They say I need to figure out what my readers want to read, and write that. They say I’m supposed to get inside your heads and touch your emotions, hopes and fears. They.
You know, the experts. People who know. They say a lot of things. Trouble is, I don’t listen to them. Plus, my mind doesn’t work the same way as most people. Really, it doesn’t.
One of my few skills is writing computer programs. I’ve been coding since I was 13, and that would warm Bill Gates’ heart, since coding is now considered a basic survival skill. When I write computer programs, and other people look at them, a lot of times they can’t figure out what the heck my code is supposed to do. I even explain it to them and they shake their heads and tell me it shouldn’t even work at all, never mind do what I just explained.
A good friend told me that I have one of those minds that uses “exclusive NORs”. I had to look that up because I had no idea what it is. Here’s a link to it. I read it and still don’t understand fully. I think it means that the world thinks in light and dark and I think in X-rays and negatives. So when everyone else sees a straightforward solution to a problem, I see it in opposite-world. Frequently I come to the same conclusions as people living in the regular space-time continuum of thought, and many times I get there faster than the straightforward thinkers (must be a wormhole in my brain). But when I write computer programs, my logic becomes impossible for others to penetrate (yet my programs tend to be shorter, more efficient, and faster than others). It’s a gift, what can I say?
Back to writing. How can I get inside anyone’s head if they think in black and white and I think in X-rays? I suppose I could seek an audience of X-ray thinkers like me, call myself Professor X and open a school. I could call it Xavier’s School for X-Ray Thinkers. I’m pretty sure someone’s already thought of it.
They also say I need to write in complete sentences. You know, with a subject, a predicate, and a verb indicating action. Yuck. It’s just so uninteresting to write that way. It’s like trying to get e.e. cummings to write in iambic pentameter. Not gonna happen. Now before you tell me that I’m simply an uneducated hick who can’t write properly, let me confess that I actually can write in complete sentences. I can conjugate verbs with the best of them. I was even an English major in college. For one whole semester. It happened because my application for the business school was one day late and they rejected it, leaving me as an “undeclared liberal arts” major entering my junior year, which the University of New Hampshire did not permit. I had to declare a major, or become an ex-college student. Having no major to declare, I set out to fake my way through.
One of my many jobs during college was selling computers, and this time it paid off for me. I had sold a computer to the English department student advisor, who had the power to admit me in that major. I gave him a really good deal, as I recall. He owed me a favor, and I eagerly called it in. Sign here, and I was an English major. I even took a creative writing class to make it look good. I have no memory of how I did in that class. Writing creatively because some professor assigned you a project is self-contradictory, in my opinion. How can you be forced to be creative? How can true creativity be judged by something so mundane as a letter grade? I’m sure I did impressively well; at least that’s my story.
I don’t know how novelists do it, with deadlines and all, pressure from publishers, to write that next book. Do it, and be creative, dang-it-all. There’s nothing sadder than sitting pregnant with an idea, with the anvil of a deadline hanging above your head by a frayed thread, with a pristine field of white before your eyes (either blank paper, or worse, a mocking empty Word document with that flashing cursor just throbbing at your skull). I can imagine this, but I don’t know it personally, since I’ve never had a deadline to write anything since college. Typically when I’m pregnant with an idea, I indulge it in cravings like ice cream and cupcakes, which satisfies the muse and the feeling passes.
They say I won’t make it as a blogger, because there like two hundred million blogs in the US, with another 172,800 added every day. That’s like 16 times the number of babies born each day in this country. I find the number hard to believe because most people are just too lazy to blog. Let’s say ten percent of the blogs are being updated: that’s 20 million blogs. It’s far better than the odds of winning Powerball, which is 175,223,510 to 1. This means I have a chance to be one of those influential bloggers who get to tell others why they are going to fail. So you’re telling me there’s a chance…YEAH!
If I become one of those influential few bloggers who get paid to write (complete with deadlines, anvils and mocking blank pages), I can be one of “them” and bestow upon myself the Blessed Order of They. When I speak, I can knowingly say “they say” and mean “I say”. When others speak of me in hushed tones, “they say…” will precede every perfect pearl of wisdom uttered from my mouth or keyed from my anointed keyboard (“wow, that’s his laptop” will be heard in the blogger hall of fame when they retire my writing instrument to posterity). I can be one of the experts who gives webinars on how to make money selling webinars about blogging.
I might even get rich and have news shows knocking on my door to ply my pundit-flavored sayings and prognostications. And it won’t make one bit of difference if I answer right or wrong. When you’re rich they think you really know.
My flight of fancy has ended with my mind right back in X-ray land where it started. I have no better idea of what to write to my readers (do I have any?) than when I first started. I think I’ll just continue writing about stuff I know. Exposing injustice, lies, evil, and filth in the world, while lifting up truth, love, and God’s plan for us all. Me and God, we’re mates…we have an understanding. I think in X-rays, and he has X-ray vision like Superman. We get along great, it’s like he can read my mind.
The experts say don’t write about religion on political blogs, and definitely don’t write long-winded crap like this on serious blogs. They say. Bah. I never listened to them anyway.
P.S. I know e.e. cummings has been dead for 52 years and 7 days. He’s not writing anything anymore. Like all good weird writers and hermits, cummings moved from Greenwich Village to the White Mountains of New Hampshire (where all great writers, hermits and curmudgeons end up, just ask Mark Steyn).