Personal Narrative

Long-form blogging in a tl;dr world

fountainpen

When I type, I imagine it like this.

Short version: Hi! Things R awesome. Wish U were here. Mwah!

Hi! It’s your friendly neighborhood contrarian and purple prose addict here, and I just want to take a short moment of your time to say thank you. No, really, this is under 500 600 words! Holy moly, it is possible!

We live in a tl;dr world. It would be easy to blame our shortening attention spans, but I would risk being gravely mistaken. I could strut and claim to be ahead of my time, or some other preposterous thing. Clearly you Visigoths just can’t appreciate my art.

I like to think I’m a bit more self-aware than that, however delusional even that may by. Simply put, I’m just not everybody’s cup o’ joe.

Not everyone likes James Joyce or Thomas Pynchon. Not that I’m anything like them.

Not everyone likes Stephen King or Clive Barker. Not that I’m anything like them.

Not everyone likes Robert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary, and Terrence McKenna, and those that do, however ironically, often fail to employ their BS detectors on the parts worth scrapping while keeping the good bits. Not that I’m anything like them.

I love ambiguity, not unclear antecedents.

Not everyone likes Hunter S. Thompsom. Sorry, off to the re-education camps with you! If I could aspire to be like anyone, he makes my Top 5, easily, as would Chuck Palahniuk.

I share the sins of many a tyro writer, but know just enough to have a cop-out for all of them. Those aren’t misplaced commas. Those are pauses for effect. I didn’t get that rule wrong. That was license. My purple prose is stream of consciousness. I often write the way a guitar player jams, just for the way the words and notes feel. My colloquial style is to compensate for my sometimes obscure, often boring subject matter. And boy howdy do I go on about it, whatever it is.

My contrarian nature? Maybe that’s just because I’m a jerk. When I look back over my collection of bespoke and artisanally burned bridges (100% gluten and GMO-free, almost certainly), it’s almost like there’s some common theme that ties it all together, but I can’t. quite. put my finger on it. I’m pretty certain that never shows in my style.

How’s that being clever thing working out for me, anyway?

It could be that…what I have to say just isn’t viral-worthy like some woman laughing with a Chewbacca mask. Don’t get me wrong. That video was perhaps one of the most important things of its moment. It’s a dark world and we all need a laugh. I will not begrudge anyone that kind of innocent joie de vivre. I just lack…virality, if not virulence.

It could just be that you’re just not that into me. I might as well say “mistakes were made” for all the passivity in that.

Maybe I could be more interesting.

Nah.

There’s an audience I’ll never get with that approach. I can understand that. I can accept that. As a professional writer, I get paid accordingly in the embarrassingly small sum of nothing. It’s a labor of love.

Those of you who actually have a taste for, or at least a tolerance of my many warts and sins, you are the perquisite of the job, and for that, I am forever grateful.

Now to figure out how to squeeze this post into the length of a tweet or a greeting card. There’s a market for that.

Categories: Personal Narrative

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