You Like Me...You Really Like Me!

The recent change in tone here at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! seems to have been a hit with the regular visitors. There hasn't been a day gone by that someone didn't say something exceedingly nice about the posts. While I'm gratified that you like them - shades of Sally Field's, "You like me, you really like me" speech echoing in my ears - it's been a little overwhelming for me personally.

For years I've written pieces like these - mostly in the form of letters - and because they were letters, very few of them survive, despite the large number I've written. The few that have were saved less because I thought they were particularly good than by sheer accident. I have to admit to a pretty detached view of what I write. I normally view it more as something that is in the moment, and at least for the pieces that were originally letters, something I gave away as part of a letter or postcard. The same is true of most of the photos I've taken over the years, although I've started to save a few recently.

The truth is - despite the fact I've written for years - I'm not particularly confident about the types of pieces you've seen recently. I've written things so long professionally that I'm not particularly invested in most things I write. I'm afraid I've lost the ability to judge my own work very objectively. I'm never quite sure how to react when someone praises my writing. When I write for work that almost never happens, at least not in a direct sense. The only way I know if something is good at work is whether or not it accomplishes some very specific, but relatively unquantifiable, result. Or sometimes actually because it is invisible and able to convey some information in an efficient and unobtrusive way.

When I write for pleasure - something I've done markedly less of in the past few years - I usually do it because I'm having trouble coming to terms with some emotional moment of my own. Notoriously taciturn and outwardly placid in real life, I ofttimes find it difficult to feel much internally. About the only way that I've found to deal with that is by writing things down. Sometimes that can be an awfully confusing thing, even for me.

While the words you see certainly do convey emotion, sometimes an excess, I don't actually internalize them that way. I'm only aware of the emotions by going back and reading what I've written. When I do, it is more like reading a story written by someone else. That's why I'm always surprised, and a bit baffled, when other people experience them with more emotion than I do myself. To me, they're mostly just stories.

So I say all of that to say this - I'll probably continue doing at least some work like this for the blog, leavened with some things that are a little less labor intensive and draining. Hopefully, I'll be able to live up to what I've shown you so far. I just want all of you to know how much your comments and support have meant to me and how much I value your feedback - good or bad. I'm experimenting with it for the first time in years and as I commented to Miz Bohemia yesterday, I'm working without a net. It just makes it easier to know I have all of your there to cheer me on.

Thanks and have a happy New Year.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, January 01, 2006

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