The instructor for my economics senior seminar really sucks as a lecturer. He knows his stuff, I guess, but he goes on and on and over-explains every little point. The topic this semester will be the 2007 crash, and he speaks to his students as if they know nothing about it and nothing about economics as a field. In the senior seminar. God it’s irritating. And impossible to pay attention to.
Of course, when I consider this, I realize that my writing at praxamericana.blogspot.com is no prize, either. I over-explain myself, and sometimes just explain myself poorly. I try to make points of specialized knowledge accessible even to the dumbest people, and in the process, bog the thing down. I try to set up my points in such a way that even those who hate what I have to say can’t really find purchase to stand against it, and in the process, lose all flow and drive and impact. Even those who would agree with what I’m saying probably still don’t care for it.
It’s just not fun to read. I see that.
I’m going to keep writing anyway, of course. I can tell myself that I’m not writing for the sake of gathering friends, especially since so much of what I have to say is repugnant to so many delicate snowflakes. It’s just a dump valve, and I’ll never be the kind of writer to give anyone a warm/fuzzy when they peruse my material.
Writing, good writing, seeks a common emotional and experiential state between reader and author. You’re looking for empathy, to be understood and for the reader to get where you’re coming from. Even on logical subjects, you need the reader to want to understand. When you’re dealing with people unlike yourself, on issues that refer to the deepest, most intensely programmed mental states, you might as well be speaking a foreign language to them. They won’t know what you mean, and they’ll probably get angry at how foreign it is.
I guess I can blame excessive exposure to academia.
Oh, well. Most of what I read today is, for one reason or another, shit. If I like the message, the aesthetics are frequently crap. If it’s beautiful, it’s frequently also one-dimensional and stupid. So I can waste space on WordPress just like everyone else, and I won’t apologize for it, even if I should.
Signs of a Good Writer- Good writers have two things in common: they prefer being understood to being admired, and they do not write for the critical and over-shrewd reader.
-Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, MMO a. 138
The question is: can you really be understood without being, at least a little, admired?