on the state of my blog

Somewhere in the near past, my taste in prose, my palate if you will, became more sophisticated. It’s a splendiforous thing, really; I’ve learned to appreciate fine craftsmanship and clever wordplay, wherever I see it. I can be astonished by the elegance of a simple sentence, and floored by a well placed, utterly perfect word.

Unfortunately, my palate now exceeds my ability, and I’m unable to write anything up to my own standards (thank you Janet Reid and Rachelle Gardner for pointing this out). I don’t think I need to explain why this is a problem (or maybe I do). I feel like a young painter back from a tour of Italy, ready to put down my brush for fear that I’ll never measure up to the masters.

I’ve read that this is a common problem; that doesn’t comfort me. Erectile dysfunction is a common problem… I’ve also read that I need to keep writing, to work through it.

I’m trying.

My recent efforts yielded one marginal success (which I’ve saved), a few near misses, and many colossal failures. More often than not, I’ll write a line, stare at it intently for a few seconds/minutes, and delete it. Occasionally, I’ll add some histrionics: I’ll take my glasses off in disgust, curse in any number of languages, and/or rub my temples while staring at the wall.

This is why my blog is undernourished. If blogs were pets, the ASPCA would have broken down my door a while ago. I suppose I could post my efforts, to keep the numbers up, but I lack sufficient narcissism to post crap. Or maybe it’s ego; I don’t want to tarnish my non-existent reputation with sub-par writing. Whatever the case, I think Kurt Vonnegut was right, “Use the time of your reader in such a way that (s)he won’t feel it was wasted.”

To help me through this unbearable slump, I’ve been reading more. I’m probably still not reading as much as I should, but more. I suspect this is helping more than my failed attempts at writing. I figure, if I see enough elegant sentences, enough masterful word choices, I’ll be able to create some of my own. You know, monkey see, monkey sample. I think it will work, as long as I don’t snap my paintbrush… Dear god I hope that doesn’t count as a pun.

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