I thought I made a promising start on my writing blog and then I seemed to run out of steam. Now, I have another idea. Currently my long-time interest in photography has been rekindled so maybe I can use this space to help motivate myself to be productive photographically. I have a great many photos I could post, but at the moment I have a new interest in long exposure photography. I have been reading a great deal on the subject – there is much to learn – and have taken tentative steps to start taking photos. I think I will take what feels like a risk to me and post some of my efforts here. My pattern, of course, is to read, and read, and read, and never do anything.
Anyway, here are a couple of my first attempts. The first was taken when I stepped out of my car having gone downtown to take some long exposures of buildings, and saw this incredible sunset peeking out from under what had all day been a heavy cloud cover. I had forgotten my tripod (see how I sabotage myself) so I rested my camera against a utility pole. This is the first thing I saw:
The light changes pretty quickly at this time of day – this is just a few minutes later:
Technically it’s not the greatest shot – there are some kind of visual artifacts in the sky and there’s too much foreground – but otherwise I think I got lucky.
They suggested I write a post, supposed to be my first (which it’s not), about the above. So here it is.
Why am I doing this? There’s something narcissistic about having a blog. Essentially I’m writing in a blog rather than, say, a diary because I want other people to read and enjoy what I write. Writing a blog carries the assumption (or hope) that I have something worthwhile to say, which is, of course, presumptuous.
I used to say when I was younger and wrote a good deal for school or for work, that I could write fairly well. At this stage of my life, it has been a long time since I have written anything of consequence. This presumes that my former writings may have been “of consequence”. They may have been so within the context in which they were written. In school, I generally received good marks for my writing. In a work environment, where I wrote a great deal for many years, my writing was technical, cogent and clear.
My style has usually been to have no interest in writing drafts. I write, correcting as I go, and when finished, skim for obvious typos and the like, and let it go.
Who am I? Hah! Like most people, I am many people. More helpfully, perhaps, I am a retired, married white guy, a Yankee living in the state where the Civil War began. There is much grist for my mill in that sentence. Stay tuned to find out what I mean.
Here’s a link to a post by a fellow blogger with a bit more experience than I, that I found helpful.
The important thing about writing is, of course, to write. I have wanted to write for a very long time, and I learned in high school that I can do it fairly easily. In college, I breezed through courses that had “subjective” exams, which meant that the exams comprised essays. I could write fluently, sometimes copiously, about relatively little and get a good grade. “Objective” exams, not so much.
With fine English teachers in both high school (Jack Baldwin) and college (Frank Turaj) I learned to write pretty good essays. These English classes also taught me how to think. I remember spending very little time, and maybe it was back in eighth grade, doing things like diagramming sentences. I had little patience for the rules of grammar – “I before E except after … ” whatever. It seemed that I didn’t need those rules very much. When I was writing, words just fell together and made sense much like they are doing now. (!)
So my problem now is evidently not stringing words together, but finding subject matter. This post, since it is about myself, is easy. There are a lot of things I could write about, but my inner voice (or something) just suggested that writing about things close to home will be easier until I gain more confidence in what I’m doing. So maybe that’s what I should do.
Maybe I’ll stop for now and read other people’s writing for a while. I’ll be back …
On a day like today, sitting at my desk as I am now; on a day like today, last week, when I conceived this project while walking my dog, as I was then; on a day like today, decades ago, sitting with a typewriter on my bed in my room as I was then; this experiment began. I began with no clue where it would lead. I began with a vague notion of sharing my thoughts, possibly inviting others to contribute, but not really trusting my own motives. Having others contribute, after all, is merely a way to reduce pressure on myself to be productive.