One Little MetaFilter Response

Posted by Lizzie on 06/14/10

Metafilter posted my post! I love Metafilter*. However:

I actually make it a practice to never respond to comment streams just because…well, I feel like the article is the place where you got to speak your piece, and the comments are where commenters get to speak theirs, and if you wish to observe the integrity of your article, don’t treat it as an ongoing conversation.

Also, comment streams have their own weather, and if you don’t like it, wait a minute — which is to say, someone else winds up posting the thing you meant to say, anyway.

But since I did just start actively blogging again, I’m feeling a little manic, and I was interested in how my little desideratum about blogging was received by those who are not paid to love me, I will respond, if only because the aggregate response seems to illustrate how thoroughly the world I was talking about has vanished.

1. This is a piece by an author who is annoyed at not getting more attention for her blog from the big game.

Okay. Say what you will — that is explictly the opposite of what my piece is about, and even if you misunderstood my own narration of the events in question, I am eminently Googleable, you know, in all my big-game glory in that room of dozens.

My piece was about how it’s nice to be a blogger and be plucked from your blog to write for different media, but also odd. First, it’s odd because you’re asked to write for that medium, not to blog for it, but yes, as flexing your muscles in a different space is to some extent the story of all freelance writing, that’s not that interesting.

But what is singular is that in 2003, when my blog began to attract notice, I was asked to write for a media that also made snide comments about bloggers and their ability to write with great regularity. Now, that media has fully incorporated blogging as a medium, but not bloggers as an expert class. It’s weird, and annoying, to old-school bloggers who were beaten and pampered, and despite blogging’s ubiquity continue to be.

2. This is a piece by a writer who cannot write.

a) Well, what do you want me to say? It’s baroque. It’s filigreed. You like it or you don’t. You’re not into Thackeray, I get it. It’s not agrammatical, though, and a run-on sentence and a LONG sentence are absolutely not the same thing, something I will observe to my dying day, both asked and unasked, as one blogger, under God, drinking my coffee in relative peace on this cold gray day, etc., etc.

b) You are correct that it is RIDDLED with errors, though. I should get my sister and a friend to proof everything I do. My BOOK is riddled with errors! So embarrassing.

However, as master of big-game media!!! I can say this is not a function of laziness, but really a function of writing reams and reams of things, constantly, for a living, under a deadline. I used to copyedit and proof for a living as well, and I’ve learned it’s just impossible — for me, at least — to do both. Once my writing emerged error-free and fully formed and it just doesn’t anymore.

In my old age I have found I really like it when I get a chance to do a massive second or third draft, particularly when I’m reviewing. Blogging is quite different though, and there is a hummingbird effect you may or may not like. It was a voice VERY MUCH IN VOGUE when I began, not so much today.

However, even with a copyeditor, and I love copyeditors and proofers, love love love, errors always get through. O magazine just changed a subject in a piece of mine to a He from a She three times, and the error went through, even though that writer is eminently Googleable. O is like the MOTHERSHIP of copyediting and proofreading. So blame me if you like, and I would love it if any of you would like to give my posts a read. The part of my brain that used to prevent “plane” from becoming “plain” is out of service.

I will correct those errors you pointed out though. I’m also losing my eyesight, and my hearing. Have pity.

3. That was a lovely little artic–

THANK YOU.

And thank you all — it’s very nice to be back, and very nice to see MetaFilter paying attention to my return at all. God, I see standards have risen since the days when I could just patch together my Cry List. Oh, I can’t find my Cry List. It was popular, in its day. Those of you worried that internet items you’ve written will haunt you until the end of your days, don’t.

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