Friday, August 03, 2007

The Experiment

I blogged Monday-Friday every week in July, just to see if it could be done without me going crazy. I think we all know the inevitable outcome of that although to be fair I didn't have far to go.

I really don’t do enough to justify five days a week of boring people to death. Unless you want to hear about the new Rowenta iron I bought yesterday. After all, you read through the torturously mind-numbing acquisition of my Ralph Lauren sunglasses in Malibu, where I couldn’t get a fucking bag to save my life. Maybe in my second year of blogging I'll be spilling my personal drama on a daily basis but so far I'm as closeted as Tom Cruise.

I’m also an anal-retentive, hyper-vigilant person who re-writes a post about a thousand times before I upload it to Blogger. I am always working on anywhere from 15-20 pieces at any given time. And yet I refuse to make my bed every day because I just mess it up every night and what kind of a waste of my precious sitting-around time is that?

I always go back into my blog and rewrite. Sometimes weeks later. I’ll find a more concise word, a funnier tag. While I’m working on one piece, I’ll look something up in Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style and will go back into my archives because it has suddenly dawned on me that I used an incorrect word back in October of 2006, a word like meaningful, which S&W defines as a ‘bankrupt adjective.’ And like Monica on Friends, who can’t sleep knowing there’s a pair of sneakers in the living room that haven’t been put away, I will rush back into my archives to fix it. This could be why I don’t have a boyfriend.

The most legendary example of this syndrome is Larry Gelbart, the writer of practically the entire TV series M.A.S.H., which was on the air from 1972 to 1983. He was at a comedy conference in Aspen in the early part of the 00's and Bill Maher asked him if he could relate to the renowned ‘A writer doesn’t write; he re-writes.’ And Gelbart responded without missing a beat, “I’m still re-writing episodes of M.A.S.H.”

He made me feel less dirty.

Sidebar: Main Entry: side·bar Function: noun

1 a: a short news story or graphic accompanying and presenting sidelights of a major story b: something incidental: SIDELIGHT.

2: a conference between the judge, the lawyers, and sometimes the parties to a case that the jury does not hear.

In the world of Blogs I have no idea why that list over there on the right (or sometimes left) is referred to as a sidebar. It is used INCORRECTLY. I’ve been writing for twenty years and shit like that makes me crazy. And don’t get me started on spell check. I’ll go right out a window and take you with me.

I'm not a perfect writer. My spell check is constantly reminding me that I write in fragments and wouldn't recognize a comma if it French-kissed me. Whatever, dude.

I'm going back to my normal posting schedule which p.s. I never had.

End of rewritten-at-least-30-times chat.

30 comments:

  1. Oh, my gosh, Suzy! Are you the West Coast female version of me? Well, that may be a stretch, but we're certainly cut from the same cloth. You described precisely why I DON'T blog every day. By the time I write, edit, re-edit and re-edit and re-edit, I figure I spend an hour per each of my SIX readers per post. As I said before, I admire your consistency -- and your ability to be interesting and refreshing each time I check in. Does that make it worthwhile? (You know the answer!)

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  2. I can tell you rewrite. There aren't any mistakes in your blog!

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  3. This is kind of a revelation to me. Part of the reason I love dropping by your blog every day is because of the breezy, off-the-cuff writing style you have. It never occurred to me that you would have re-writes, because everything always flows so naturally... like a conversation. This makes you a lot better writer than I am, because when I re-write stuff it gets beat to death and reads far worse than when I just hack it together and post it!

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  4. D2, it takes a LOT of work to make it sound off the cuff!

    And don't sell yourself short on your own writing. Your style is breezy and mistake-free as well. I think there are bloggers and then there are writers. I consider you a writer, as I do most of the people I read. We're writers who blog. That's why we take so much shit from guys at the Times, who dismiss bloggers as diarists and not writers.

    Fools.

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  5. I you ever went to a writing seminar hosted by someone whose published novels etc. they will tell you its all about the re-write. Some writers can afford a staff of editors (or even just one) to help them with their re-writes. Have to say your "experiment" has been highly entertaining and imaginative as compared to things like daily pictures of your hair growing out or editorials on some gross disgusting food product taste testing (i could use a thesaurus but can't think of a better word than editorial)... hmm can coments be edited? I don't think blogger lets you do that.

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  6. Anne, I do want to warn you that one of the pieces I'm working on is about my hair!

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  7. But I do start every entry with "Dear Diary..." so maybe those Times guys have a point there...

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  8. Nice to know that I'm not the only anal blogger. And it's true -- I hadn't noticed until now -- that your writing is devoid of even the most minute grammatical errors. I wonder if there's an award for that?

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  9. Diesel, your blog never has ONE grammatical error either!

    I love D2 and Diesel because they're NOT mommy bloggers and they are both very funny and talented guys.

    Diesel runs weird photo caption contests so for those of you who think you can pull it off, go check out his blog and wait for the weekly contest.

    I'm too chickenshit.

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  10. You are one of the few blogs that I make sure I check every day, if not several times a day, to see if there is an update. So, of course, I enjoyed the July posting frenzy. I also love reading about the stars from your insider point of view.

    End of ass-kissing/stalker comment.

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  11. Erika, now that you've written that, I will feel guilty if I don't post as much. But who knows, I might???

    I do have a celebrity interview coming up this month.

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  12. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Suzy,
    I can't help with your writing, as it's already perfect. However, I believe I can assist with the unmade bed issue. What you do is make your bed with layers of extra top sheets. So you get into bed and just go under one top sheet. Later when you finish your siesta, just throw the first top sheet into the laundry hamper. Then, the next time you need to nap, just go under the next top sheet. Voila! A perfectly made bed every time!
    Aloha,
    Martha Jane

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  13. I haven't used a top sheet in three years. I sleep with a duvet. Much more comfortable and less confining. Of course, bigger dry cleaning bills...

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  14. Suz- As long as it's fun for ya....

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  15. Does that make it worthwhile? (You know the answer!)

    and that too : )

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  16. The Mickey's! I've been writing for a long time. My standup act, head writer for a TV show in Miami, 2 screenplays and one novel. I always get positive feedback but it's the amount of time I put into any project that is draining.

    I would love to be the writer who just says, "Ahhh, it's good enough." It's never good enough for me....

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  17. Bossy doesn't like spellcheck: it's always trying to change her name to Boozy.

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  18. I will still compulsively check and re-check your blog all day long.
    I do a lot of re-writing also, only most of mine starts out on paper. Then sometimes I will write the entire blog again on my computer without referring to the drafts at all.

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  19. Bossy's blog is my new favorite addiction. And I think she might be boozy when she writes it.

    gm, as usual, you crack me up.

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  20. LOL at Bossy. Methinks Spellcheck is smarter than she gives it credit for.

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  21. Compulsion: a gift and a curse (period or no period? How about three periods?)...

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  22. That last combination of punctuation makes a drooling man, who I like.

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  23. Oh it's a period all right, a giant, crampy kick everyone in the balls period.

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  24. suz-
    Lots of times you find something on your Way 2 something else...
    grasshopper !

    You aint got a b/f?

    Hmm...

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  25. surcie6:09 AM

    That's why your blog is SO good! It's also why I'm such a pathetic poster--sometimes I just don't want to devote the time.

    Per chance did you find Bossy via my blogroll? Isn't she great? No other blog quite like hers.

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  26. I found Bossy at humor-blogs.com, the green badge on my blog. I'm listed with them and Bossy is always listed higher than me so one day I decided to check her out and have been hooked ever since.

    And I agree, there isn't any other blog like hers.

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  27. Whats another name for "thesarus?"

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  28. Yo Mickeys, according to Merriam Webster, 'treasury' and 'storehouse' are the synonyms.

    Hey, you asked....

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  29. Couldn't get a bag of what?

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  30. Well, since they don't hand out pot at Ralph Lauren (I think) I had asked for bag to put my newly aquired $239+ sunglasses. The saleslady dismissed me and told me to put them in my Nike bag.

    I stared her down. I got my bag. I'm an unapologetic fashionista. I want the BAG!!

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