Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

From the Heart, Via the Head

There is an individual I'll refer to as "W" who knows me well and whose insights I value. W is not a "web-head" but I've been sharing printouts of some of my blog entries, particularly chapters of Aaron's Story, with him/her. Yesterday, after reading Anguished Composure, W commented as follows: You write very well (aw, shucks!), your writing definitely opens up a window into your heart, but it's also very "polished".

This observation really hit home. I have realized, almost since I first started blogging (just over 4 months ago, but seems much longer!) that I do just this. I am willing to get fairly personal and share feelings and events that had previously been known to only a few, sometimes even to none. But I am cautious in the way I do so. Not only in terms of protecting the privacy of other family members but also in the way I reveal my own inner self. The feelings I write about are real, but I pass them through a very planned - a very calculated - filter before they are exposed.

W's remark has left me feeling uneasy, particularly because I had just started composing the next part of Aaron's Story. That set of writings are clearly my most personal and revealing. At the same time, they are also the ones I tend to review and edit more thoroughly and painstakingly than any others before I feel ready to publish them.

I am pondering the following:

1) Does the intensive editing - the "polish" - make my writing seem less sincere and genuine? Is the "window into my heart" open only so far?

2) If I decide that the answer to question 1 is "yes", what if anything will I do about it?

3) For those of you that also choose to blog about personal matters, have you wrestled with a similar issue, and what conclusions did you reach?


At 11/17/05, 6:49 PM, Blogger benros52589 said...

i dont blog because i have some amt of stregnth to talk to friends about me

At 11/17/05, 9:47 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

The difference between you and most bloggers is that you edit. But that doesn't, in any way, detract from the power of your writing. You have a talent; and it shows.

At 11/17/05, 10:41 PM, Blogger Alan aka Avrum ben Avrum said...

Dear Elie,

Absolutely not! The fluency and ease with which your writing is read demonstrates one thing and one thing only ... that unlike a great many folk, you took your English teacher's admonition seriously when (s)he said: "Check your work carefully children before turning it in!"

How contrary to good old-fashioned 'horse sechel'would it be for a writer to leave his words unedited, his homework unchecked, as it were for the sake of 'more sincerity and authenticity'?!

Frankly, the very last thing I want is to make my readers cringe because I don't know from 'their',they're and 'there'!So polish your work until it shines brilliantly! Those in whose memory we write deserve our very best efforts! I remain ...

Very Sincerely yours,

Alan D. Busch

p.s. Shabbat Shalom!!

At 11/17/05, 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My best writing is usually written over time and edited a few times. I write it first mentally, then on the computer, then often let it sit for a day before reviewing it.

I like my writing to be clear, direct, and honest. If it doesn't meet those standards, I'm not so happy with it.

There are also things I write and post quickly, usually on matters that I don't take very seriously, or just quick personal updates.

I'm of the school that believes the best writing comes from a mature perspective. If you write immediately about something that just happened, your writing may be fun and zippy, but will likely lack substance. Better writing takes time and thought. The editing and polishing process helps the writer get clear on what he is saying, what he wants and means to say.

At 11/18/05, 6:39 AM, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I write a day in advance so I have plenty of time to edit and re-edit my postings.

At 11/18/05, 9:05 AM, Blogger Elie said...

All: Thanks for the affirmation and encouragement!

At 11/18/05, 9:32 AM, Blogger Jack Steiner said...

I rarely edit my remarks. This is an online journal of thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I'll go back and look at things but most of the time it is done on a stream of consciousness basis.

At 11/18/05, 9:51 AM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

I guess I was wrong about what most bloggers do! But you still do a great job.

At 11/20/05, 12:20 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

I think Mirty summed up the difference between her blog and mine. Her's are deep and captivating whereas mine are generally fun and zippy at best. I rarely give more more than a cursory edit before hitting the post button.

Recently someone I know correctly IDed themselves as a character in a post I wrote. I was so embarressed to have to been caught and could not stop apologising. Since then I am more careful, but I find that worrying about being identified or revealing things about others does hamper my style and keeps me from writing about some of the things I'd really like to share.

Perhaps you feel your posts are polished but I think you reveal enough to express what you need to express.
There are probably "ceramic dinosaurs" to be found in every post if you know where to look.


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