narcissistic blog planning and other evils

I have a confession to make. I plan blog posts in my head.

Is that so bad? Maybe. It’s just that I catch myself starting to write these great posts in my head and feel guilty because it’s not spur of the moment authentic. But then, of course, planned writing isn’t bad. It’s good1. And spontaneous writing can be good, too.

One of the bad things about this blog planning, though, is that I imagine myself writing these great posts and realize that they’re not always true, or I’m just trying to sound smart, or I want comment kudos. Being smart and getting comments isn’t at all bad – I’m just greedy and that’s bad.

What I really want is an honest, open style that doesn’t come across as terrible for being truthful and humble. Goodness, it’s human nature to try to seem more than we are, even to ourselves. Truth of the matter is, I’m not a great (as in epic, famous) writer. Please don’t let me take that to either extreme: I don’t want to be prideful about being humble and I don’t want to be prideful.

I remember when I wrote a terrible review of Paul Comon’s book on composition in photography – it sucked because I was trying to sound good and it came across as canned, tacky and cheesy. I rewrote it a little more honestly and I think it came out much better. I’m not a professional literature critic; why should I try?

And on that note, I’ve been thinking a little bit in this vein about art. Bad art does try to come across as high and mighty and make its author important and ends up being unintelligible and just dumb. Good art works hard and makes a beautiful thing with true depth. As critics of art, even amateur ones, I wonder if we sometimes try to read into art more meaning and depth than is there – obfuscate the matter with big words and complex ideas and try to sounds smart – maybe it’s bad art, maybe it’s good art that’s just not that deep; I think it could go either way.

Afterword: I’ve taken to kind of stream-of-consciousnessing in my Moleskine and am tempted to post some of these ramblings. They are somewhat spur of the moment (and riddled with crazy grammar because of it) but I’m trying to be honest with what I’m thinking and explore life and God’s world. Alright, take a deep breath, and then remember I’m probably not as sincere as I just sounded. Narcissism (def. 1), remember?

  1. Editing is also fantastic – I have gone back numerous times to edit published posts. It’s kind of annoying, though; that of course leads me to my point: pre-publish editing can pay off immensely. Why do you think copy editors have a job?
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