Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Not so addicted

55%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Clearly from the infrequncy of my posts, I'm not so addicted. Been doing a lot of reading of blogs recently though, but that's not blogging, it's reading. Reading blogs is one of my selfish pleasures - taking a little time out of the day to do something that is just for me - but I find it a little depressing too. I used to think I was a decent writer. I even taught writing when I was working my way through a Master's degree. I knew I wasn't 'A Writer' like some of the other teaching assistants in the Freshman Writing Program who were doing degrees in Creative Writing. I did think I was a good writer though, who could teach the undergraduates in my classes how to write better essays. I suppose I was good at writing academic essays. I scored in the 99th percentile when I had to take the state's literacy test to become a certified teacher. I really am not very talented at creative writing though. Never have been. I see some of the beautiful turns of phrase other bloggers seem to produce so effortlessly, and I despair of ever creating anything worth reading.

The only good pieces of creative writing I did in school were more my mother's writing than mine. No, she didn't actually write them for me, but by the time she was done inspiring me, they really were more hers than mine. Looking back, my mother was the only one who ever took the time to teach me how to write. Real cut-and-paste, with scissors and sellotape! What little I learned about good writing, I certainly didn't learn in school. I specifically remember my English teacher when I was 12 who only read the first and last paragraphs of anything I wrote and always gave me 9 out of 10. I proved he didn't read the middles by writing some outrageous things in the middle of one piece. He corrected an error in the first paragraph (which my mother, also an English teacher, had already told me was NOT an error) and gave me 9/10 as usual.

Stinking Billy was asking about the point of blogging and I really don't know what it is for me. I'm definitely not one of those bloggers who's looking for a book contract! I'm not even sure who I'm blogging for or why. DH blogs for a small, select, by-invitation-only, audience which seems to make sense. I've read some excellent blogs recently from mums with autistic kids - well-written, entertaining, and thought-provoking, that set my issues with the Little Americans in perspective. There is much I can learn from the blogs I read. Maybe if I read enough of them, I'll even learn how to write better! The good thing is that even if I don't, people like Maddy, Jude and Sandy, amongst so many others, will all enrich my life.


Anonymous said...

You obviously lead a very busy life. If I were'nt retired I'd never find the time, I'm sure. However, since I've discovered this pastime you could say I've become addicted as it's a great way to let off steam and, hopefully, stay relatively sane. It's also amazing how you can 'meet' other bloggers and feel that you are getting to know them. There are very kind, generous people out there who help and support each other.
Thank you for your mention, by the way, but I feel my writing is pretty ordinary compared to so many others.

Anonymous said...

Ah thank you for the kind words and thoughts. If it's any consolation [probably not] I don't really know why I blog either.

Actually on second thoughts I think I probably have a not so secret mission to demystify autism. Not in the intellectual sense, but more the everyday kind of stuff. I think people are more aware these days and less scared of autism but I still bump into people who muddle 'artistic and autistic' = still makes me giggle!
Cheers dearie

Stinking Billy said...

I think you explain yourself too well to be worrying about the quality of your writing. Ain't nobody out here looking for dogmatic adherence to the rules (whatever they are) of English Language. Not that any of us would know the difference.

I am curious about the meaning behind "Almost American", though?

Anonymous said...

Well, I can't say it's really a select group that I blog for. I invite certain people, but it's available for anyone to look at. My blog is certainly, um, eclectic.

I can't say I'm addicted to blogging, either. I write infrequently, at best.

I write a lot, but most of what I write is technical (for work) and not really creative or for pleasure.

In terms of my blogging, however, there are those occasions when I am motivated to write. I usually find myself "chewing" something over in my head before I write what I think is a "good" piece for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. At that point, I usually have the whole thing planned out in my head.

Other times, I find myself starting out because I have something I HAVE to say, but have no idea how I'm going to get the point across. I then hack and slash the electrons around the screen until I get out what I think is the point.

I'm usually pleased with what I write at the time, but when I look back at it at a later, I think to myself, "I wrote that crap?"

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