Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Layperson's Lingo

ex·pert (/n., v. ˈɛk spɜrt; adj. ˈɛk spɜrt, ɪkˈspɜrt/)
1. experienced
2: having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience
3. Anyone other than me
A special thanks to Webster's Dictionary for including definition #3.

I'm "good" at many things but by no means an "expert", and I never claimed to be. Trust me, I wish I could make such claims, but, alas, no. I don't even think I'm perceived to be an expert! And I cannot give a good reason either. Excuses, maybe:

1. Not Enough Time. If I had a dollar for every time I said that...Still, it's true. I wish I had the time to devote to learning a craft, like, say, poetry. I mean, learn how to do it properly. My schedule doesn't make such allowances. I commute, work/travel for business, run errands/make dinner/do laundry/keep the house from falling down, sleep; repeat. If I'm lucky (and I'm not a gambler) I get to see my friends or talk to them on the phone every so many blue moons when the corn is yea-high and Jupiter aligns with Mars...

2. No Formal Training. Ultimate Frisbee doesn't count, nor does understanding the rules of Monopoly. Knowing how to type fast doesn't truly count, although it could if I hype it up a bit. I never took piano. I never played a real sport. I never took singing lessons. I studied languages in school and forgot most of it except the important phrases needed when abroad ("¿Dónde esta el baño?") My career path has made me an "expert" in many-a-thing, but none of which are interesting enough to blog about. And, it should go without saying, I do not have a degree in the fine art of poetry. (I know, right? Shocker)

3. (This only applies here) No Published Works. And the focus of my blog is supposed to be on poetry. Look to the most popular blogs about poetry. You'll find the likes of Ron Silliman and Alfred Corn, both well-established in their fields. Look at some other blogs - nearly every blog of any substance is by an author of at least one chapbook but often more, has an established career in writing and are usually professors at "College." They are the experts. They are the ones who know what they're doing. They have all the right in the world to have a blog and give opinions and provide feedback or whatnot when it comes to poetry. Me?...well, that's the question of the day.

I guess I've been thinking a bit about a blog posting from an old classmate of mine, Sarah Morgan, who herself is an expert in the area of social media and I'm sure many other things. That's not why I include her here. Her posting "Fake It Till You Make It, Or Don't" struck a cord; the message could be applied to anything if need be, but naturally, I focus on myself. I think about the direction of this here blog and where it's going (seemingly into outer space), whether it maintains the reason I began the blog (it doesn't), and whether I even have any right to continue the blog (ok, I know I have a "right" but what am I DOING here?)

I need to reorganize a bit. I've asked for feedback and suggestions on the blog and received the applause of crickets. It seems that excuses #1-3 maybe impeding me a bit. Time to chip away at #1...


Sarah Morgan said...

That sounds like what I was thinking about when I wrote it. I'm glad it made you think, too! But I think it's okay if we're NOT experts... as long as we are never pretending to be anything we're not.

Christine said...

I think what it comes down to is not so much my doubt in my ability as my questioning of the direction of my life in general. I agree that we need to be genuine and honest and all we do, and I've tried to here, but it also doesn't negate the fact that I'm acting on my "passion" and not so much my "knowledge" of poetry and those are two different things in the world of blogging.