How To get Ahead of the Pack / Blogging – Part II

December 26, 2007

As I mentioned in the first part of this three parter on how to blog successfully, strive to be a consistent producer. It doesn’t matter if what you write is even littered with grammatical and spelling mistakes or even if your thoughts come across as screwy.

Always remember quantity is a sort of quality – no one is going to turn away from your blog just because you cannot spell or string a decent sentence. They’re only going to do that if you’re short on the creative content – let me just prove it by letting you into a trade secret.

The Brotherhood Press regularly mangles up spelling, sentences and diction, in the way fake antique dealers season furniture by deliberately giving them the rough treatment. Yes, we actually, go through the trouble of grinding up our articles to give them that dog eared feel – what do you call it?

Well I have term for it, it’s call the Wabi Sabi feel. What did I just say? Wabi-sabi. Learn that word, write it down and carry it in your wallet or something, because if anything is going to take you further in life, it has to be Wabi-sabi-ing.

Wabi-sabi in a nutshell represents a view classical Japanese aesthetics; it is difficult to explain precisely in western terms, only because it doesn’t have an equivalent in the western sense.

If I was really pressed, I will just call it 5 o’clock shadow, polished timber, dog eared books and the suppleness of old leather – it’s the perfect balance between the beauty of all things that manages to capture the fine balance between imperfection and impermanence.

The story goes something like this, some 500 years ago, when the teacher told Sen no Rikyu to tidy the garden as a test before accepting him as a pupil of the tea ceremony, he worked until it was absolutely perfect. Then before finishing he has another look, and thought again. Then he shook the cherry tree so that a few flowers fell on the ground, and by doing so passed the test. Rikyu’s final touch with the tree was the essence of the concept of which he became the leading advocate; known for the last five centuries as wabi-sabi. It emerged originally as a reaction against lavish ornamentation in 16th century Japan, but it has survived there as an elusive concept.

I discovered this by sheer accident when I published my first internet novel, popularly known as the confessions – it ran with a circulation of nearly 40,000 and at it’s height it was read in nearly 36 countries – what surprised even me was how many of readers actually like the lousy grammar and spelling.

In a sense it had a lot to do with the whole idea of wabi-sabi i.e authenticity. Here for the first time, readers had to grapple with the whole idea of someone who had absolutely no skills trying to narrate a story – what did they do? Did they turn away? Did they say this is crap? Au contraire – what they did was to take up equity in the enterprise. You guessed it, they helped me out.

There was even a read club in Sweden that regularly corrected me and one in Thailand that kept on hounding me that red shoes didn’t go with an indigo cheong sam, so there you go – this shows that when you’re a consistent producer. A sort of magic is produced. One where a deep spirited trust is produced between writer and reader. Where the latter is not only content read, but feels compelled to take a stake in the enterprise.

For me the lessons are; what emerges as the belief that unifies us is not that a lousy novel or blogging can really change anything but that it offers people an avenue to preserve something. The thing being preserved really depends on the reader; it may be as private as “my right to read this during by daily tea break while I munch on my goreng pisang.” I can only reason, when the pace of life grows ever faster and we are regularly being told the age of globalization is frittering away our rights to even choose and even keep “our way of life.” It also means there has to be some counter reaction to that sort of inexorable tsunami. I realize people being people will always try their best to preserve what’s important to them, irrespective of what governments and firms try to drum into their heads – it could be something very small such as preserving a community of readers and writers, and the way in which members of this community recognize each other is that nothing in the world seems simple to them.

But do it they will, even if it means sooner or later all of us would probably be wiser to raise the white flag and surrender to the stormtroopers of globalization.

However in this new age, where everything increasingly becomes processed, sanitized and packaged, it stands to reason, the possibility of terminal boringness looms particularly large. From surreal and heady architecture to contrived ‘reality’ TV programming, from chemically enhanced fast food to artificially planned corporate communities, we live in a world increasingly devoid of spontaneous human. In the face of such dizzying post-modern innovations, surely there has to be a growing movement to return to the natural, the unspur – the authentic – the wabi-sabi way of life.

Chew on it. Even if the digital revolution evolves into some kind of Stalinist totalitarianism, the perverse effect may be elevation of writing and reading on this humble scale which blogs and lousy novels offer.

The world of samizdat, ought to serve as a reminder “a little goes a very long way” and as long as there is such a thing as a writer and reader even on this homespun microscopic scale that one can only refer too as the statistical insignificant – blogging will not only survive but will even flourish, even in exile amid the endless profusion of hype and spin. Only because the struggle for genuine experience has to be the real reason why people regularly put up with lousy spelling, grammar and diction. Otherwise why even bother? My friend, you can even say, it is the new revolution. Do you understand now? Do you?

Darkness 2007

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19 Responses to “How To get Ahead of the Pack / Blogging – Part II”

  1. 130th said

    It has been a privilege!

    Long live the brotherhood!

  2. Council of the Wise said

    Darkness,

    One is always glad to be of service.

    Long live the brotherhood and Merry X’mas.

    It certainly has been a privilege.

  3. mercantile guild said

    Merry Christmas father of the game –

    “One is always glad to be of service”

    Darkness 2005,

    Good health & prosperity

    Mercantile Guilds

  4. ICG said

    From everyone in the ICG, Merry X’mass.

    “One is always glad to be of service.”

    Darkness 2005

    Long live the brotherhood!

    The ICG

  5. Nacramanga said

    Dear Darkness,

    Merry Christmas my friend. Thank you for reminding all of us. Yes, it is definitely a privilege to serve.

    Commander of the Sardo-Khan 392 Armored Div.

    Reg

    Nacramanga

  6. kokopops said

    Merry X’mas all.

  7. Mrs Smith said

    “A cultured man, a man of wit, a great humanitarian.”

    Merry X’mas and a Happy New Year Dr Darkness.

    Regards

    S

  8. loupargar said

    Merry christmas Darkness et al

  9. scb said

    May I wish everyone better years ahead and a very productive one too!

  10. scb said

    Eh, maybe it should read very productive ones too; my apology.

  11. frondiest said

    Actually I believe alot of conviction and drive comes from having a critical mass. It’s easy to be motivated in the case of BP as you know you have a horde.

  12. happy santarina's said

    Hello,

    There’s always something for everyone in Dotty’s. However, I feel one reason why the productivity is so high with the BP is bc chatting or idle talk is never really encouraged witht the forummers.

    I for one would like to see a higher level of interaction for next year. I don’t believe, I speak for myself as this is the sentiment that is quiet strong in most readership clubs.

    Happy New Year and XX

  13. Peacemaker said

    Darkness,

    Let us bury the hatchet. Let there be peace darkness btw you and the church. Can you not see you are ripping everyone here apart?

    Let there be peace. What do you say?

  14. dotseng said

    Peacemaker,

    I don’t believe there will ever be any peace. You want to know the truth, they don’t even remember why they fight you any more, it’s been going on for so long. It’s best, if we just leave it the way it is. Don’t you think so?

  15. dotseng said

    Although I pray everyday. I am starting to realize, it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie at times.

  16. Atomic Monkey said

    Hello Peacemaker,

    You must be crazy. You like to hate us. You like it so much, you ppl regularly make it a big issue to ignore us all and give us the shit treatment on the trail in Bukit Timah.

    We also like to hate you, because you do all this evil things to us in the name of Jesus Christ.

    We have a very good thing going. Why change it?

    You must be crazy. There will be no peace for one simple reason, it serves no purpose, not even the means to an end.

    Don’t you see it? This is the end by it’self.

    We have never had it so good. Merry X’mas and a Happy New Year.

    Blessed are those who know why they must play their role on this earth.

    Atomic Chimpy

  17. Jack Daniels said

    I just going to say one thing to Darkness, we going to take you right out to the cleaners.

    You know boy, you’re just about broken every single decent law in the virtual and we’re going to send Wyatt Earp after you. You’ve be pipping boy all the way to the jail house, you would.

    You’re burn in hell Darkness, you son of Satan!

    We’re going get you now you hear!

  18. Bubba said

    Howdy You Kung Poh’s

    Don’t mind us dropping in. Just tell your boss that every bounty hunter in the universe is going to pine that cotton picking darkness.

    The bounty on head just went up to 390,000. Happy New Year folks that makes him the sweetest critter this side of the bum face and don’t now if we take a slice of him dah ya?

    You better tell him to hum this real low now you hear.

  19. KOHO said

    Message Confirmation: Unable to source check origin of codex – these guys are good / Both Jack Daniels and Bubba have 100% invisibility / these r the famous tag team bounty hunters -Their real identities: Southern Comfort and Jack LaBelle aka Top Cat.

    They were dumb enough to warn us, so I relayed message to Nacramanga – should we parachute a squad to pay them a courtesy visit?

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