Friday, May 09, 2008

Back to the Drawing Board

Every time I go over that little profile write-up I have on the right side of this blog, I feel as though I need to rewrite it. Note our aforementioned Exhibit A here:
Sean is not an internet celebrity. He is neither a food critic, a gossip columnist, nor a political commentator. He is not an entrepreneur who uses a free blogging service as a means to make money, nor is he an itinerant spammer who foists product promotions on an unsuspecting audience. He is neither an activist nor a spectator. He is neither an instigator nor an irritant. He is neither the hunter nor the hunted. But he tries to tell things like they are, and he tries to do this from a logical and an introspective viewpoint as much as possible. He tries to take in many different opinions as a cohesive whole, and he tries to use this to touch upon many aspects of life. Sean tries to write. Sean tries to be a writer, and that makes him a very dangerous man. Who likes stuffed toys.

I don't have a clear reason to do so, but I do have any number of small reasons to change it: I don't think that it provides a clear description, I think that it's a little too highbrow, I'm not sure if it's supposed to be serious or funny or anything like that, and I feel that it sounds like a bunch of random lines smashed together at a moment's notice. Basically, each time I read it, I feel like balling it up, dunking it into the wastebasket, and starting from scratch.

The catch is that I now have to ask myself exactly what's supposed to go into a Blogger profile. Is it supposed to contain your real name, for instance? Can you portray yourself as a purely fictional construct that nevertheless reflects your personal life? Just how much can you give away in a blog profile that you can't necessarily give away in a plain, ordinary blog post?

Part of me feels that I should sit down and lay out some ground rules for myself. We already have a couple, for example -- the write-up needs to be short enough to hold peoples' attention, and it has to compress everything into a single paragraph (for lack of HTML tags). But what else can I throw in at this point?

As far as I can tell, I want to work the following items into the base description:
- The fact that I try to write about writing.
- The fact that I enjoy games, puzzles and probability exercises.
- The fact that I am vehemently against plagiarism and other literary offenses.
- The fact that I have an unhealthy obsession with stuffed toys.

What I'm sure that I can't do at this point is provide outdated references (my stint for the Anito: Defend a Land Enraged computer game is already far in the past at this point, for example). I'm also pretty sure that I don't want to mention specifics about my occupation (which is probably unimportant) or my home life (which I hardly mention here in any case). A telling of the true story behind the monkeys, the forty pounds of overcooked noodles, and the whipped cream is most definitely out of the question.

This is surprisingly hard. It's not quite as difficult as writing a short story and polishing it until your hands fall off, but it's hard enough for me to want to come up with a bunch of different drafts and see which of them fit best. It's a little on the overkill side, especially when I realize that this involves a tiny profile write-up for an obscure little blog.

I can't think of any other alternatives, though. That current write-up really has got to go -- the mark of progress is always measured by man's desire to improve the wallpaper and rearrange the furniture, and I'm really no exception in this case.

Maybe if I mentioned that I was really a quadriplegic prodigy who knows how to talk to various woodland creatures... naaaah.

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