Things what I writ

I sometimes write nonsense about things to try and sound clever

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On being topical

One of the most difficult things to overcome when attempting to create some masterpiece of literary commentary with a topical edge is trying to work out what the topical edge is without coming across like some trollbaiting landgrabber whose only purpose in the act of creation is to somehow capitalise on a zeitgeist that probably isn’t geisting and most likely has run out of zeit in order to further some perceived standing in a peer community whereupon the very act of dribbling inanely onto your ipad keyboard would be celebrated with some not insignificant cacophony of trumpets, trombones, grinding teeth, handclaps, notification alerts and apnoea snort-awakes such that congratulations, you’ve captured the moment like some now fish in your net of insight, grabbed from the jaws of one of those thought leader brown bears poised over the river of consciousness ready to paw a beautiful shimmering leaping thought salmon to thought death AND THEN EAT IT WHOLE WITH THE HEAD AND EVERYTHING.

Sometimes it’s simply a question of saying something because you feel like it for no reason at all. I can pretend that it’s relevant to the current topic somehow by relating it to a current activity, like watching the morning keynote at the IA summit and wondering how my using IA writer and saving into the cloud to write this plays rather neatly into Scott’s contention that I’m locked into some kind of app cave hardwired not to the cloud but to a cloud in the sky of clouds and make some ironic commentary on my connectedness to a old paradigm and how I’m literally careening into the trough of ultimate despair without a smart seat belt, but that would be a pretty cheap shot at crowbarring a topical reference in to a moderately nonsensical accident of prose just because I happen to be talking about this stuff later. I would never do that.

This title is clever but pointless and inefficient

This is the post I would normally write about being at an event in the city with a collection of like-minded individuals who were compelled to attend to on the promise of solace at their smiting of writing with encouraging words from the scribers of note that can say what they wrote with articulate summary, a sprinkling of chummery and, not least some encouragement, wrapped up in wit, delivered in earnest, with meaning, to whit, I give you a paragraph to be used as example, to print and to squint at in lieu of a sample of how you could simply just dribble away like a gibbering goon for the rest of the day.

Except, I now know better.

This evening I attended a workshop run by Martin Belam and Cennydd Bowles, which, ostensibly, was about being a better writer. That sounds like a rather lofty and grandiose concept, but, you know, I like those. Realistically, the workshop was more about personal approaches to writing, learned writing skills, need-to-know and evil-to-use devices for being read, and a heavy dose of editing. Oh, and spelling. And grammar. Which, I plainly flout irreverently and irreconcilably and even irresponsibly. In fact, there were so many golden nuggets of ‘better writing’ advice that I didn’t even have time to flippantly flap about it on the twitter.

Not really knowing what to expect from the evening, I did approach it with an open mind, and an open bottle of Corona. I was hoping that I might get some opinions other than my own on what might constitute good writing and take those opinions away to inform my future output. I did get that, but I also got a rather delightful insight into the methods and practices of two writers that I rather admire. If were to make some dubious football analogy at this point, which I am going to, I’d suggest that Martin’s approach was that of a wily, crafty, tactical midfield genius, who has a great eye for an opportunity, knows all the tricks and can pick out the killer pass most of the time. He’s always the first man to be picked, notwithstanding his occasional tendency to argue the toss with the gaffer over formations. On the other hand, Cennydd would be more of a silky, clinical, methodical kind of player. While apparently effortless in his command of the ball and organising the team (for he does wear the armband), he will be the one on the training ground under the floodlights at 2a.m., repeatedly kicking a ball at a wall until he can predictably hit the same brick every time.

All of which is just a way to say that when describing how to be a better writer, you necessarily end up describing what you’ve done to try and be a better writer yourself, and this will be different depending on who you are. Martin and Cennydd described quite different experiences and approaches, but they shared a common aim. Clearly, there is no right way to become a better writer, there are many right ways. However, what this evening demonstrated is that if you want to focus on a few of the many, some of those right ways are more righterer than others.

Tomorrow, as an exercise, I shall mostly editing the life out of this post before publishing it again. It will be like harvesting antimatter with a sock.

predictive blogs

f u cn rd ths then I’ve just installed lazyBlog® because I have so much to say but I can’t be bothered to say it and anyway I’m waiting for the chelsea one to hoof up here so we can spark off over globalization and decide we probably won’t meet in the middle but I’ll try and get products out and I’ll do press releases in Korea anyway before that vendor goes mad with slash press. I came across lazyBlog® while I was cross referencing the page I made with the online viking office supplies catalogue to see if there was any hidden meanings to my life that could possibly link a thousand nude californians and ink jet cartridges, but there wasn’t, unless I looked at them the wrong way round.

it’s apparently the first piece of blogging software from the folks responsible for the iBull, which I can see already has you shaking your leg under the desk. it works like predictive txt on cellphones, where you use you enter a 2 letter word with no meaning and you get back a 4 letter word with no meaning which is out of context when you didn’t even have one and you can’t erase because your head is under a bucket somewhere near the shropshire union canal. except lazyBlog® is much more gooder. it do all ur blog after you’ve only written one paragraph or so. it apparently uses a patented algorithm that analyses your online behaviour and tracks histories, bookmarks, previous blog entries, email, shopping lists, tampered photoshop files etc., building a unique picture of the person what you are and what you’re likely to be thinking at 12 oclock on monday morning after you’ve just driven from Norwich to Camberley and decided to go home again after you picked up a ream of paper and a couple of bics. so by the time I’ve got to about this point, everything you see from now on is probably machine generated. It might already be. In fact the fantastic futureheads album has 4 stars and can be found here. The super BBC news site has a interesting feature on baboons in Guatemala that features in Michael Palin’s new book ‘Baboons in Guatemela’ which is a vailable in all good bookshops. I saw a great special offer on ink cartidges today – 2 for 1 at PC World Business Direct. Hurry while stocks last. anyway, I see that there’s a lot of conversation about Open Source Software on some people’s blogs on some sites somewhere probably. I have something to say about that even though I don’t normally link to any software sites or buy it or talk about it, but I did once follow a link of th 19th June what did go to an OpenSolaris page for blogging thing someprobably. Have you seen my cat? I was reconstructing my garden after cycling through Surrey and Doctor Who who came on the TV and I like good wine and here is a picture of me at some event of other taken on my treo. I want to die. Why oh why doesn’t she like me? That President Bush…

hmm. it’s still beta. perhaps you can actually pay for it to remove the adverts. unless I actually just wrote all that. on my excellent Talin. Oi! stop it!