Write First, Ask Questions Later

Siegler’s on to something with “The Blogging Mindset”

All of this is to say that I think I’m going to start doing for everything what I have done for aforementioned Apple topics. And actually, have done before seeing movies for a while. That is, wait to read the other takes until after I’ve formed my own opinion. I have a link blog (read: newsletter) to link to great takes/thoughts eventually, I don’t need to do that in an initial post.

This move is also selfish: I wish to write more. When I think about what is stopping me from writing more, it’s often the amount of time needed to read all of the takes I feel like I must read before weighing in on something myself.

M. G. Siegler “The Blogging Mindset”

Siegler’s post really helps encapsulate some lingering thoughts and concerns of my own, especially:

Basically, I now feel like I can’t write about anything unless I’ve read as much as I possibly can about a topic.

And:

If I spent too much time reading over other thoughts and reviews, my own became weaker, not stronger, as a result.

Some of the best, most impassioned writing comes when you have a passionate view on an issue. That passion is often early, heat of the moment, off the cuff, and, sure, sometimes not fully informed. But in a desire to dig and get every ounce of information before posting, you lose some of the value of your take and temper that passion and fire.

Far too often I read something that I have an opinion on. But digging into it, and the subsequent time that takes, often dilutes my desire. Not because my opinion is changed, but because I diminish the value of my own thoughts.

That’s not to say one should go off on something uninformed. You don’t want to be WRONG, but it’s OK to have a take without overthinking something. To strive to be timely and relevant. Yes, it’s a lot of WWIC, but it’s also the nature of and really where blogs shined best in a world before Facebook and Twitter.

Writing About Writing Isn’t Writing And Blogging About Writing Isn’t Writing Either

But I am writing

Transcribing chicken scratch.

Many years ago I found myself wanting to get back into writing so I picked up a daily diary/planner Moleskine and challenged myself to fill a page a day. Made it about six weeks before I fell off. But it helped inspire some stories that I did finish that year before falling into the regular routine of life and not making the time to write much.

Fast forward to 2019 and I figured I’d try again. I picked up an 18 month journal back in November and since then I have filled about a page a day with a couple gaps of a day or so here and there, but I’ve largely held myself to one page a day, 5-6 days a week. Nothing high art, I’m revisiting characters I’ve played with for nearly twenty years now (woah dang, 20 years?!!). But the challenge is to get decades of stories out of my head and on to paper. Even if they never get past that. It’s my creative outlet. Helps calm a busy day. Stuff like that.

It’s helping trigger the creative juices at the right time as well, because a friend of my reached out earlier this year and said, hey, we should work on something together. So I said sure. And now there’s a tease:

Take a moment and go enjoy Jericho Vilar’s work over at IRUINCLASSICS and his Instagram. You’ll see that I’m truly lucky to have such a talented dude to work with.

So I guess stay tuned. Because not everything that goes into this notebook is going to stay there.

Novel Editing: Week One

I’m finding my original edits from 2003/04 were more thorough than I remembered in some areas and missed some glaring errors in others. One week in and about half the book has been cleaned up. Surprisingly I haven’t needed a second red pen. I worry that is more a judgment of my editing abilities than my writing.

Admittedly it’s weird to read this because it flashes back to seven years ago, a different time in my life (as it was for everyone else, too). The book is fiction but uses loosely autobiographical elements: locations and settings, some individuals, some events blown out of proportion ten times over. So it’s natural to be dragged back.

What’s most interesting to me is how the style is so different. Second person, present tense. Themes across the story. I haven’t written like this in seven years. I’d be hard pressed to imitate or duplicate it now.

Maybe that’s reflected in the edits. Different word choices or maybe outright fear of my in ability to do major rewrites should they be needed. I dunno.

Halfway in and I’m having my doubts. But that’s to be expected so far removed from the story. We’ll see how the back half goes.