Writing is often a lonely and lonesome though thoroughly enjoyable activity, and that of course is a large part of its appeal. But it should not cut the writer off from the real world. Those fakers who write ‘for their art’ and disdain any commercial interest, any desire to share ideas, or any regard for grammatical norms and acceptable usage are either lying to themselves or just hopeless authors. That’s just my opinion, of course!
Above all, writing is one mind trying to speak to another mind, and any writer worth her DELL hopes that she is successful in this endeavor. It is nice to be alone and have one’s jumbled, often disorganized and even chaotic thoughts, but until they are shaped into a contour recognizable by another mind they are little more than a self-indulgent fatuity stoking one’s froward narcissism
The writer believes, rightly or wrongly, that she has something to say, and she hopes that she will have an audience before whom she may speak. If her writing has the elementary appeal of clarity, people will perhaps take the time to read her; if she can on occasion turn a graceful phrase or arrest the attention with words of vigor and charm, people will perhaps look forward to reading her. For unless she is actually read, her ideas will languish in the dark, never be made known, and her mind will not be speaking to other minds. The point of writing, then, is not to display rhetorical dazzle or stylistic flash, but to share an idea or two. If there is disagreement between writer and reader, the writer has served the reader by forcing the latter to examine his own notions, and the reader has compelled the writer to reëxamine hers in turn. And thinking about things is rarely deleterious.
The word ‘olio’ is derived from Spanish olla ‘pot, stew’, and, as you may know, means ‘miscellany, potpourri, a mix of heterogeneous elements’. My writings here are, then, if you will, a stew-like mix of thoughts and ideas.
But without readers my virtual medley is nothing. Although I am not in the business of supporting readers’ particular versions of reality, I am eager to promote and sustain an interest on their part in reading these little pieces even if those readers do not always find the essays precise reflections of his or her notions about the world.
I do enjoy writing – I enjoy it very much indeed. I invite notes with or without e-mail addresses from those inclined to jot down some outraged disagreement or laudatory approval over words I’ve committed to this blog. Barring a deluge of comments, I intend at some point to respond individually.