If you’re one of the two regular readers of this blog, of course from time to time you’ve exclaimed, “Spank me with a puppy! How in the world does he produce such sublime erudition week after week?” And please, really, don’t write to thank me, I’m just glib to do it.
Since you ask—in a rhetorical-question-actually-asked-by-me kind of way—I’ll briefly discuss this magical process. How does a person consistently write a blog that (1) never stoops to the obvious topic of kittens, (2) delicately combines heartfelt depth with expansive grandeur, and (3) always includes a plethora of head whacking in the convivial spirit of the Three Stooges?
To come up with blog ideas, here is a useful technique. Stand in front of a blank wall, about a foot away. Put both hands against the wall, palms flat. Lean forward slightly. Bang your head repeatedly on the wall until an idea comes to you.
That’s how I do it, anyway.
Now that you know this professional secret, you may wish to start your own blog. If you do not own a cat, and cannot think of an actual topic to write about, you may end up with a blog about language, writing, and so on, the same ditch I drag this one through. Needless to say, you do not want that to happen, so you might consider getting a cat.
If in some rabbit-hole reverse quantical world gone terribly wrong, you nevertheless end up with a literary blog, here are some tips, adumbrated below. (“Adumbrate” is a real word, and it’s just raw good luck that it has “dumb” in the middle.)
• Since you will be writing about writing, you will at least imply having some skill on this topic. In such a case, you leave the realm of normal people who can commit various errors of grammar and punctuation, and who cares? We didn’t expect much from them anyway. For us experts, however, to maintain credibility, we must write gooder than other people.
• Do not write about kittens. That is for the other blogs. On rare occasions you might write about a full-grown cat, if you can do so to literary effect. Lewis Carroll did this well in Alice in Wonderland.
• Use occasional alliteration, as it always alleviates the aridity of common text. I’m just saying.
• Try to end each blog entry in a fashion that creates a satisfying sense of mental closure. This would normally involve at least an allusion to something mentioned earlier. A sudden ending such as “Whoa, dude, the beer is kicking in, I gotta stop” is not your best choice.
• When you use expensive words like “adumbrate”, take them out of the box carefully and use them correctly. The following is not correct: “They want $150 a night for a hotel room? That’s adumbrate.”
• Write about things that people care about and can connect with… Then again, this is about literary blogging. Never mind this rule.
I have a great deal more advice to give on blogging in ways that invoke a surfeit* of elegance and charm, but the malted brewed beverages consumed earlier are beginning to have an effect, so I beg your pardon and take my leave.
(*not that anyone wants a surfeit, unless of course it’s a basket of kittens)