What piece of writing are you most proud or fond of?
Persephone – a striking, slightly sad (?) young woman – asked me this. My answer: I don’t even know how, where, to begin. The medium of a “blog,” particularly as I’ve approached it, lends itself not so much to quality as to quantity. Rarely have I spent all that much time writing any single piece you might find in these pages. I don’t write drafts. I don’t edit. I don’t rewrite. The saying that “all writing is rewriting” surely holds for most (real) writers. It surely doesn’t hold for me.
I don’t feel “proud” of anything in particular that I’ve written here, if I’m honest. Whenever I read something I’ve written, the best I can summon is something more like “pleased,” a small satisfaction associated with my having had, and communicated effectively, thoughts I think somehow interesting, unusual, useful.
At the same time, I do feel proud of this site in its entirety. I’m not a web designer. I’m not a writer. And yet, over more than a decade, I’ve amassed quite an impressive volume of stories, thoughts, opinions, relationships, and so on, and I’ve managed to present them in ways that are, for the most part, cogent, clear, well organized. On dozens of occasions, readers have written in appreciation, telling me of the impact my writing has had on them. Whether by showing them a path they hadn’t previously imagined, or validating a certain lonely aspect of their experience, or entertaining them, or inspiring, arousing, or disgusting them. Of that? I am proud.
I am also proud that, in this blog, a talented editor surely could excavate, refine, polish a book. Or two. Or three.
But I can’t for the life of me think of a single piece of writing in here of which I’m proud.