When you need to make an important decision but your head is chaos-ridden with yes, no, maybe, but, and if as well as and then that it’s difficult to see which direction to go. I had just such a quandary this morning. I needed to post an entry here because I need to write, and right now, today, a blog post is the quantity of words spilled and time spent will see me through until I can get more writing time. Because blogs are shortish and take less than an hour. Mostly.
So what to write about? There’s been this thorn in my side concerning “rules” ~ you know what I mean: Ten Things to Never Blog About, Ten Terms Bloggers Need to Know, Ignore These Blogging Musts at Your Peril. Articles, entries, posts, tweets, links, and rants with this type of instructional title used to grab my attention and then invariably cause misery as I realized that “Gee, I hardly ever post photos with my entries and it says here that photos are a must.” And I could kill this darling “Don’t write about writing. Too many people are already doing it.” Yes, and I’m one of them. Sometimes I comfort myself with the ego boosting thought that I’ve been doing this for a long time. (See title. That’s my number of posts). Oh yes, and there’s the rule that titles need to mean something. Well, mine does, but you have to read a while to get it.
Tell it to Shakespeare. His editor (if he’d had one) would still tell him that “you can’t make an idiot say wise things, so strike out
To Thine Own Self Be True Polonius’s advice to his son.” But Bill is set on the phrase, argues for it, and Bill’s boss thinks, hmm, his last play didn’t do so bad, so says “Go ahead, keep it. But give the speech to Hamlet.” Shakespeare is much older than I am and wrote more words. Also better words. Than anyone ever. I’m just saying. Someone somewhere would try to tell him how to do things better.
One of the wisest writing rules I’ve ever come across is “break every rule.” Both theme and title of Carole Maso‘s refreshing book on writing. As a writing teacher, and a person who has written a book about writing, this is something it doesn’t pay the bills to trumpet over the vastness that is the internet. But merely adding a few words: “Learn the rules, then feel free to break them” goes down much easier on teenagers who do not know why we still insist nevermind is two words. KC knew there were two words there. He didn’t care.
Without even realizing it, I’ve got a blog-sized post. (I read a rule they should be 250 words, but I think four or five paragraphs is respectable.) It was not what I intended to write about. I wanted to say that I know I made the correct decision not to leave my writing desk in the middle of March for a sunny vacation. I know this because when I woke up this morning, and sat at my desk, I was filled with joy.