On How to Be Silly and Live to Tell About It

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.  ~Colette

Writers.  We blurt and bloop and blather on about this and that.  Sometimes even, after years of practice and millions of writing belly flops into very very cold water, we find our voice.  Our brilliance.  Our excellence.


Ah, but those years of practice before coming into our time of gravitas  can, for some of us, be nearly deadly.

Case in point:  Blogging.

May I direct you to my previous post for a perfect example of how innocently a writer can, within the span of a few small paragraphs,  go horribly awry … and how the Internet will forever remember the one bad post you wrote, while ignoring all those wonderful, pithy, poignant moments that came before and will surely come after.

One’s personal blog is seductive.  There are millions of folks now who write personal blogs.  Each day, approximately 175,000 new bloggers jump into the mix.  Some blogs are amazingly clever, some are narrowly focused to a single topic, some serve as pragmatic teaching tools — and some are (like DancingBirds) a grand experimental and sometimes nonsensical wave of hello to anyone who might happen by.  There is no particular theme to DancingBirds, other than its recognition that we are each like small birds shuffling through our days and hoping to goodness that we pick up a lovely dance step now and then.

Most who stop by are writers (Hi Writers!) who aren’t here to learn anything about the craft because I don’t pretend to be a teacher.  I’ve got nothin’ — unless you consider the lesson is how to be a foolish writer and live to laugh about it.   Writing a post like it’s your dog writing it is a perfect example of what NOT to do unless you’re Rita Mae Brown writing one of her clever and cozy mysteries with her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown, as co-author.

But for every foolish post I write, there’s an equally foolish grin on my face.  I love my writing errors.  Those  gaffes and missteps in punctuation and content, those ridiculous trial-and-error balloons I float above my head, every misplaced thought and every obvious error in judgment — I love it all.

It means I’m gloriously alive and there’s still a small glob of thinking brain matter capable of bringing me back to the joy of placing one word after another … even when I slip and fall all over those banana peel, slapstick words.  Every day I search for that wondrous writing precipice where I can fall gently and elegantly into a truth or even a simple moment of joyful expectation that brings me one tiny bird step closer to something good and worthy.

I search … and find … and then fall down and skin my knees and sometimes bite my lip in whatever not-so-gracefully hard landing I manage.  It’s not so much the fall that hurts, but rather, the generous hope that heals.  That’s what’s important — always the hope that the next thing we write  just might be good and perfect … something that flies straight up from the soul.

I think the best part of failing at one style of writing is the endearment of another ah-ha moment, the generosity of that less-than-glib feeling of narrowing down on our own snowflake writing voice that is unique and real and wholly our own.

And so I live on as that little bird — still writing, still laughing.  Always dancing.

0 thoughts on “On How to Be Silly and Live to Tell About It

  1. I wouldn’t call Wilson’s “post” an error! I rather enjoyed it. But then I admitted to doing much the same thing years ago. (By the way, Chiquita, a Chiahuahua/Yorkie mix, never did answer the letter!)

  2. I would agree with Dave. It was rather enjoyable and light-hearted. And being one of the dog-crazy persuasion, dogs are people too!

  3. Lisa, you are so right on! Dogs ARE people and the more, the merrier. I’ll let Wilson know that he — once again — has access to the computer and can write away if he so chooses.

    Wilson, by the way, says you’re now his friends while I’ve been moved to the bottom of the list.