It’s Turtles All The Way Down

turtles-793490_1920

Have you ever had only 20 minutes to write a blog post, and you realize you have nothing really to say that particular day, but it’s been a couple of days since you’ve said anything so you just write whatever comes to you? It’s important to check in every once in a while and let people know you’re still out there and to give a gentle reminder and plug for the various books you may have written, even some of the older ones people might have forgotten about but that are totally still worth buying. You can’t tackle anything too ambitious, with a lot of pictures or thought. We’ve all got a couple of blog posts floating around in our heads that we’d love to do if we ever sat down and had an 1.5 hours to format them and make a really good argument, but today isn’t going to be that day.

Then, just when you’ve started writing your twenty minute post, you realize that what you really want to write about is the thought process behind writing a twenty minute post. Maybe you want to get people to try to relate to who you are as a writer at that particular moment, or to offer some tip for people dealing with this situation. Sure it feels a bit meta to be blogging about blogging, but that’s only a couple of layers removed and you might really have something valuable to offer. We all have to figure out how to create quality content on a deadline, and being in the middle of an actual crisis may give you a special insight into how to help others get out of it.

Thinking about how to deal with writing a twenty minute post gets you to thinking about the best ways to give writing advice. Should you only be talking about the things you’re dealing with at a particular moment or should you write more reflective posts on the tips you’ve discovered after years of learning? Writing about what you’re dealing with at the moment can be a good way to choose topics, but it might not be the best way to offer any real insight. After all, you might just be guessing how to get yourself out of a situation without any real idea if that solution would even work. Perhaps you should write a blog post about the best ways and times to give writing advice. So we’re writing a blog post about writing an advice blog post on how to write a blog post in twenty minutes while trying to write the post in twenty minutes.

But we can go one layer deeper. We haven’t even begun to deal with the existential question of why writers write, and what’s the difference between a writer and an author. Are bloggers writers in the same sense as people who write books? If the majority of the writing you actually do is just nonsense falling out of your head without being applied to your current work, can you call yourself a writer? Sure words are magically appearing in front of you as you play the keyboard like a piano, or a well … keyboard, and that might be writing. But is it good?

Oh, I almost forgot. We could wonder if writing about how to give advice to writers is actually art, and whether such writing is considered professional or amateur. It could all be a meta-meta exercise designed to kill time and give the illusion of creating something interesting, when in fact we’ve been up our own butt for some time now.

Ooops … time’s up!

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Writing

One response to “It’s Turtles All The Way Down

  1. Ah yes, the familiar problem every blogger faces: the pressure to post combined with the lack of time to write something substantive. We have all been there. You have done about the best job handling it that I have seen. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s