’m not writing with a quill on parchment – I’m using one word processor (Word) or another (the Joomla editor).
I don’t write once, dust sand on it and blow-dry the beads of ink. I write something. I consider the flow and meter and meaning. I might break a longer sentence apart. I might glue two shorter ones together. I might decide I’m belaboring a point (now, perhaps?) or that I haven’t made my meaning clear.
But I’ll mess around with the sentences, meander through the paragraphs, figuring out how to make it all work out so my prose gets to the point about the time I need to shut it down. Generally three or four standard paragraphs will do. Nothing major.
But my writing is controlled. I’ll read it over once or twice just to make sure the flow is there. Once I post it onto the site, I’ll read it again, looking at it with new eyes, seeing it actually in the blogsphere. Something that seemed to work in the editor might come off chunky in the official format. The flow might be too fast (add words and slow it down) to too slow (cut out words and toss in some periods). Generally by the end, it’s how I want it.
But speaking. No, that’s totally different. A week ago, Ben Lockett of the “Bikes and…” podcast interviewed me about commuting. To prep, I considered what I was going to say. I carefully typed out bullet points, the logical progression of items I wanted to make. I wrote facts and figures relevant to the talk (I didn’t want to suffer a brain fart at a critical juncture and forget the thread I was weaving).
I even lay in bed, thinking about what I would say, how I would say it. I listened to other cycle podcasts and realized that Mr. Fact-man would be out of place with a dynamic two-wheeler audience. I shouldn’t focus on idiot drivers. I should focus on the fun of cycling (for commuting). I had my voice, my tempo, everything figured out.
And then Ben contacted me and we started the interview.
I’m not sure what I said.
Yes, I remember making some of my points. But some of the other ones I wandered into new ground. I remember him asking what my bike’s name was and me explaining the scene in Wizards where I’d coped it from (blah blah blah). Man, I’m not sure how it sounds. I can only sit here and think about how goofy it might be and just sweat.
Hoo boy. Everyone knows I did the recording. Everyone wants to hear it.
But unlike writing (where I can consider every word), when you speak, you don’t get to edit. It all comes out. A lot of what I said should have been edited. And shortened. Did I sound too high-brow clever? Oh shit. What have I done?
So I’m waiting for my podcast to go live. And I’m thinking about leaving town.