Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I'll Be Back Full Bore Soon

'To love someone deeply gives you strength.
Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.'
--D.H. Lawrence

With apologies to my longtime readers, I've been busy with so much living, working, learning and connecting lately that I've failed to keep up any semblance of regularity here at Working With Words. Come to think of it, that's not an apology really, so much as it's a mere explanation. First, I was happily buried in reporting and writing a long article about the myriad ways in which the amazing Cleveland Clinic is leveraging the Internet to spread its excellence literally around the world (it's going to press as we speak, and I'll link to it when it's up), and more recently I've been happily buried in a massive project writing web content for a major Atlanta-based bank, Sun Trust. Ignoramus that I am, I'd never heard of the institution before this project came calling. Turns out that after a recent merger, it's only the seventh largest bank in the U.S., ahead of even our giant National City. I also began a new blog (more about which later), and that always takes some time and energy in order to properly breathe life into it. And the breadth and depth of writerly conferences, seminars, informal conversations and one-on-one chatting that I've been taking part in, both ongoing and some just over the horizon, are a special source of energy and inspiration as we begin this new year. They encourage and fortify my spirit, palpably reminding me every day that a smart, loving and energetic community of fellow thinkers and doers is building muscle mass around me everywhere I look.

Anyway, I promise to be better about blogging, beginning soon. A blogger recently opined in the Washington Post, when asked his thoughts on how frequently bloggers should post something: about as often as you eat. I got a chuckle out of that. But I sure haven't stopped eating, and I'm about the most unlikely possible candidate to blog as frequently as I eat. But each to his own ways.

Which of course is what blogging is really all about. As I've repeatedly explained to various uninitiated folks when the subject of blogging comes up (and it becomes apparent to me that they've fallen under the spell of some unified field theory of blogging advanced by one idiot non-blogger or another now that the media and much of the popular chatter is full of talk and coverage about blogs), there is no one way to blog, no one way to think of what it entails or what it means. It's simply a medium through which to reach people, an audience, just like a letter or a postcard or a print newsletter or TV show or any host of other avenues. Only it's all that and much more. It's unbound by editors, censors, fussy copy editors. And especially nervous ad salesmen who worry that an unkind remark or an offhand sentence will hurt all our wallets. As the wise NYU new media professor Jay Rosen recently put it in his signature vivid style, blogs are nothing less than "a little First Amendment machine." Paradoxically, as my friend, the uber-blogger Anton Zuiker, once observed, talking about blogging itself is about as interesting as talking about a pencil. His meaning: it's what you do with these little First Amendment machines that really counts. Anyway, I'll be doing lots more with it, and soon. We'll see where that takes us (and I can only say it has taken me places I could never have dreamed nearly two years ago, when this all began).

Meanwhile, I offer that singularly poetic thought found above to my dear wife Jule, on the occasion of her recent birthday. You've truly illuminated my life and put a song in my heart like nothing and no one else. Here's to the next 18 years...


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