friends, people who know me, and so with whom I do not feel the need to be especially careful with my language, because they can read between the lines, fill in the gaps, know what I couldn't possibly have meant because it just wouldn't be in my character to mean that. And then my parents go and share these missives with their friends (I keep forgetting that sending something to my dad is the equivalent of publishing, unless I clearly mark it as confidential), and I go nuts, because I would have edited more carefully if I had thought I was going to have a broader audience. I state things in extreme terms in personal correspondence because I can trust the recipient to recognize the moments when I fly off into hyperbole and interpret accordingly.

Now, a blog is supposed to be an outlet for that character of writing, a resting place for the unpolished first drafts, a way to break myself of the habit of not showing anything to anybody until I've made it perfect. But it's so public -- anyone could come across it! (Of course, so far I haven't told anyone that I even have a blog, so even though I'm posting this on the world wide web, my navel-gazing may well be the equivalent of a tree falling in a vast internet forest with no one around to hear it.)

I need to stop worrying about people missing the point, and trust my words to do their work, and trust my readers to exercise a hermeneutic of charity, and not let myself be bothered by those who don't.


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