Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

My Thanksgiving blog vacation begins in few minutes.

I loved composing the blogpost below: "Foundation of leadership", because I learned so much as I went along. When I was young, coaches would frequently encourage us to "show some leadership". I had coaches pull me aside and say how important it was that I "show some leadership." I had zero idea how to go about doing that.

Much of the time, when composing a blogpost, I don't know where I'm going (obviously due to lack of self-leadership!). I have a vague idea - else I would not begin - but I often do not end up where the vague idea was originally going. I learn as I go, and change directions, like a broken field blogger.

I see the fallacies in my own thinking as I go - and that's the best part. No one wants to go through life as the victim of fallacious thinking. Blogging, and thus seeing those fallacies, has helped me to become a more clear-thinking person - and thus a better person, I hope.

I blog really fast: boom boom boom, get it all out there, fingers flying on the keyboard. Then I go back and start rewriting, rewriting, rewriting. The original idea has to be massaged into a logical flow. Things have to be re-arranged and smoothed. Transitioned. Shortened, always. Sometimes I cut glops of 100, or even 300 or so words. I've also deleted larger glops than that, for sure.

At first, it killed me to delete such large glops of words. Now, it doesn't, b/c I wrote the words really fast, and b/c I have formed the habit of being able to delete my own dreck - if I can recognize the dreck! Depending on the size of a blogpost, I might edit and re-arrange anywhere from 8 to 20 times. I've edited some posts more than 20 times, for sure.

Oddly, the posts I struggle on are often the posts I enjoy the most. I just keep re-reading a post, and keep rewriting it, until, finally, I can read completely through it without desiring to rewrite any part of it, and without thinking part of it is dreck.

I don't know if this is the best method. In school, we learned to outline our essays before starting to write. That method always sucked for me. It was hard to conceive of ideas. It was hard to acheive flow. It works better for me to just start my fingers and my ideas moving, then re-write and re-arrange until I enjoy reading through it.

The good thing is, once I've moved through all the re-reading and re-writing, I'm almost done with the post. I always go back and read it the next day, because the post always looks different the next day. Always. That dynamic is kinda worrisome, actually. Sometimes, the next day, I'll re-start a spurt of rewriting. During this, I'll be thinking "Sheesh, how could I have written this so badly?!"

However, if I can look at it the next day w/o changing it, I often don't ever go back and re-read the post after that. I know what's there, I'm happy with it, and I'm done with it.

In editing and shrinking this blog's archive, I found posts which I enjoyed re-reading. I found other posts which I knew I liked, and knew I wanted to keep, yet didn't re-read any portion of. I knew, intimately, months or even a couple of years later, what was in those posts. I could smile to myself in enjoyment, remembering composing the posts. Yet, I had no reason to go back and re-read them.

If you read this blog: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

And love.

See you Monday!

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