I’ve been paying a lot of attention lately to my writing process. I was thinking that I could improve my writing by carefully looking at myself, my writing style, my thought process – all that stuff that goes into writing these posts. I’ve made three important discoveries:
- I often write about having nothing to write about.
- I spend several hours during the week thinking about what I am going to write about.
- I rarely write about what I’ve researched and thought about.
This week is a weird week to be writing. Normally on a Sunday afternoon, the house is quiet, I’ve got a cup of tea and plenty of time to hammer something together that looks like a blog post.
This week, almost none of that is true. We have family staying, so the place is anything but quiet, my tea came and went an hour ago and I’m feeling a bit of pressure to finish this post and get back to the family. I did think of just posting pictures and taking a vacation week from the blog, but decided that I must balance my family with desire to write each week, so I am pressing bravely on.
Earlier in the week I was reading the book on intertextuality and just started a new chapter – interesting stuff about signifiers and the signified and about the difference between a text and a work. I thought about it; have done some extra research on the concepts; and have something in my mind that I think you’d be interested in (discovery number 2). So under discovery number three, I won’t be writing about it.
Since the real point of thinking about my writing style was to find something that I can improve on, I won’t be writing about not having anything to write about – even though I could write about that for a very long time.
On my way back to write, I announced I was off to write and foolishly said, “I have no idea what to write about and am taking requests.” I got two good ideas, “House guests” and “something controversial – how about that NSA leaker.”
Hmm, should have kept my mouth shut. I could do a very long funny post on house guests, but to write one while the guests are still in the house seems a bit – well rude and I think at least one of my guests reads this blog. Talk about awkward.
If I wrote an entire blog post about how I like having house guests, that they are polite, considerate and a joy to have – well naturally you’d all believe that. Yup, that would be believable.
I could tell you about the problems we’re having with the toilets – something about how one of our two is broken and we have guests. There isn’t a great story here other than we noticed a problem a few weeks ago, called our plumber, he replaced the toilet and went on a two-week vacation so naturally it broke again two days after he left and the first guest arrived a week later.
Now some of you are thinking, “Andrew, you’ve got a shop full of tools and build all kinds of stuff (that irrigation system was impressive), surely you can fix that.” I hate to admit this in public but in general I am a menace to indoor plumbing. Normally my attempts to fix plumbing are followed by a call to my plumber who no doubt sees $$$$ when I call.
Once I nearly set the house on fire while trying to fix a plumbing problem, but I’d rather not talk about that (but on the positive side, I did put the fire out before Heather noticed and she agreed to not call the fire department if I promised to stop fixing the pipes). Oh, anyone know if you can just throw an empty fire extinguisher in the trash or do I have to take it to the hazardous materials place?
Now on to the controversial. This is difficult for me because I am not really a controversial kind of guy. The most controversial thing I’ve ever done was to wear white socks with dark suite, or the time I had red wine with fish.
But I’ll try – one controversial thought from me: Anyone who thinks that the NSA hasn’t been listening to your phone calls or monitoring your email, Facebook posts, tweets and instagrams, has been asleep for the last 15 years.
Sure, this case brings to light yet again the fact that the NSA, FBI, DEA, ATF, and your local PD all regularly and sometimes with little, or no proper court order listen, to phone calls and read emails, tweets, facebook posts and regularly download the pictures you post on instagram. From time to time this activity finds real criminals and takes terrorists off the street before they do evil terrorist things. From time to time this information is used for less than pure motives to entrap the innocent and deprive them of their freedom.
Most of the time, all this vast information noise is just sent to a giant data warehouse where it collects digital dust because the aforementioned agencies have had yet another budget cut and the people assigned to look at the data are on furlough or trying to apply for early retirement.
While it is bad that government misuses this data, I am more concerned about our corporate masters getting this information and using it to extract the remaining dollars from my wallet.
I’d like to write more on this topic but this black Cadillac just pulled up and there is a guy in a black suit knocking at the front door. Maybe it’s the plumber.
Till next week,