Best Thinking

usefulIt is a little embarrassing to admit that approximately two times a month, I wonder why the hell I put in the time I do to post (almost) every day on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.  Sometimes it happens when I’m pounding the keyboard at midnight, trying to create a post out of nothing.  It’s even more likely if that post created out of nothing turns out to be mediocre.  And even more likely if I really like the post that I created out of nothing and it gets only a few views … no comments … no Likes … particularly if, on that day, I visit a blogger on my Blogs I Read list and they’ve had 46 comments and 55 Likes.  Envy is not pretty.  Yes, I know that I am prolific on only one side of the blogging equation … I post a lot but don’t read (or Like and comment) as much as I could.  Should.  Would if I wasn’t so busy. And, of course, the chief editor of Random House hasn’t showed up here on Bud’s Blog to request a book proposal.

I found an interesting article on the mals writing center that started this way: People who write well only tend to reveal the finished product, leaving the rest of us to think that if we ourselves struggle to produce a gleaming, insightful paper out of thin air, then one of the following must be true: A. Those writers are cheating; B. There is something they know that we do not know; or, C. We just are not meant to write and should give up now.   Thewriter article suggests that the best answer is B … and that the something good writers know is that by seeing the early writing process as a form of thinking, they can be more patient with the entire process.   This idea is drawn from a book by V.A.  Howard and J. H. Barton, Thinking on Paper, which calls the part of the writing process in which you write for yourself in order to create, clarify, and organize your ideas the articulation phase.  Howard believed that focusing on writing only as a means of communication with others tends to drive a false wedge between thinking and writing which actually can inhibit the ability to generate ideas … in other words, create writers block.  He sees inspiration as the reward for the effort that goes into the articulation phase rather than something that appears out of the blue.

In my four years of blogging here on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog, my faith has grown through articulation on Sundays of what I believe … and don’t believe … and how my spirituality works for me.  I know more about the things I love most in life … and why I love them … through writing Friday Favorites and in Monday Smiles, I get to think about what I’m grateful for, even during the less than great weeks.  By articulating the thoughts of my Inner Curmudgeon, I’ve turned him into a stand-up comedian instead of the pain-in-the-ass side of my personality.  And I’ve continued to educate myself here on Older Eyes University about topics as diverse as senior health and gun control.  I’d do this even if no one stopped by because I do some of my Best Thinking here.  But I love it when you do.  And I wouldn’t mind hearing from that guy from Random House, either.

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6 Comments on “Best Thinking”

  1. cherperz Says:

    Shoot, I should just write a post, as this comment probably is going to be another of my “wordy” ones. Should I just apologize on the front side? Yes, I should..sorry!!

    It is a good thing I am not taking a Master’s program in writing. I don’t understand the point of the A.B. or C. answers. All three of those answers apply to a segment of people that have been successful as writers. For that matter…is the supposition here, that successful writing is that which has sold? I wouldn’t say success is necessarily limited to those that have made some cash. Some of what has been monetarily successful is pure shit….conversely some great writing goes unnoticed. I could list tons of examples of each category but for the sake of brevity, I won’t. (I am using the word brevity in the loosest of terms)

    So let’s go specifically to your blog. You are a great writer. No doubt in my mind. I have been a voracious reader for more than half a century and believe I know the difference between good and bad writing. I would guess one of the authorities associated with MAL Writing Center would vehemently disagree as to my qualifications. In fairness to me, though….the best sellers that stay on the New York Best Sellers lists aren’t selling to academics for the most part. They are selling to average people wanting to read engaging, interesting material. (OK…that and frivolous trash with a lot of sex….that too.)

    From you’re point of view, I totally understand that writing your posts, such as those related to spirituality can act as a form of educating yourself, organizing your thoughts, or reinforcing your ideas. I appreciate that you would continue to write for the benefits you derive from putting pen to paper.

    From out here…your faceless audience, your writing is interesting, engaging, and informative. Your bringing thoughts and ideas to us that we hadn’t thought about.

    One of the most frustrating aspects to blogging is finding your audience. With 500+K blogs out there it seems to be a total crap shoot. If like minded people would happen to read your blog they would be hooked.

    I am absolutely amazed at some of the blogs that have thousands of followers. I could be wrong but I think maybe the missing component between a well written blog and one that goes viral is you never call people Motherf*****. That seems to be really popular.

    • oldereyes Says:

      Thank you. Sometimes when I write a post like this, I feel like I’m trolling for compliments, which I’m not. The truth is, I know that the kind of stuff I write usually takes a little too much concentration to ever go viral … and I’m not sure I want the kind of nut-jobs commenting that would turn up if I did. You know, those crazy commenters from the message boards. I probably should have noted that I know when a post works, and at my age, that brings a lot of satisfaction, too.

  2. territerri Says:

    I’m often envious of your ability to write often and write interesting material. It helps a bit to know that it’s not easy for you all of the time.

    As much as I love to write, I find that I put up my own road blocks by NOT writing often (which as we all know, makes the writing process easier,) and by putting too much thought into whether others will be interested or even bother to read it at all. I often think that if I were writing only for myself and no one else, I would have a LOT more to say.

    • oldereyes Says:

      Several things help. One … I’m semi-retired. I can put in two or three hours a day to do this (not counting times I’m writing in my head, when we’re out and Muri looks at me and says, “You’re writing a post, aren’t you?”). Two … I’m a bit (??) obsessive. I’ve turned what used to go into running marathons into marathon posting. And sometimes, it is indeed like a marathon … a lot of work. But like crossing the finish line, there’s nothing like the moment when a post turns out good.

  3. I totally agree with Cheryl, which isn’t surprising because we share the same brain, but she said it best when she said:

    “One of the most frustrating aspects to blogging is finding your audience. With 500+K blogs out there it seems to be a total crap shoot. If like minded people would happen to read your blog they would be hooked.”

    You’re a GREAT writer. I believe I only get as many comments as I do, because I spend a GREAT deal of time really interacting with other writers and bloggers. And after 7 years, I have found my audience, my voice, and I’ve made some amazing friendships.

    • oldereyes Says:

      Like I said to Cheryl, I sometimes hesitate to post about my frustrations with blogging because it can seem like I’m fishing for complements or whining about not having more readers. I know you have had the experience of knowing when a post “works.” and that brings a ton of satisfaction. Believe me, I don’t begrudge you your readers or commenters … you have earned them on both sides of the blogging equation, writing and reading.

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