Monday, October 18, 2004

Writer's blog

One of the advantages of the multifarious Sucker Punch, for me at least, is that it helps to kick loose the inarticulate, the inchoate and the incoherent from my seething psyche, and strings it all together into a series of sentences that perpetrate the idea that I am a witty and intelligent man. Sometimes.

This blog frequently helps me win the battle against procrastination and, that bane of all wordpeddlers, writer’s block. It can be a pretty handy warm-up before the more arduous workout of my “professional” writing: the film reviews, the feature articles and, when I’m really rolling sevens, the contributions to books. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing. But it ain’t always easy.

I can come on here and spray paint my graffiti on the electronic wall without any of the performance anxiety of the other writing in my life, and sometimes I surprise myself with stuff on here that is far superior to the supposedly “real” writing that I sign my name to. And I’ve been wondering why that is. Partly, I suppose it’s because there are no limitations here. I can write as much or as little as I want, as often or as infrequently as I want, about whatever I want, without the straightjacket of editors, or house style, or deadlines, or anxiety about my professional reputation (such that it is).

Another factor must be subject matter. On here, I invariably write exclusively about topics about which I have an opinion. With, for example, a film review, I sometimes find that I have nothing that I really need or want to say about a movie, but I still have 500 words that I have to fill, and I hate to just hack something out if I can avoid it, so I punch it repeatedly in my mind until it acquiesces and says something vaguely meaningful, informative or entertaining.

You see, lately, I’ve been able to come to the blog, write away happily, post an entry, and then I go off, fire up a Word document, and gaze at a white screen for a long time waiting for some kind of inspiration. Admittedly, the demands of fatherhood make it difficult to think clearly sometimes, but this is something I’ve noticed before the arrival of the little poo-factory Buttercup.

And in some ways, the blog becomes another avoidance tactic to postpone the other work clamouring for my limited mental attention.

Not sure that there is any conclusion or solution for this one. I’m just thinking out loud. But I really am going to go off and try to finish a feature article I should have put to rest months ago.

By the end of the week.


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