Thinking in Public

The other day I wrote a blog titled “Similarities between my garden and the Bible.” It immediately elicited a response from my friend and minister Chris. He worries if I wade into the biblical. His response was, “After the first few lines I went, ‘oh no…’ and by the end I went, ‘I think she’s on to something good here.’”

When I asked him what caused the “oh no”? He responded, “Sometimes things come out of your mouth/keyboard that are unpredictable.”

I replied, “Absolutely unpredictable. Otherwise why would you keep reading?”

I write every night for twenty minutes, then I post it. I have done this everyday for over ten years. Rarely do I know what I am going to write about. I sit down after dinner and think, “Oh Lord, what happened today that I can write about?” There are plenty of things that happen, which are, “off the blog record.”

This Sunday I was watching an interview with the brilliant Malcom Gladwell on CBS Sunday Morning. I, in no way, am in the same hemisphere as Malcom Gladwell, but he said so many things about writing that I try to subscribe too, without my knowing they were his ideas.

First, “A Writer’s job is to be interesting, not always right. They raise questions that need to be raised.”

Second Gladwell said, “I would rather be interesting that right. I am thinking in public.”

Third, “The best way to stay interesting is to stay a moving target.”

I am not always interesting, but I do raise a lot of questions. I have plenty of people for whom those questions resonate and some who despise me for asking them. My blog is the ultimate act of thinking in public. It is off the cuff, often unresearched and always original.

Sometimes I write about controversial issues which makes me a target, but then I post an original recipe just to calm the waters. Nothing about the way I blog is going to change, but I did feel a sense of calm when I heard Gladwell talk about his writing. I am probably never going to produce a NYT bestseller. Most of the time I am just happy if I can make people laugh. Some days, especially the last 439, things have not been as funny as I would like them to be. Thinking in public is really the best description for a blog. Thanks Malcom for giving me those words, it sounds so much better than being unpredictable.

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