Fresh Off the Cuff*

I realize I’ve been doing this blog thing all wrong. I set out initially to just speak my mind and practice writing. Problem is, I have trouble doing both at the same time. I’ve found that speaking my mind is a lot harder when I’m writing. Speaking is all about trying to get your thoughts out in a clear and concise way. Writing, I have more time to edit the thought before sharing. I can endlessly ponder and analyze that thought, trying to find the perfect way to express it. As I’m doing that, I think of ten ways to expand on that thought. This results in the simplest things taking for-freaking-ever. I’ve spent over half an hour just on this paragraph. Whatever I’m trying to say, it gets hijacked by the perfectionist in me, and the natural flow just gets lost; by the time I’m finally satisfied with a thought or statement, I’ve lost my train of thought.

What I’ve been doing wrong is letting the perfectionist run the show. While I’m trying to express a thought, I get caught up trying to make everything perfect, and it’s incredibly frustrating. It never comes out perfect anyway, because at some point I just say “fuck it!” and go do other things. Then I either publish the half-perfect monstrosity or I stash it away as a draft. By the number of posts, you can probably tell that I take the second option 99% of the time.

You see, this post here, it was supposed to be off-the-cuff, just straight concise thoughts as I would speak them. This blog here, it’s supposed to alleviate frustration, rather than add to it. I have not accomplished these things. So what I’m going to do is get the substance of the post down first, then go back and edit it. Yes, English teachers, you win. After 18-odd years, this most basic principle of writing has finally pierced my thick skull. Your efforts were not in vain.

Ok, that’s pretty much it. Writing about the process of writing makes my brain hurt. Time to go do other things.

*NOT

A Little Something Until Sanity Returns

I’ve had finals for the past two weeks, which precluded any serious non-legal writing. I am, once again, forcing myself to write something before the week’s out. This is a somewhat journal-style writing, and it has some venting about writing and the writing process in general.

I have a problem with words. My words specifically. They are too big and too numerous, and they all want to come rushing out at once. For some reason, my brain feels that all these words must be somehow included in the final communication. I like to try to stuff these words all into one complicate sentence, stuffing until the sentence can take no more. The result is overwrought, bulky, and in desperate need of editing.  I know all of this, and I know that simply correcting grammar and spelling errors will not correct the problem.

For this problem, my ultimate goal is to develop good writing habits and be able to crank out decent writing with minimal editing required. I need to be able to communicate my ideas quickly and concisely, so I can finish writing at a normal time of day (right now it’s 11pm and I’m about to fall asleep at my desk). Most importantly, I have to compromise with myself and be able to accept work which, content-wise, is not perfect. Perfectionism has stifled more of my writings that it has helped, and I’ll have to get over that to start writing in earnest.

That’s all I have for today. Thanks for stopping by!

Reviving This Blog

So I’ve been away for a while; law school has a way of appropriating all of your time. I’ve come back to this after two years to just, well… Write. I need to balance out legal writing with some writing of my own choosing, as legal writing has a way of, how do you say… draining your soul. I also need to become a better writer in general, as writing is a huge part of being a lawyer. The best way to do that is to just keep writing, consistently, in spite of harsh self-criticism and general lethargy. I’ll be trying to write at least one thing a week; can’t say it’ll be funny, or any good at all for that matter, but it will have contractions, which is more than I can say for my paper on preliminary injunctions. Thanks for stopping by, there will (hopefully) be more and better things to come.

-Warren