Gut Rumbles

June 06, 2005

about writing

I read this post a couple of times, just to make certain I had it right in my Cracker brain. The author is talking about a subject that has puzzed me for a long time. Why DO people write?

Of all intimate acts, methinks that reading, especially book reading and blog reading, is perhaps the most intimate. We expose ourselves to long and intense company with another mind, another soul.

I'd put the same idea a little more bluntly: Writing a blog is a lot like taking a Benjamin Franklin "air bath." You're standing there butt-ass nekkid in front of an open window. Some people may appreciate what they see, and others may point to your wanger and laugh. That's the chance you take when you get nekkid in front of that window.

I can be as superficial as anyone else as a blogger. But I aspire to more. I don't always know how to go about it, other than watch those who already do it well, who express themselves directly with integrity and show some care for their writing. If you wonder who I'm talking about, just look at my blog list.

Well... I'm on that list and I hope he's talking about me when he uses words such as "integrity." But I would like to pin him down on what he considers to be "superficial." Good writers can make a good story out of ANYTHING, no matter how "superficial" the subject may sound. THAT is the true art of writing.

I see a lot of blogs that really, really suck in MY humble opinion. I don't give a damn about how cute your cat is and I really don't give a shit about last night's PTA meeting, unless it broke out in a big fight, complete with gunshots. Yeah, I know your kids are adorable, but writing three fucking pages about what you packed them for lunch before school today just ISN'T very interesting.

If you tell me how little Johnny and baby Sue got into a fight, rolled off the front porch, sent the dog yelping down the street and missed the school bus because YOU had to beat them both with a plastic coathanger to break up the fight and THEN drive their asses to school... well, you've got an entertaining story. Especially when you detail the punishment you have in store for them when they get back home.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--- it's not the story that counts. It's the way you tell it.

I don't believe that any good writer thinks any differently. If you're going to write it, you're willing to get nekkid in front of that window. If you don't want people laughing at your wanger, write the story well. How do you do that?

Practice. And learn to tell a good story.


Here's a good storyteller -- and he might just make you feel hopeful for the human race again.

Full disclosure: he's also one of my best friends, despite being a screaming liberal.

Posted by: Kim du Toit on June 6, 2005 01:55 PM

Well Kim, I have met some screaming liberals that I liked-but the percentage was low. As the old saying goes, you can always tell a liberal, but not very much.

Posted by: GUYK on June 6, 2005 02:04 PM

Well dammit I clicked on that story teller thingy and I liked what I read, but because it opened up in the comments window there was no way to tell what the url was to add it to my favorites. Does that happen to everyone or just this computer fucktard?

Posted by: livey on June 6, 2005 02:27 PM

Right-click on the link, then choose "Open In A New Window".

Yer welcome.

Posted by: Kim du Toit on June 6, 2005 02:33 PM

Thanks for the link Kim -- what an inspirational blog. It makes *me* a little hopeful for the liberal race again!

Posted by: Alaska Kim on June 6, 2005 03:01 PM

Most of us play it safe and live mediocre lives. Your life has not been that, and now you have rich stories to tell, and friends to enjoy it with you. My daughter set up a blog for me yesterday, and told me to write, I have, and it will take years of practice, like you say, before I would be able to hold anyone's attention. I figure just my sister will read the darn thing. That's good enough for me.

Posted by: Bonita on June 6, 2005 03:30 PM

Kim the Rifleman-I clicked on the storyteller and you are correct-this is one of the good liberals. Thanks for the link

Posted by: GUYK on June 6, 2005 03:32 PM

Truer words were never spoken, Rob. What pisses me off is that you make it LOOK easy...yet when I sit down to the keyboard, all I get is nuthin LOL.

Posted by: Chablis on June 6, 2005 03:53 PM

Yep, you're one of the ones my post was talking about. Thanks...

Posted by: Mark Alexander on June 6, 2005 04:27 PM

Rob, Rob, Rob . . .

You should never, EVER beat a child with a plastic coat hanger.

They break on the first swat and you have to keep going back to the closet for a fresh one.

WIRE hangers. THAT'S the ticket.


Posted by: Lamont Cranston on June 6, 2005 04:49 PM

We write because we are all blog whores at heart??

Posted by: Maeve on June 6, 2005 06:40 PM

Thanks Kim

Posted by: livey on June 6, 2005 06:46 PM

Reading someone's blog on a regular basis is, indeed, a form of intimacy and this is especially true when you feel a connection. I came to this site maybe six months or so ago and, with the exception of really crazy times, read it regularly. I felt an immediate connection due to the fact that I'm southern born, raised and educated but have lived in New York for the past 10 years. I soak up southernisms like a sponge and don't even take offense when those of us who reside in the great northeast are ridiculed. In fact, I agree with about 75% of what you write which only serves to make the commentary more stimulating. If I agreed with everything then I may as well sit alone with my own thoughts. I enjoy the humor especially when it's delivered from a "cracker" perspective. And I have been touched by the obvious love and admiration that shines through whenever you refer to your family members, most notably the recent loss of your mother for which I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences. Keep it up 'cause this is one misplaced southern girl who loves the read.

Posted by: Leggy on June 6, 2005 11:16 PM

Does it surprise anyone, then, that the man who prefers to be "nekkid" if he could do so all the time, happens to post THIS story on his blog site?


Rob, instead of the "air bath", I think you might briefly invest in taking a regular one...I can smell your stink all the way out here in California! ; )

All I know is, I don't have that story telling knack like others do. I have to work on my efforts.

Posted by: KenS on June 7, 2005 02:28 AM

You continue to wear a mask and project it, even in your writing; you can only be so naked when you are continually crafting it and reinventing yourself.


Posted by: werbinox on June 7, 2005 06:34 AM


You can also hold down the Shift key when you left click to get the link to open in a new window. It'll work both in IE and FireFox. I dunno about the other browsers.

Back OT:

Yes, I aspire to be a good writer. I just have to practice the part that says you have to work on it every day.

I'm learning how to tell a story. Indeed I was flabbergasted when a story I told in a comments section of a fairly bigtime blog got posted on the blog's front page.

Some of the elements I may have picked up here. It wasn't consciously done, but I think I recognize some of the style.

Maybe someday -- when I can overcome the emotion that some of the stories bring out. I've had enough sleepless nights.

Posted by: StinKerr on June 7, 2005 07:44 AM

I see Livey has a good bear story on her blog today. Click on her name and enjoy it.

Posted by: StinKerr on June 7, 2005 08:48 AM
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