Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sequels Mostly Suck

Based on the writing schedule that I try to keep, I produce close to 2500 words per week on average in the way of blog posts and and columns. With a bit of simple math (which is about as much as I am capable of in spite of a couple of years as a math major in college), this adds up to over 10,000 words per month. I write on any number of subjects in a given thirty day period, some of which I would consider of some importance, some that act as intellectual exercises in writing, and some that are little more than mindless entertainment (usually for me rather than those few twisted souls reading them).

It may surprise you to find that not all of these exercises will ever be remembered as works of literary genius. (Yeah, I can tell you're shocked.) In fact, when looking back, I find that many of them barely pass the sniff test. The simple truth of the matter is that for me at least, it's lucky if even a tiny percentage of what I write is remembered 24 hours after I've sent them on their merry way into the ether of the Internet. If one of them is remembered however, more often than not it's a piece of ridiculous rubbish that wrote itself without any conscious thought on my part; and that I find myself barely able to take credit for. (Hmm, there may be something worth learning there...) 

Such was the case two weeks ago with an effort entitled "In Praise of Sliders". The whole thing started with a couple of my cousins complaining on Facebook about abdominal pains after a recent visit to White Castle, continued through the soul-crushing case of jealousy that I experienced because I couldn't get to one, and came to a head on a Saturday morning that required a writing effort that I couldn't come up with a subject for. What came next wrote itself with no more research that how to find the home position on the keyboard for touch-typing, and no more critical analysis on the subject than whether to use a comma or semi-colon at a certain points in a sentence. 

Now at some point I should probably back up and say that I actually take writing seriously, often agonize over every word and punctuation mark and edit my efforts almost to the point of nausea (something that many of you appear to experience while reading them). I enjoy taking on serious subjects, and occasionally even believe that my perspective on them carries some value by putting in writing what many might be thinking. (Yeah, I know. We all have our delusions.) 

All of that being said, it has become apparent in the last couple of weeks that writing about a steamed hamburger has had a far greater impact than much of what I've written of a more serious nature. To my credit, let it be said that not only am I not disturbed by this, but in fact am secretly pleased. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I'm mostly about nonsense, with a healthy sense of the ridiculous thrown in. (Some might even say that's its an unhealthy sense, but those are people that I never buy a drink for.) 

This is also the long way around to telling you that after agonizing for almost two weeks on a way to do a suitable follow up for the 'Sliders' effort, I have come up more sadly empty than that small, white cardboard box after its tiny treasure has been removed. I'd like to give you a suitable explanation for this, and believe me when I tell you that I had any number of grand excuses lined up for the attempt. (I edited them out of the piece, thank goodness.) 

I tend to believe however, that the actual reason for my lack of consistent achievement has something to do with blind squirrels and acorns. So if you're reading this today in the hopes of finding a riveting sequel to the posting on 'belly-bombers', you will be sorely disappointed. Good sequels, as most of us have come to understand, are almost impossible to produce. (Just look at 'Caddyshack'.) 

If you'll stick with me though, I promise to keep trying to be occasionally entertaining, if not insightful. I promise to be no more disappointing than your average politician, no more a waste of your time than your average reality show, and no more tasteless than the frozen variety of White Castles (which currently reside in my freezer, BTW). You know, the more I edit (and re-edit) this week's pitiful effort the more I come to the conclusion that no matter how hard you try, sequels mostly suck.

1 comment:

Roland Hansen said...

Uh, let me say this about that.
What? You want more? Sorry; that was it. There is no more.