March 09, 2005

Paint by Letters

Well it has happened. I am now officially and fully initiated as a member of Blogger.

Upon completion of my post regarding a personal road rage adventure, I read my piece, spell checked and edited, gave the final draft the once over then proudly clicked “Publish Post.” Almost immediately, I was taken to a page that told me to sign in first. I was quite surprised as this had never happened before and I was fully expecting to wait out the usual fifteen seconds or so while watching my work get published. I suppose I had broken some unwritten rule about being idle for too long a time before publishing, and they were prompting me to sign in again; pissed me off, but fine. I signed in and to my horror was taken to a blank page. My post was nowhere!

Even my cats covered their ears as I let loose a string of both single- and multi-syllabic words that you don’t say to your boss or mother. While I feverishly clicked every key on my keyboard and every button on the blog site in hopes of reclaiming my creation, my heart began to sink. The post was gone forever.

My knee-jerk reaction would have been to shut down the computer and walk into greener pastures for a while to cool down. Greener pastures in this case would have been my living room ~ preferably clutching a gallon of ice cream in one hand and a bottle of valium in the other. Since the house was devoid of ice cream and I’m too much of a control freak to down pills, I opted to open my WP program, engage my memory and rewrite my post. It sucked and it just wasn't the same, but I got it done.

I’m thinking though, considering the fact that the second post ended up about five paragraphs shorter than the initial one and was only lacking some minor details, I should, from now on, purposefully erase everything I write the first time around and rewrite it ~ if only to save space.

Truly though, this pained me so. It’s not that I so highly value each word published on my blog, it’s more in knowing that I cannot reproduce the stuff once it’s gone forever. Joni Mitchell once prefaced a song by chuckling at her audience and explaining how much she enjoys their chanting out different song requests before a performance. She said the difference between the performing arts and painting, for example, is that a painter will do a painting and either it sits in some loft somewhere or somebody buys it ~ but nobody ever yelled out to Van Gogh “hey paint a Starry Night again, man!”

I find that writing is like painting. You start with a blank page (canvas) and with every keystroke (brush stroke) you create a work of art. Some might think it’s rich and lovely and others may find it ugly or offensive. But it cannot be repeated – not word for word. Not without some sort of outside technology which, yesterday, I had not employed.

But now I ramble … in this case, a product of frustration and angst. In any case, I suppose a lesson hard-learned always has a silver lining. I won’t be creating any more posts in the Blogger WP program. I just hope this is the end of my initiation and there are no other surprises in store.


Blogger Sask 1 said...

I sypathize with you Carol.That has happened to me a few times.I now write my posts on wordpad and copy and paste them onto blogger.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Swifty said...

A tip: I've found that using notepad is the best way forward as using Wordpad or Word can sometimes include hidden characters which can show up as strange characters on some browsers.

3:10 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Hi Carol,

I've had the lost posts as well. And it just about kills me to try and remember what I just wrote. Sometimes I take it as a sign that I shouldn't be writing something in particular, and other times I curse the computer.

I've found that Word does work for writing and transposing posts, as long as you turn the quick edits off. Smart quotes (the fancy ") do not carry over well.

The thing I've been doing lately is writing in Blogger, but hitting the "Show Preview" before I try to save or publish. You can copy the post there and then have the words if you do lose the post.


3:29 PM  
Blogger John said...

Looks like we all have a different route to get to the same place... I write on Blogger, but always copy before publishing, it took only one lost post to stop that! It made me really mad too.

5:54 PM  
Blogger pete said...

I was going to leave a comment.
But it got deleted and I forgot what is was.


12:22 PM  
Blogger Wally said...

The cap to my fifth had been unscrewed too many times, resulting from that frustration. I use to have dial-up years ago, and every time the phone rang, I'd be reminded that I didn't unplug it! A hard lesson back then, but now (with cable) those days are over. However, I still catch myself shudder when I hear that ring. ;-)

7:20 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

oh, yeah - I spent a good portion of my day yesterday typing, typing, re-typing.... I won't be doing that again. Copy and paste has become my new best friend. And for some reason, I wasn't able to post comments yesterday, either.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Santanu said...

Ya, I too know how it feels to loose your page. I personally prefer to copy to MS word for a spell check and then repaste back. This way, even if it gets lost, i can republish.
Sometimes, the back arrow also helps get back the page.
Anyway, nice narration...never thought anyone would express the frustation so beautifully!! :-)

3:55 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Oh, yeah, that is really annoying. I hate it.

Beth is right, it does do some good to hit preview and copy right before you publish.

The other thing that works is if you write in a word processing program and are bringing it over to blogger, use the edit html tab instead of compose. You don't have to worry about losing all of your spacing or anything for some reason.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

To all...

Thanks so much for all the great suggestions! I'm using everything and anything aside from Blogger right now (to compose)so things should go much smoother.
I so much appreciate all the neat ideas!
Thanks for reading.


3:19 PM  

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