Promises, promises…

If you’re familiar with my archive, you know that I have thus far posted only intermittently. Well, all that’s about to change.

I hereby solemnly swear that I will post at least once a day.

It’s not like there’s a lack of subjects to write about. For example, there’s a post on Josh’s blog that I intend to respond to. And there’s a line in a Walter William‘s column that I take issue with (he writes that “We’ve seen widespread condemnation of alleged atrocities and prisoner mistreatment by the U.S., but how much media condemnation have you seen of beheadings and other gross atrocities by Islamists?” I respond that we, rightly, hold ourselves to higher moral standards than we do the Islamists.). And there’s what looks to be a good article on the Cato website, but I haven’t read it yet.

Okay, so I haven’t exactly opened up the floodgates here.

As I mentioned in my second post, part of my motivation to start a blog at all was to give myself a reason to write on a regular basis. Thus far, my posting has been rather irregular (i.e., aperiodic), but having a blog with a readership of unknown size – likely statistically indistinguishable from zero – does seem to give me some measure of motivation.

Why, prior to starting this blog, I almost never wrote rambling, semi-coherent disquisitions about The Ultimate Fighter.

As a quick aside, now is as good a time as any to point out how good was Josh’s advice to me regarding topics per blog post. Pretty much the only thing I’ve written about Ultimate Fighting can be found at the tail end of my August 31 post ‘Chasing Josh, Reading Laudan, Watching Fights’. Had I had the sense to write a post solely about the gentlemanly art of fisticuffs instead of appending it as an afterthought to a post about that and two other things, in the preceding paragraph, I could have linked directly to the rambling, semi-incoherent disquition. Instead, my early blogging errors are catching up with me. You can think of this paragraph as a ripple, in the pond that is my blog, caused by the skipped stone of a poorly planned three-topic post.



Given that, in my freshman composition class, the readership was known to be exactly one, it wasn’t the promise of fame that had me patiently seated thrice weekly in front of my dedicated word processor. It wasn’t fear of bad grades, either, as I recall making all sorts of ludicrous excuses to avoid waking up early enough to make it to class.

Even though I had numerous mildly unpleasant encounters with a freshman-essayist variant of writer’s block, I believe now that I was motivated primarily by the joy I felt once the snowball’s momentum freed it from my push. I own a haze of indistinct memories, dozens of late afternoons and early evenings of waiting for inspiration to strike me, sitting and looking around my dorm room, pondering the topic-worthiness of my plaid sheets, my trombone, the window, the desk, my word-processor, my hands… until, inevitably, eventually, a thought would follow immediately from a stray antecedent, a third would join in, and I was off to the races. Once I had a topic, however trivial and asinine, the words would arrive more quickly than I could hunt-and-peck them into the 5-by-13 inch screen.

It’s interesting to note that this composition class was entirely focused on mechanics. We had free reign to choose any topic. Our essays would be returned with small, neat, red marks accompanied by numbers in the margins indicating which sub-section of the Little, Brown Handbook‘s section on punctuation and mechanics we had violated. For each error, we were tasked to write the incorrect sentence, the broken rule, and the corrected version of the sentence. I grew very tired indeed of repeating the refrain regarding the use of commas and ‘introductory elements’.

By the end of the semester, I was writing error-free essays. It felt quite good to see clear evidence of progress and accomplishment, I had established an invigorating (yet, sadly, short-lived) essay habit, and the professor singled me out for praise (he enjoyed the absurdity of my sense of humor – it was icing on the cake that he looked and kind of sounded like John Lithgow).

Unfortunately, I don’t have copies of any of those essays. But I do have a burgeoning essay habit again.


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