Wednesday, April 13, 2011

But wait, there's more!

Also, not me
Writing a blog is hard work. Especially if you’re me. And incidentally, I am. The problem I have is that I over-think just about every word I write and in the process, I seem to kill any bit of creativity or spontaneity that may have been possible pre-bout of obsessiveness (oh screw you Microsoft word, it is too a word). Which is pretty funny for someone who deliberately described herself as someone who rarely takes herself too seriously. That’s a good one. What can’t I take too seriously?

Remember in high school when you got various written assignments back and your teacher wrote things like “unclear” or “too wordy.” I do. I would think to myself, “Unclear? Unclear?? Are you kidding me? It’s totally obvious who or what I am talking about in this fine piece of literary effort.” And as for wordiness, well, I happen to like words. I like them a lot. In fact, I like them so much that I often like to find at least two or possibly three ways of phrasing the same thought yet employ subtle differences in meaning, which, as an aggregate, perfectly convey the tiny ray of brilliance that I am trying to express. Better too much than not enough is my philosophy.

Well, I suppose the blog is my chance to eschew all those restrictive little customs that high school English teachers think are so gosh-darn important. Unfortunately however, Mrs. Griggs and that Carol Channing-esque blonde hair-do of hers are firmly lodged in my head so that when I re-read anything I’ve just written I go through it with a fine-toothed comb looking for possible words that are not exactly what I mean to say or sentences that may be awkward or, god forbid, too wordy. I mean, I like efficiency as much as I like words, I can see the virtue in economy.

As a result of all this gut-wrenching preoccupation with the written word (or the written-by-me word, I should say), the blog is a bit lacking these days. I’m considering a brief experiment in which I force myself to post something every day for a week. It could produce some interesting results. No, not actual interesting writing, but maybe I can desensitize myself a bit. You know, like throwing the kid who is terrified of water into the deep end of the pool. Because that always works well as a fear-conquering technique.

On a final note, I would just like to acknowledge my ninth grade English teacher, Mrs. Griggs, who passed away a few years ago. I made fun of her and her hair-fluffing and I stubbornly refused to read “A Tale of Two Cities” despite the fact that I knew I was trashing a perfectly good grade and also despite the potentially imagined disappointment I could see in her eyes every day I slunk into class during the teaching of that work. Dear Mrs. Griggs, I would just like you to know that at age 32 I did indeed read the Dickens classic and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope that you and Chuck are up there sharing some punch and smiling down on me in approval. And thank you.

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