Ephemeral Morphs: our posts and our lives

How do you write?  I am always pleasantly surprised that my posts morph unpredictably.  I start writing with some hint of purpose but the post quickly seems to take on its own life — leaping forward as my earlier words wisp away.  I will often jot down several paragraphs of ideas, impressions and conclusions, and then rewrite them several times.  I won’t open them again until a day or more later:  cut, paste, rewrite that material until it is indistinguishable from the original.  I may repeat that process several times over several days. It is never the same post or the same me writing it — I love it.

The continual changing makes it see odd to stop and hit the “publish” button — for if I thought my last version was better than the first, then perhaps I should just keep coming back to it day after day.

But is it really “better”?  Sometimes I actually have past copies to compare to the new-and-better versions.  And when I compare them, I sometimes lament the loss of the unpolished, simple original.  Sometimes I wish I could at least snip out some of the flavor of my raw jottings and add them to the latest version.  But usually, it is too late to go back.  My older fun tones don’t mix with the new fun tones — damn, why can’t writing be all of us at once.

So it seems blogging very much reflects my mental life in general.  Though I am continually “me”, of course, this dumbing hallucination is belied by reading past writings.  And though I may be tempted to identify with my present thoughts, I am humbled to know they may not be mine tomorrow.  And though now feels better, I savor the past and always wish she’d come back to enliven my now.

OK, today’s post is a bit out of style — but hell, we should allow that, no?

Question to Visitors:  How does your writing evolve?  Have you sensed anything like I tried to sketch here of the parallel between your ephemeral-self and your writing?

HT to photo artist.


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

2 responses to “Ephemeral Morphs: our posts and our lives

  1. I find exactly the same. I have lots of ideas queued up that I want to write about, with a rough idea of where I’m going with them, but writing them up often takes me in new directions, and almost always needs several days of going back, finding ways of getting ideas across, reordering things, and occasionally moving everything to one side and starting again. I once started writing a post and ended up coming to a very different conclusion from the one I’d planned.

    The one thing that consistently annoys me is that I have a habit of coming up with wonderful arguments and turns of phrase (or so it seems to me) when I’m in no position to write them down. That’s often when I’m out on my bike. By the time I get to a keyboard, I’m fighting to rescue the clarity that I felt in my head a short while earlier, and always feel that I’m writing a second-rate copy of my original thought.

    Of course, it could be that my thoughts aren’t nearly as brilliant as I like to think, and I find that out once I try to commit them to pixels. I’m not sure whether I’d prefer that. Would I want to know that I really can come up with great stuff, or would it be better to have the perverse reassurance that there’s no tantalisingly superior post just out of reach in the back of my brain somewhere?

  2. TWF

    I normally have a focus, but my writing can be highly variable, as I normally compose a draft over several days, adding bits as I get time. I then do an overall proofread. It’s not unusual during the proofread to find I need to adjust a section or two to make it more coherent.

    And similar to you, sometimes I really like the tone or angle on the part I have to revise. It seems sad to just let it go…

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