So there I was trying to write a blog post when it suddenly became clear: what I composed in my head while I was working (it’s OK, it’s the kind of job I can daydream and do properly) does not necessarily translate through my pen and onto the paper.
Oh, there are the Know-It-Alls gearing up to say, “I could have told you that would happen. You can’t THINK about things before you write them, you have to just WRITE.” Blah, blah, blah. I think I know better than to listen to those yahoos by now. Yes, sometimes it is better to sit down at the page (or screen) tabula rasa as it were and see what comes out. Sometimes it helps to think about it first. How much thinking you ought to do varies.
That last sentence is the crux of the matter. The thing is, any piece of writerly advice — even wise, insightful advice (and any advice that begins with a sniff and “I could have told you that would happen” is probably neither wise nor insightful) — is only good some of the time. Every piece of writing is different. What works for one may be a disaster for another. Likewise, one writer’s Rosetta Stone is another writer’s brick wall (ooh, isn’t that a nice metaphor?) (now I’m remembering another piece of writerly advice: if you write something particularly fine, strike it out. I forget who said it).
Another thing about advice is: most people like to give it, few people like to take it. I don’t much like to listen to advice myself, especially if I haven’t asked for it. So anybody gearing up to offer advice on this blog post, NEVER MIND! Unless you’d like to leave a comment. I like when people leave comments. But if you comment with advice, I will probably not follow it.
In case anybody hasn’t noticed, today is Lame Post Friday.