Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Monday, March 9, 2020

Sommers Style

Permit me to kvell. This is my thirteenth year of power blogging.

Most of the people who started writing when I commenced publishing the Blast have long since given up the game, now content to ply Twitter or Facebook or perhaps eat warm gruel off a television tray at some forgotten rest home.

I will be at nine thousand posts in a little over a month or two, god and virus willing. Now I never had any specific goal in mind, I just started writing in the beginning and never stopped. And I am proud to say that I have reached several million people in the interim.

In any case, I didn't want to talk about that today, I wanted to talk about something else.

My style sheet. 

When I started blogging the platform was pretty new. There were no rules of the road. So I had to craft certain aesthetic conventions for writing and blogging, ones that I have kept largely faithful to over the years. And I bet you don't even notice.

Writers often consult books like the Chicago Manual of Style when creating literary platforms and templates, I decided to wing it on my own. So I indent the same way all the time, and use the same asterisk for breaks and change the font and color for quotations the same way, etc., it is all a habit now but in the chaotic beginning took some creativity and discipline and I still really don't stray much. Those that have read me for a long time are used to my format. I sometimes wonder to myself if my shortcuts and style conventions have ever been copied by others?

I mentioned this today with no small measure of pride to a comrade at coffee who I will call "Tony" for want of a better sobriquet. He laughed at me, "Nine thousand posts, sure, but look at how many links you use."

And I thought to myself, "Of course I link, can you imagine how bored the people would get if I just blogged and spewed and made pithy utterances all the time from some high tower? Why wouldn't I link to an expert that knows their subject better than I do? Should I sit here like some enlightened guru on a hill making grand pronouncements? On what basis? Do you know how sick people would get of me?" After all, I'm really just about moving information here. I'm not delivering edicts from on high, I'm just another schlub trying to figure it all out.

With a really nifty style sheet.


Helen Killeen Bauch McHargue said...

Do you have a favorite of all your posts?

Blue Heron said...

That's a good question. Perhaps a short story like A cup of Joe. I know I do obits really well. And once in a while I go deep and vulnerable, stories about my childhood, those are meaningful to me.