Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Death of the Idea

Fate seems to be conspiring against my posts again. (That's good news for Blogger, who'll be happy to know that it's not their fault this time.) Last night was of the dark and stormy persuasion, you see, and a power failure conveniently interrupted my newest post around the six-hundred-word mark.

Not that it bothered me then; Blogger's autosave feature probably saved my first draft. So when the second power failure hit -- right when I had opened the editing window once again -- I had to invent some new swearwords to describe the experience.

At the moment, I'm trying to decide whether such a situation would be more problematic for spontaneous posts, or for outlined posts. Every time I lose a spontaneous post, I obviously have no notes with which to reconstruct it. But on the other hand, every time I lose an outlined post, I can never get myself to write it again because I feel that I've already said what I wanted to say. It's much like repeating a joke to somebody who didn't hear it the first time.

Maybe I just don't like losing posts, period.

Up till I ran into Clair and JM in Powerbooks this afternoon, I was considering an in-depth discussion on the politics of picking one's nose. In my haste to find topics of conversation, though, I seemed to have let that one loose. Now I can't write about it anymore.

That's not to say that I don't think people will read an essay about picking one's nose; I figure that readers are inevitably drawn to unexpected topics, and nose-shoveling certainly qualifies in that regard. By giving the topic away too early, though, I lost the initial impact that would have motivated me to write the post to begin with.

I hear that a lot of ideas die like that. There is actually a common writer's standard that states that one should never give away an idea before its execution. Doing so would affect its initial impact, which is really what a revolutionary concept needs to fuel its way into the world.

In short, pop a balloon and you get an immediate reaction; Watch the air squeal out of a small hole, and you get a very, very boring two minutes.

Then again, who would want to read a blog post on the art of nose-picking, anyway? Aside from the morbidly curious, of course.

Or maybe everyone out there is of the morbidly curious persuasion. That could be why you read blogs, to begin with.

Now, if only this post could just get past the publishing stage...


kat said...

I've had that feeling, like when you have this really great idea, and when you've written the ideas down (or at least made some concrete sample of it, even just an outline), you suddenly lose the urge to write it/execute it. It makes me want to cry sometimes. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

about baloon impact: i really got your point. sometimes, when you really want to write about something, you tend not to talk about it with others to spoil it.

atenista ka pala... get to met some CS batch '05... and found some of them intellectually snooty :D

Sean said...

Kat: They come and go, I suppose. Might as well prepare for the next ones...

Reiji: Thankfully, most intellectually snooty people are at least perfectly willing to put their money where their mouth is. New CS graduates, for that matter, make good fresh meat. :)

cstiu said...

Me, me! *hands up, waving wildly* I'd read about nose picking!! Does that mean I'm morbidly curious???

and... you outline some of your entries??? thats... so... weird. Outlining makes me feel like I'm working on a graded paper. :P Of course, that's just me ;)

Sean said...

Claire: I only outline a few of them, if that makes you feel any better. :) Most of them are spontaneous.