About blogging.

a-million

I’ve always loved words. As a child, I listened to them and the ones that I liked, my lips silently shaped prounouncing them, though I’d no idea of what they meant. They have a colour and a taste for me and I suppose that’s what they mean about synesthesia nowadays, though I don’t see them in ways anything like that; they were just words I liked.

My mother would catch me doing it, so she’d stick her thumb into my mouth so I wouldn’t look too retarded making shapes with my mouth. A protective lioness and her idiot baby child. Mess with that sort of woman and over one of her babies, you’d be in a world of serious grief. It was a sort of instinctive teat replacement.

It’s a bit more complex than that though. They are words, just words, but each one of them has a weight, and that weight varies in subtle ways, depending on the context they’re used in and the way it interacts with other words. For me, using the wrong word in a sentence, reads like a clunk.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy. I put those clunky words in the first draft without pausing and have to look for their replacement or scrap the whole sentence, which I hate doing. I run at every piece very hard, breaking through every barbed wire fence tearing the skin off my thin shins, because I’m at my best under pressure and that’s how I know the unthinking diamonds pop out of me, but I do polish the results. I work that way. That’s the hard work and why I’ll probably never get more than one piece a week out.

When I write an article, I go for content, and how it flows is the last ten yards to the finishing line. If you’ve ever really raced, then you’ll know those are always the hardest final yards. You have to write for the engagement and pleasure of the reader, and if you think you’ve succeeded at both of those, then that’s your satisfaction. Like a good meal, it has to be pleasing to the eye, as well as the palate.

I suppose I’ve always thought of blogging as a conversation, and it’s an easy and familiar one. It’s me and a good friend talking at the end of a decent meal. We’ve decided to order that second bottle of wine, already had the how’s the job going conversation, done the how’re the wife and kids doing and last but not least, how’re you really doing.

After all that, comes the free range conversation about anything and everything, and they constantly surprise and delight you with their viewpoints, which is why you enjoy their company. They’re like those gems of books you occasionally find, the whole bloody preconception which gets ship wrecked after the first page, and you’re hooked from there on in.

Books have always been a comfort to me, but they’ve always been a slightly secret perversion. Life pulled me around and kicked me around and jerked me over a bit, and yet I’d always had some tattered paperback jammed in my back pocket. It’s worse than that though, because while I’ve been other things, I’ve always been at heart a writer.

Writing well is essentially an act of betrayal.

You see stuff happening, and you really see the effect it’s having on real people and you intervene when you can, but sometimes, all that can be done is tuck it away somewhere in that silent watcher’s heart you have. Maybe it’s your way of dealing with it but you know in some sickening way, you’ll eventually use it one day. It’s all usable stuff, all material, grist to the mill. You disguise it, you conceal the real circumstances, you do some weaseling but you just know you’ll use it in the end. In that way, you’re not a very nice person.

The price you pay, is that you’ll never forget those moments, nor your predatory usage of those people and situations, but the saving grace, if there is one, is that you’re trying to speak with some truth for them, and you just hope you’ll do it well. Such is the life of low creatures.

I have a long long history of failure because I try things and am not too bothered about being laughed at when I crash and burn. Perhaps it’s a measure of the person you are that you’re strong enough to try an alternative.

I’ve always found the path less well travelled is the more interesting one. While everyone else is doing the peer group mutual ego massage, you’re off in your own space. You won’t pick up many fans that way, in point of fact my experience is your reward is you’re probably going to get a bloody good kicking, but life is definitely more interesting in that zone. Challenging, but more interesting. Once you’ve broken your biscuit, it’s not too bad a way to go.

I had a conversation several years back with some friends about what could be done to combat the malignant cancer that environmentalism had become. The dreaded consensus was that nothing could be done, the eco-fascists had all the big guns on their side and we had nothing. Amid what was popular amusement, I said I was going to try my hand at this blogging thing.

Blogging was a minor strand in other moves I was making at the time and typically contrarian because as I’d decided to take an essayist approach, I knew the blog was most probably doomed anyway. Most people on the internet seem to have the attention span slightly smaller than that of a mosquito. Once you get over a hundred and fifty words, they’ve surfed out of the joint. I plugged away at it though, if only because it enabled me to organise my thoughts.

It is therefore with a certain astonishment, but with some undoubted pleasure that I see this place closing in on one million page reads.

Thank you all for reading the errant thoughts of someone who still tries to shape words.

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman:

The difficult kind.

About writing.

Click for a list of other articles.

 

 

Comments
10 Responses to “About blogging.”
  1. Garrett says:

    Don’t be so surprised your blog is popular, it’s BECAUSE you like words and work hard at stringing them together to write excellent articles that cut through the bullshit that is so prevalent in the mainstream media.
    Keep up the great work with the words-ok?

  2. Sometimes we only have time for the headlines, quite often we know that the headlines are the best part of an article and it is a waste of time going any further. It is nice to know that whatever headline you use, what follows is worth reading. Thank you.

  3. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    Books, and good writers, are a blessed source of comfort or escape for so many of us … they take us to places we’ll never go, introduce us to people we’d never meet, and offer perspectives we might never have otherwise considered.

    You’re indeed a wordsmith who’s succeeded in having that “conversation” around the dinner table and we, your readers, enjoy sitting back with full bellies, sipping on a nightcap and exchanging ideas.

    Years ago, when you first suggested the Blackswan write an article for your blog, my response was – “Who? Me? Don’t be ridiculous.”

    You’re a generous blog host and mentor who encouraged the Swan to join that ‘conversation’ and I’ve really enjoyed the experience and the erudite company you keep, so Thank You.

    The Million Milestone is quite momentous … Congratulations! When it ticks over we’ll raise a glass to your continued success.

    And again … thank you.

  4. meltemian says:

    Congratulations Pointy, but I’m not surprised. Whenever one of your posts drops into my email box I file it on one side to come back to later, that way I can read it when I have time to savour it fully as it deserves.
    Just keep writing and we’ll keep reading and commenting,O.K.?

  5. Richard says:

    Damn you, I’ve been keeping your e-mail messages “live and on top of” on my iteration of Thunderbird for a least two or three days when I find your stuff on the Intertubes, reading and re-reading your essays each time my computer triggers the little “ding” in the speaker.

    I blame */you/*, you sonofabitch. Good writing.

  6. hillbilly33 says:

    Congratulations on your millionth Pointy. Although I’m so wrapped up time-wise in what I’m doing, my comments are limited, your meaty articles are always worth reading. Thankyou too, for being one of the early ones to so ably carry the fight against the CAGW scam. On attention span, a few years ago I directed a young brainwashed university graduate to one of my posts on some site or other and asked later if he had read it and if so what he thought of the alternative arguments posed. His reply was “TLDNR” – too long did not read!

    On books and words. The last of my siblings, my dearly loved but recently departed erudite elder sister, wrote our family history based around family correspondence starting more than150 years ago.
    A learned friend of hers kindly wrote this foreword: “It is extremely refreshing to enter the lives of the people in this book. Someone wrote: ‘Books should to one of these ends conduce – For wisdom, piety, delight or use.’ “This book more than passes this test…. I gained much in wisdom as I see how these people used our language…. If ever there was a need for a monument to faith, this story is it….As for delight, it was never-ending as I came to know the characters and their relationships…. Use? This book’s great use will be to remind readers of the very foundation on which all else rests…. If it shows what we owe to the people of the United Kingdom….. it will have served a great use indeed.”

    Pointy. In many respects I regard your blog and those who contribute by article or comment, in much the same way. All power to your pen for many years to come!

    Cheers mate.

  7. Selwyn H says:

    Congratulations Pointman on a very enjoyable and informative blog.

    I look forward to your latest posts and have you listed under “Climate Journalists” along with Matt Ridley, Delingpole, Quadrant, Fabius Maximus and Charles Krauthammer to name a few. For those of us who love the written word it is a joy to find a writer who covers such a wide range of subjects with first hand experience of most of them and your research is meticulous when it doesn’t.

    We have spent several years fighting against green activists trying to stop us building a community golf course in our town. It amazed me how they can tell the most blatant lies and half truths with seeming impunity and found that the only way to combat them is to stick with the truth and keep shooting them down in print until their lies are thoroughly exposed. We have now built our first 9 holes and are about to start on the 2nd nine but the green blob is still in there fighting us all the way.

    At the same time I have thoroughly researched the global warming scam and enjoyed sparring with the CAGW believers in our local newspaper letters column. It definitely becomes addictive seeing your words in print and it obviously infuriates the opposition when you point out their errors as they keep coming back for more.

    I have gained a lot of good information from your blog and your post on malaria which I have first hand knowledge of was a classic. I look forward to many more hours of enjoyable reading.

  8. nzpete says:

    Hearty congratulations Pointman.
    I’ve always enjoyed your articles, and your POV. For example, your take down of the awful Connelley creature was a joy to read.
    Long may your penchant to write continue.
    You wrote “my experience is your reward is you’re probably going to get a bloody good kicking, but life is definitely more interesting in that zone”. Yes, and I chanced across a fascinating interview with Ann Coulter today, which I have just listened to. Some of your readers (and perhaps you) might enjoy listening to it. Be warned, it’s 1 hour 12mins 46secs long:
    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/ann-coulter-off-message-228070
    She is a lady who is fearless when it comes to speaking her mind. She is also an avid Trump supporter; in this interview, she explains why.

  9. Annie says:

    I couldn’t do any uptick ratings last night after reading your article Pointman but agree with the other commenters. Please keep going. Thanks.

    Also, I just enjoyed the overture to ‘Parsifal’; more thanks. It reminded me of the great Bernard Levin who loved Wagner’s music and used to write about it, among very many subjects. I was much saddened when I learnt of his death as I hadn’t known he was so ill and was horrified at the loss of that very bright brain.

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