When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

February 22, 2005


Bravo Romeo Delta

I've done it again. I've meandered off into the path of trying to blog home run hits to the exclusion of actually writing because I like it. Writing the things that I want to leave as historical records, rather than writing the things that will bring me to the keyboard, and in so doing, writing nothing at all.

Well, tell you what - I'll finish off the last bit of the thing I've been noodling on and get back to a sensible pace of actually writing regularly.

Actually, let me rephrase myself. I will, from time to time, get a brainstorm. Naturally, the more complex the idea, the more I feel that I should explain myself clearly.

With this last post on Media and Objectivity, I worked a fairly long time at it, and had people miss the point right left and center.

If the driving motivation to blog is to give voice to one's muse, then do I have an obligation to be an effective gobetween from my muse to my audience? I had thought that it was my responsibility to make sure my ideas are well understood.

Now, I am no longer sure. It seems that the effort to make that jump may impede the writing itself. On the one hand, this would be utterly self-defeating if I were writing for pay, but am I writing for my audience or myself.

This is the central dilemma of blogging. At what point do you cease working on your blog, and at what point does blogging work on you?

The short-pass methodology was an attempt to break away from the tendency to let the blog work me over. I have however, not been successful, so back to the grindstone again.

Much like riding a bike, one has to accept that, despite knowing and theory, there is an unaviodable amount of falling off and an inescapable number of skinned knees that must be gotten past, in order to gain mastery of the vehicle.

And so, I get back on the damnned bike again.

Launched by Bravo Romeo Delta at February 22, 2005 02:33 AM

Retaliatiory Launches

Get back on the damned bike already!!!

Posted by: Rusty Shackleford at February 22, 2005 04:11 AM

I not only hear you, I believe I share your dilemma. I envy Dr. Shackleford's freedom of subject, and resulting freedom from "working for his blog".

Dammit, indeed.

If you figure out how to break the chain of "magazine style posting preference" in favor of just writing on a regular basis, please share the secret. My muse is too damned wordy, I find.

Posted by: Patton at February 22, 2005 08:27 AM

For most of us to blog is to toil in obscurity. So if we must be obscure, be into what your being obscure about!!!!!!

Posted by: Rick DeMent at March 4, 2005 07:43 PM

Gosh, I haven't figure this out either... but it's a fair representation of the dilemma. Bill Whittle's strategy is to work a very long time of a few lengthy and highly-polished posts that then tend to stay on top for a long time, touching a steady stream of readers and building an audience. Glenn Reynolds, on teh other hand, posts a lot of cryptic one-liners with links that you have to click in order to have any idea what the heck he's driving at.

The situation is actually similar in publishing. I recall talking to some frequently-published academic authors who were complaining that they worried about Aaron Wildavsky, because they imagined he was always sitting alone up in his hotel room at a conference working on some new article or book that would transform their discipline, or send it in some new and unfamiliar direction.

I think my strategy is that I trash around with various approaches until I find something that leads to success, at which point I'll worry about confronting the problems of success. However, I may be actually avoiding success, since spending an inordinate amount of time polishing some innane piece of literature must be just as effective a way of avoiding success as producing a lot of rapid-fire tripe. I just can't make up my mind which is more appealing.

I'm currently polishing the hell out of a piece on nation-building and national legitimation, and I just can't find a topic that's more obscure or fraught with conceptual problems.

Posted by: D at March 5, 2005 08:02 PM

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