For me, writing a blog piece is like stepping under a waterfall.
You brace yourself for the cascade.
Then it hits you, and you’re a human weir, diverting and shaping these thundering droplets all around you in your own image.
Part of the waterfall, yet apart from it.
The waterfall is life.
Just as I unleash the torrent of words from my head on to the page, and they pass through the filtering weir of my fingertips as I shape these too in my own image.
Each droplet is a word distilled from the waterfall of my lived experience.
If I stand under this cascade in half an hour, of course, it will be a whole new tumbling conglomeration of droplets.
And brain would throw up a whole new blog.
There’s always water, and there’s always words.
You just have to let them flow.
I was about to start writing, and brain threw up that waterfall image.
Anywhere else, and I would have edited it out and dived straight into my topic.
My blog. My rules.
I had been thinking about yesterday evening and trying to help my daughter shape an essay she was writing for a project in school.
Trying to encourage her while also trying to get her to see that the wonderful cascade of words she was unleashing on to the page needed to be shaped better for her purpose.
What was required was standard enough: initial statement of premise, a definition of her understanding of that premise, a concrete example or two, and expansion into more general argument. And the conclusion.
As a newspaper sub-editor, I’m used to working with other people’s words. Generally, newspaper articles, as most of you know, are shaped around the old formula: who, what, when, where and how.
And the content should be like an inverted pyramid, in descending order of relevance. It makes it easier to cut from the bottom to fit the allocated space.
My daughter loves words, and they absolutely flow out of her.
But sometimes, you have to go with the other’s flow.
Sneak in your own little pearl or two where you can, if they serve a purpose, but basically, hold the fancy stuff.
Save it for a blog post.
Or that golden notebook by your bed, my darling.
There you can let those words flow, like The Clash sang in Straight To Hell,
Clear as winter ice
This is your paradise
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