Friday, November 4, 2011

Once the Bullet Leaves the Pistol

Today's Prompt: What happens after you press “publish?” Write about your post-blog-writing process. Do you immediately tweet a link? Email it to everyone? Re-read it for spelling errors?

I am not an over-editor. In school, I'd always fake a rough draft when it was required of me. Part of what I like about my narrative voice, even in my most analytical of essays, is my flow from one thought to the next. My sentences and paragraphs sometimes dovetail in theme or structure to the point that I can't add something in even if I later decide it's important. Sometimes it just doesn't fit.

So when I hit publish, other than running in to fix a stray typo now and then, it's done. I've usually already reviewed it in Blogger's preview pane to make sure I like the overall look, but even so, my first action is to pull it up and look at it posted on the page. Then it goes to Facebook. Then to Twitter. And then I go poke around the interwebz for other people's recent blogs. Especially during DBlogWeek, DBlogDay, or a challenge like this one.

In these respects, I suppose we are all the same. We sit and wonder if it was seen, and if so, how it was received. Maybe we go so far as to review analytics for page hits. Maybe we walk away and call it a day.

But once the bullet leaves the pistol, there's no going back. You've said it. The words are out there. Cached, absorbed, etched into cyberstone. So you had better have meant what you said.

I remember feeling righteous indignation one day in a college class when my professor said that a writer's intention was unimportant. All that matters is the reader, he told us.

Oh, hell no, I thought. I'm a writer. Of course I matter.

And he essentially countered with this: If your intention isn't clear, then it wasn't communicated well. The reader inserts his perspective into your text and there is nothing you can do to prevent that. If you meant to say something or meant it to be inferred, you should have said it more effectively.

And that rocked my world. It honed my precision, gave me clarity, helped me separate the chaff from the wheat.

I may be writing for me as both chronicle and catharsis, but it's you who visit here and witness it. So I'm writing this for you, too, and you choose to read it for your own reasons - not mine. Thanks for coming by. It means a lot to me that you take an interest. In me or my family or my health or my perspective...or whatever funky search term it was that led you here.

Now I'm going to preview, publish, refresh, share, tweet, and go check my site analytics - just in case you were curious. :)

This post was written as part of NHBPM - 30 health posts in 30 days:


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog, Melissa. I work in the legal field and all my education is legal so when it comes to writing, I was taught to over emphasize my point and several times over. It is something that I take with me everywhere I go. Sometimes, I do it when I speak as well. :-) Love the comic, btw.

  2. I remember having that writer vs. reader conversation with someone in college. It rocked my world, too! Of course, I also subscribe to the "all good writing is rewriting" philosophy.