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Why This Site Didn’t Exist January 27, 2006

Posted by electricaloratory in Meta.

I think the first person who ever told me to write more is my friend A., in regards to a bit of fiction I wrote for a role-playing game I ran back in college. It’s never that I thought I was particularly bad at it, just that I never saw it as exemplary. Everyone writes, so the thinking goes. You have to just to get by. Applying a bit of hindsight, such a view seems narrow-minded. I work (and play) on computers, and games not withstanding, the way you interact with a computer is by writing at it.

TV, movies, and theater – all basically start with a text (at least, the stuff I live – reality TV and more “performance” oriented art is wasted on me). It’s probably not an uncommon viewpoint, for folks in my profession or just in the world in general, that strings of words form the basis for damn near everything. Even life can be thought of with only four letters – A, C, T, and G. Everything after the spelling is a consequence.
I mean, I know there are writers out there. Journalists and authors, technical editors and bloggers. Screenwriters, playwrights, copy editors. Folks who make their living with words. I know a few of them, and I greatly admire that kind of ability. People who can make something out of words, conjure reality from ephemera.

But it didn’t seem like a particularly good path for me. The world is full of failed writers – novelists who couldn’t sell their first (and last) opus, screenwriters pawning 100 pages of brilliance to every production company in L.A., folks who decided that they would turn their homebrewed campaign setting into The Greatest RPG Ever. Some succeeded. Most didn’t. In my life, I’ve found Sturgeon’s Law to be pretty damn reliable, especially when it comes to creative endeavors. Why contribute to the pile of wasted words on the Internet, given that chances are what I’m writing is garbage, just by sheer weight of statistics?

Plenty of people do, and some are successful. Hell, I’ve got over 50 blogs in Thunderbird and I’d consider most of them to be worthwhile. So to start walking this path in the face of Sturgeon’s Law, there are only a couple of options. Don’t know, or don’t care. Well, I can’t excise the knowledge from my brain (and wouldn’t if I could, because I still consider it an important yardstick for any sort of media or pop culture). Which leaves not caring, something I’m generally not any good at. I care very much people’s opinion of me, and of my work. Better to remain silent, and all that.

And yet here I am, having plugged the phrase “Electrical Oratory” into WordPress less than an hour ago. I can’t say I’ve stopped caring. All I can say is that I’m trying to care less. To take risks. For something to be good, it first must just be.

This blog is going to be for long-form posts focused on a number of particular topics. More about the subject matter than me. I already have a LiveJournal, and I’m quite happy with it. There will be a link to there from here, but not yet the other way around. I’d prefer to let this site just be words for now, rather than strongly referring to the author.



1. a - January 30, 2006

I still think you should write more. You have a flair for the dramatic which you should really exploit more 😉

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