I just deleted 1000 words of a blog post on terrorism and the Obama administration. The reason is simple; it was crap.
First of all, it was a crappy subject. In fact, any subject lately that requires a touch of nuance in understanding has been a waste of time in writing. To say that Obama is doing some good things in the fight against terror and some not so good things may be close to the truth but who wants to hear that?
Secondly, it was crappy thinking. I tried to draw a parallel between Obama’s policy and “Sitzkrieg” in World War II. Not even close. To say I tortured logic in trying to connect the two is an understatement. The connection is more in attitude than action which is difficult to quantify and impossible to expose.
Third, it was crappy writing. I’ve already forgotten everything I wrote so I can’t even quote from it. Suffice it say, it was brutally inane and without any of my usually redeeming snark.
Finally, I couldn’t end the piece. It just kept going and going like the Energizer Bunny as I desperately looked for the off switch. I couldn’t sum anything up because I didn’t really say anything.
I suppose I could blame all of this on my illness. But some of my best stuff was written when I crawled out of a sickbed to write, skewering someone or other for this or that with invective that would have made Tom Paine wince. Or perhaps I could point the finger at holiday ennui, where I could really give a good goddamn about anything or anyone. That excuse too, falls flat when I look at past years and see some mighty tasty writing between Christmas and New Year’s.
I am going to chalk this up to something that hits every writer - some more frequently than others.
Simple, unmanageable, incoherence.
There are days when I can get up and polish off 1500 words in an hour, effortlessly segueing from topic to topic, my thoughts pouring out organized like dominoes all in a row; elegant, logical, powerful, and eminently readable.
And then there are days like today.
To quote the great Chief Dan George from Little Big Man; “Sometimes the magic works. And sometimes it doesn’t.” Today, Houdini wouldn’t have been able to transpose my gibberish into something acceptable that I would put on this site.
You all should thank me that I had the perspicacity to spare you the ordeal of having to read something so awful. Tips are accepted and you can find the Paypal button below the comment box if you feel inclined to express in a more tangible manner what I’m sure is your overflowing gratitude.