On the Tip of the Mind’s Tongue

So I have decided to write another blog post, as I haven’t posted anything for quite a while.

But I don’t know what to write. I’ve got lots of ideas, but they are ones I had long ago, and if I haven’t lost my enthusiasm for them, I have, at least, misplaced it. They are good ideas (if I do say so myself) – or some of them are – but… I feel I couldn’t do them justice at the moment. If I felt I had to write them – rather than if they were fresh ideas that had been buzzing through my head for the last few days, which were ‘on the tip of the mind’s tongue’, as it were – they just wouldn’t be as good. They would feel, and would read, forced.

So I have decided instead to write this. At present I’m not sure what it’s about – or even if I’m going to post it. I’m suspicious of anything that I just reel off in one go, even if I make small changes later. It feels wrong. Surely it’ll be clear I have no idea what I’m talking about? Surely I can’t have said all there is to say? Surely I must have left you behind at some point as I frolicked through my own untamed musings?

And surely, if I haven’t dropped my ideas into that subdivision of my brain where things churn around and around until every flaw that my critical faculties have been trained to pick up has been locked onto and destroyed, any piece of writing about them can’t be any good?

During my explorations into writing I have learned that it’s very difficult to ‘see’ what you’ve produced in the same way your audience will. Nigh on impossible, in fact. This is why I, and possibly others, find it difficult to trust what just spills out off the top of my head, even if I know where I’m going with it.

Personally, I’m used to planning in extreme, almost suffocating, detail anything I write before I actually crack on and produce it in the form that I expect people to be able to read it in. Hence this is only my second post on this blog of ours, while two of my fellow Bloggeteers have fired off thirteen between them. When I write essays I plan them in so much detail that my plan has more than half as many words as the finished product. The bulk of the time, thought and effort I put into them has already been spent before I’ve started writing a single word that anyone will actually read. In fact, my essay plans are in such detail that I can get away with only doing one draft. Two days before the deadline people ask me ‘How many words have you written?’ and I say ‘None’ and they look at me like I’m a bomb disposal expert who has turned up with ten seconds to go and no wire cutters.

There’s a quote I like from Abraham Lincoln: ‘If I had eight hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening the axe’. That’s what it’s like for me. So this little ramble makes quite a change, and it hasn’t turned out too badly (if I do say so myself). I may post it after all.




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