My wife was commenting this morning on the previous post about being judgmental (she approved), and the conversation turned briefly to my writing.
I remarked to her that, if I wanted to, I could have a wildly popular blog. All I’d have to do is combine my writing with the acerbic sense of humor and unerring aim for the soft spot that I used to bring to most of my social intercourse. People love that stuff! Mark Morford is one of the more proficient practitioners of that style, and there are many others.
It’s true. I could do that. I could let myself revert back to the unpleasant, sarcastic, go for the throat, skewer-them-before-they-get-you personality that so many knew and detested. On the Web, it would go great guns. There are no end of folks who love to listen to others being put down, and if it’s eloquently done, so much the better. Commentators wouldn’t have a chance, either. When you don’t care how people feel, you can say whatever you like. On the Web it’s even easier, because you are totally free of any threat of effective retaliation. (I have to throttle myself sometimes, as it is.)
But I do not want to be that person any more. It’s not enough just to have changed for the better. I had fifty years or so to perfect that miserable s.o.b. What’s more likely than that I would end up back there — especially if folks began praising me for it or (heaven forbid) I ended up making money at it.
So, I think not. I like me the way I am. If I improve, so much the better, but I sure as Hades don’t want to backslide. If you go back to doing the things you used to do, you get the things you used to get.