Teddy suffers the occasional spell of MEGO:
Too often VD’s premise — which I mostly agree with — gets obfuscated by vocabulary which seems meant to impress the reader rather than being clear
A failure to write seventh-grade English should never be confused with a desire to impress the reader. I can write in simple sentences. I can avoid using complex sentence constructions. I also find it extremely boring to write like this. Even worse, I can’t think straight when I have to focus on keeping it this simple. I feel like I’m writing bullet points. Is this what it feels like to be Jerry Jenkins? The colors are suddenly so much brighter now!
Perhaps some of you operate on the mistaken assumption that my columns are conceived as miniature works of art, contemplated over cappucino, then typed in during a burst of furious inspiration after which I lovingly massage the text into the arrangement which I believe will impress the greatest number of people with the magical way in which I have strung words together.
It just isn’t like that, unfortunately. I do think about the subject ahead of time; certainly there is more mental effort than there is for the average blog post, but as Space Bunny can testify, I frequently have absolutely no idea what I’m going to write about on Sunday afternoon, only a few hours before the rough beast begins its slouch towards the Commentary page. The average piece takes about 20-30 minutes, with a little more time required if I have to look something up. It’s more than stream-of-consciousness, but not much more. No spell check, no grammar check and very often I don’t even look at it after I hit the magical 750 words.
Generally speaking, I’m pretty happy if I haven’t done my usual trick of leaving out a word in the middle of a sentence. It’s hard to explain, but basically I write because I write. It’s just something I do, regardless of whether anyone is going to read it or not. I have all kinds of random little bits of this, that and the other thing lying around on various computers, just because I felt like starting to write something. One thing I like about the column is that it forces me to get in the habit of finishing things, which has always been a real problem for me. Most of my friends still can’t believe I managed to finish writing one book, let alone four.
Speaking of which, I really do need to get that chapter on Paul Krugman wrapped up….