When marketing agencies paid me to write for them for a living—and I was a copywriter, then a community manager, for seven years; nothing to scoff at,—I learned to deliver search-engine-optimized sentences that hit readers like uppercuts.
My family never understood blogging, article writing, or search engines; to them, I was still a lost girl enduring an abusive boyfriend so I could write novels all day.
And I was her, too; but only on the weekends.
Then I got dumped by the boyfriend, lost my mind, and jumped from the “evil marketing industry” into the piranha waters of graduate school. My family smelled the smoke.
Listening to Now
Writing Philosophy: “I Can’t Help But ♥ Listing.”
We list bizarre stuff.
In 1999, we sent these horribly-formatted, mostly
AOL’d e-mails with 100+ random questions,
(sometimes repeat questions with different
wording,) where we listed random trivia
about ourselves we assumed
others would find interesting.
And given this is what my friends and I were doing all day, while our parents assumed we downloaded porn, we grew rather protective,—dare I say, attached—to these “e-mail listing” rituals.
Then we decided to blog
this way, with “top 10’s”
and “best of’s,” …and we
didn’t really stop… Just
I can’t help but love lists. I write them
by hand, drag them around YouTube,
and even, occasionally,
splatter a list-like thing
on Facebook or a blog,
for no other
reason than joy.
I’m not sure if listing is good writing. In fact, when I see a website with an abundance of lists, it’s like a shark-tank warning label, poor writing found here!?—which is judging a book by its cover, of course, a terrible habit no literati should do—then I tab out of that shithole website, before someone sees my browser history, my mistakes, the things I’ve done.
I’m also not sure when tab-out replaced x-out.
My browsers look like compost
piles by the end of the night. Lists,
too many lists, and too many other
towards sincere pain.