You call that writing?

There may be a degree of actual skill involved in preparing a hypertextual column, but after seven years of working at it I can rather sadly admit that the skill in question isn't one of writing. More often than not it's a skill similar to building a house of cards - whatever skill there is resides in carefully adding new levels to the house before it collapses. In this particular case it's not the careful placement of cards that garners respect, but (if I'm lucky) a string of associations that maintain at least a semblance of almost logical continuity while at the same time leaving a slight opening for the unexpected. If all I've succeeded in doing is constructing a hierarchical series of clicks, I might be considered an artisan, but certainly not an artist. And if those clicks are no more than a string of wild associations, with no glue that holds them together, then even good workmanship is lacking. The whole trick seems to be to toe the line, yet push the limits - to continually hint at the unexpected within the confines of what appears to be a logical and constrained framework. And maybe sometimes to hide the central idea somewhere off on a tangent.

Go to: Where's the Beef?