Crikey! That last post was rather laboured, wasn’t it? I know my blog name includes the word Rambling in the title, but that felt more like a trek through untamed jungle, with only a butter knife to hack back the overgrowth.
And, my God, was there a lot of overgrowth. I know I said that I’d done a lot of editing to get it down to that size (four and a half pages… FOUR AND A HALF A4-SIZE PAGES!!! I usually manage to stick to two), but obviously not enough: that was minor pruning, rather than the lopping with a machete which was really needed. And perhaps a blowtorch.
I spoke with my friend about it after she’d read it, and she confirmed that it was as laborious to read as it had been to write. I like that about her (among other things). She always tells me the truth, without sugar-coating it; but it never feels like criticism (except when I’m having a really bad day, in which case saying hello to me could be misconstrued as a criticism).
We agreed it was not one of my better pieces, being somewhat lacking in the humour department (though I had intended for it to be funny; the initial idea was humorous, but the long, drawn-out execution kind of squeezed all the fun out of it, so it did end up feeling that way - like an execution). And the length…
I was thinking about going back and editing it some more, but she said to leave it: it would be a reminder of what I’d done ‘wrong’, and what not to do next time.
Because, you see, I have actually developed a set of principles or guidelines for writing my blog posts, despite the fact that it may all seem rather random at times. And they actually fit into an alliterative list, which pleases the little linguist in me immensely. So, they are:
Keep It Simple - basically stick to one main topic or theme within each post. This helps me to stay focused, and there’s the possibility that I might get the thing completed within a week of starting it if I can stay on the path, and out of the forest of my distractions…
Keep It Short - I have found, through trial and error, that approximately two A4 pages is enough for me to say what I need to say: any more and I start repeating myself (just with different words, so I don’t notice it). Plus, the long ones are usually a sign that I’ve shifted into lecture mode, where I’m now trying to teach something or make a point; I’ve grown attached to the sound of my own thoughts; and I feel the weight of their importance and the need to share them. God, are those boring posts to write, and read…
Keep It Sweet - by this I mean funny, but the only alliteration I could come up with was either Sweetly Funny or Seriously Funny, and it spoilt the poetic metre I’ve got going on… So, sweet it is. Being rather a depressed donkey by nature, I didn’t want this to be a place where I got to cement my woes ‘on paper’, as it were, and share the gloom and despondency of life. This was meant to be a place where I could share the hope, strength, and experience of having initially survived life as an undiagnosed autistic with adhd (now moving into thriving), and the sense of humour which is so intrinsically a part of that shift, and necessary to keep cultivating in order to keep that donkey at bay. So the minute I feel myself labouring on a post, being driven rather than guided to write, and having lost interest in the topic, then the humour has gone, and it’s time to either reassess, or abandon post. As my friend would say, “how important is it really, in the scheme of things, if you don’t finish it?” This helps to put things into perspective, which is also what humour does.
And so, before I break one or more of my guidelines, here endeth the deconstruction of my last post. May it rest in peace.