Thursday, August 26, 2004


How Do You Say It?

I turned to writing through frustration. Somehow I missed out on the ability to make connections with people. Oh, I had friends, but it took years for me to become comfortable enough with them to talk about very much. I don't trust very easily. So, if people wouldn't listen to me, I'd write.

Writing was slow. Same problem I had in school. The physical process of making letters on a page took so long that my mind ranged far ahead, and the thoughts in between would be left out. I wound up writing only things that were very important to me.

The first time I used a word processor, in 1982 when I was going to school and taking a BASIC programming class, I didn't like it. I'd type my essays for the English class, make notes and then retype them. This process was much easier with the word processor, even the very primitive one the school had on their VAX 11/780 system, but I became very wordy. So I went back to the old way. Once. I decided after that to deal with the wordiness in some other way. Shortly after that I owned a word processor, Wordstar running on an Osborne 1 portable computer.

I wrote more. Then something even stranger happened: I began to find a few people who liked what I wrote. This overall pattern has continued, and I'm still a better writer than speaker. The Osborne gave way to a Mac, then to faster Macs. Wordstar was replaced by Writenow, then Nisus, and then BBEdit. Publishing happened by hard copy, then by Web, and now by Blog.

The craft of writing fascinates me. There are many ways to say anything. Choosing the words and putting them together is much like making a sculpture, and the story that results will be seen differently by everyone who reads it.

Weblog entries are related to journal entries, although not as loose. Stories are much more organized, but mine are too long to publish here. If you'd like them Emailed to you, let me know. The most immediate ancestor of these Blog entries is what I call "Weird Email." These are the wild ideas that I get, write, and send out to a few people who expressed interest. I haven't used my printer in years. Now I've discovered an even more direct link between weird Email and Blog: I can simply Email them to the Blog.

So, maybe Lu was right. Engineer enough to understand how to go through the changes, Artist enough to craft the expression, and Warrior enough to go ahead and set it all up for everyone to read.

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