I used to subscribe to the New Yorker because I like it and I wanted to support it. But since I was paying for it, I felt as though I had to read it, and I couldn't keep up. So it felt like I was wasting my money. (As if I don't waste money in many more useless ways.)

But they have my email address now, and I hear from them regularly. This morning, for instance.

The article they commended to my attention is this one, The Objectively Objectionable Grammatical Pet Peeve, by David Owen.

I'll almost always read an article about grammar or writing because, well, I'm a blogger. On my desk is a book that arrived Monday called Writing Tools, by Roy Peter Clark, because someone mentioned it in another blog that I subscribe to. ("To which I subscribe?" This stuff will make you nuts.) Maybe I'll blog about it.

I'm not a writer, writers write. I blog.

But I'm conscious of the fact that what I'm doing involves writing; and I have two fears when I'm doing this, neither of which has had the good effect of compelling me to stop. I'm afraid that I'm writing badly, and I'm afraid that it's boring.

Yet I keep doing it. It's some kind of compulsion. Especially now, since I'm not satisfying my itch by issuing regular doses of snark on Twitter.

I liked Twitter from the standpoint that it was usually just a 280 characters. I'd go on a thread rant now and then, but most of the time it was just 280 characters in which I would offer a creatively cynical take on the feckless fools who think they govern around here. Or a dark preamble in a quote tweet of some disquieting climate news.

It was short. I could fuss over it a bit, but never very long. Spelling and typographical errors were my bane, and I'd often reply to myself with an *correction to show that I'm not, you know, ignorant.

Blogging is different. It's almost like writing. Much more anxiety.

When we watched Hallelujah, I was struck by how much Leonard Cohen labored over his lyrics. Whenever I hear or read about how writers or artists struggle with, or refine and hone their prose, I feel bad.

I pound this stuff out, kind of listening to it as it's going on the screen and keep going. Occasionally something will grate and I'll fuss with it a bit, but I'll keep moving. If I can't keep moving, I'll quit. If it's something I liked or cared about, I might stick it up in the Drafts container, hopefully to revisit it. I almost never do. Usually I just delete it.

So, whoever reads the marmot has my gratitude and my apologies. I'd like to say I'm doing the best I can, but I'm certain that's a lie. I just can't help myself.

(It's 7:54. The time-stamp for this post shows it began at 7:20. 34 minutes for 500 words. 2170 characters. 7.75 tweets. There's a certain amount of overhead copying and pasting links.)

Originally posted at Nice Marmot 07:20 Friday, 13 January 2023