instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Soup stock

Another good link from T.S. O'Rama, this one to a piece by Mrs. Darwin on inspirational blogging:
I've grown very wary of the pretty conclusion, the spiritual lesson learned, the great insight gained through the grind of daily life. I know why writers use this trick, and I've done it myself -- hard up for something, anything, to post, I remember this little anecdote that could just do for posting if I can put some little inspirational twist on it. And people seem to eat the stuff up, so it must be fine, right?

Of course people draw inspirational conclusions from daily life all the time. What I find tiresome is the... craftedness of it all.
Reminding me of Chesterton's answer to criticisms of those who write for effect; to paraphrase, "What the devil shall we write for? Effectlessness?"

The counter-counter-criticism would be, "Effected writing isn't effective."

Mrs. Darwin continues:
I don't even want inspiration from the internet anymore. I've been trying to immerse myself in Scripture, reading passages from the Wisdom literature each night. This is real. This is what can reach into my soul and open me to God in a way that reading a blog can never emulate. Who can say anything that Qoheleth didn't cover 23 centuries ago?

... I love good, true writing -- not flashy, not gimmicky, not designed to lift me up or force a life lesson or "make me think". Bloggers can do the writing and I'll do my own thinking, without a serving of Chicken Soup for the internet soul.
I look at my own chicken soup posts as bread upon the waters: If there's a duck out there who eats it (and some uninspired posts of mine have been reported to really hit the spot), good! But I shouldn't insist on it happening, or even bet on it, and I certainly shouldn't think of writing it as a solemn duty.