IF ONLY

For Posterity  My blog just went viral. My assignment? Write the post I’d like new readers to see and by which I’d like them to remember me. Write that post right now.


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Talk about a tall order. Golly gee whiz. You mean … like … right now, here, no prep, no thought. Write the post of posts, the one by which the blogging (and maybe literary) world will remember me. I’m not trying to be argumentative, but that’s like telling me to sit down and produce a best-selling book. Now, this minute.

Writing doesn’t work that way … and even if it did, I don’t work that way. Writing is a process. Idea or concept, followed by roughing out a draft. Wait a while, then come back, have another go at the draft. Maybe get someone else to read it.

Click publish. Will it be a hit? It’s a crap shoot. You may love it and think it’s the best piece I’ve ever written, but maybe no one else will like it. Or maybe I’ll think it’s mediocre, but you think it’s fantastic. Maybe I’ll read it tomorrow and the whole thing will give me a monumental headache. I’ll realize it’s a total piece of shit and delete it, too embarrassed to even keep it on file.

Art to order. Brilliance on demand.

Tombstones

If only.

If only I could decide to write that best-seller, just sit down and do it. After which a publisher would agree, then promote, market, and publicize it. But of course, I’m still stuck on the “writing it” piece of the equation. Like today, now, this minute, I’m supposed to write the one post I’d like new readers to see and by which posterity will remember me. Just like that.

Does anyone know what, if anything, posterity will choose to remember? Because I sure don’t know. I’m not sure anyone will remember me at all, for any reason.

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What I know is each post I write is the best I can write on that day, in that moment. Maybe it will be a great little post. Maybe it will be popular and viewed by many people. Maybe no one will notice it at all and it will disappear. Probably, I won’t remember it either.

I’ll continue to do my best. And that will have to suffice.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

31 thoughts on “IF ONLY”

      1. I also agree with your other statements – often, the posts I consider to be my very best get little or no views, while the ones I consider to be crap, get four time as many views as other ones. Go figure.

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    1. Sometimes, the prompts are just silly but this one reaches some kind of new heights . How can you ask people to write THE post that will be remembered by posterity? I’m sure there are bloggers who believe every post they write is THE post, but I don’t know any of them. THE post, mind you. Not just a really GOOD post. THE post. Nonsensical.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I know one thing. This Daily Prompt — not your post, but the prompt itself — won’t go down in history as the one to be remembered. You handled it quite well, though.

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  2. Well analysed.
    Writing is also a kind of business. It sells more if it is already selling. That is why importance given to number of awards a blog has already fetched and number of likes some article gets. Based on these criteria for judgement, a new writer can never know how good or bad his or her previous articles were.

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      1. I was being somewhat sarcastic by making writing seem like some tangible measurable product or service rather than a free flow of creativity. My target was this prompt itself that is trying to define things.
        Of course, on top of our basic inborn creativity, if we try our best, then the results will show…if not in a worldly way then at least in the enhancement of the quality of our work,

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        1. But you were absolutely right when you said “Writing is also a kind of business. It sells more if it is already selling.” The more popular you get, the more popular you get, if you catch my drift. If popularity is your only goal, you can probably figure out a formula for producing posts that will get a lot of hits. Whether they are good writing or not is a completely different subject.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. So true – “The more popular you get, the more popular you get” as also nothing succeeds like success.
            And no Marilyn, popularity is not my goal. In fact, like many others here, I don’t even know what my goal is…accidentally started this blog and now just drifting along as it comes. These free flow of thoughts may take shape of something unheard of before and inspire or influence others.
            And…thanks for this informative interaction.

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  3. I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt, here (rare treat – hope they appreciate it) by assuming they don’t mean the ‘best’ post you’ve ever written, but the post whose subject matter you most want to get across – ie, you’ve already gone viral. What do you want to say while you’ve got the spotlight?
    But maybe I overestimate them…

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    1. I think you are giving them extra credit, but it’s a nice thought. Anyway, I’ve already written and published my favorite post and published it. It wasn’t my most popular. I’m pretty sure most of us have posts we really love for personal reasons, but which are never going to get a lot of attention.

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  4. If our blog has gone viral, haven’t we already written something that people apparently want to see? Why should we kill ourselves to write another masterpiece? Hell, what we wrote that went viral probably wasn’t event hat good to start with… it just somehow got caught up in one of the internet’s tidal waves. I’m a lazy sort, I think I’ll just rest on my laurels….

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    1. Well, it’s a stupid prompt. What I think are my best posts are never the most popular. Why I like a particular post is personal and has to do with me and my peculiar taste. Whether or not readers like the same stuff I do? Some do. Some don’t. Some think they do, but they don’t, really. I’ll bet you know exactly what I mean. It’s a rare follower who really “gets” you.

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      1. I do “get” everything you said here, because it’s true.

        I also would probably worry about anyone who “got me” too much…. at least if they weren’t already in a straightjacket. And if they were… how would they type?

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  5. Excellent ! Loved your ‘if only’ analysis. I too feel that way. It is not only with writers, this holds true with singers, painters and movie makers who create everytime with a hope to become famous, to be remembered. Can we possibly write anything just to draw more readers for a specific post? If only…..huh…..

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  6. You cannot wave a magic wand and there is the masterpiece, the book to end all books – at least I cannot. Perhaps there should be a piece of self dedication, some matyrism – I don’t know, but for me writing just happens, I have fun and am now too lazy to spend hours on trimming the results of what i wrote. Lets enjoy it when we can. Actually this prompt suited me. Why? My Tai Chi classes began again and I had less time for writing, so I could do what WordPress do, just recook it. I am not a fussy writer and if you don’t like it, then leave it. As long as we are here, that is the main thing.

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    1. That’s my theory too. If WordPress thinks re-running the old prompts is okay, why should I feel remorse at rerunning my old answers. I didn’t happen to have an old answer yesterday. I’d never done that prompt before, so I had to write something new. Jeez, like … work! I haven’t looked at whatever (if anything) is waiting for today. I must go take a peek!

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