Please indulge this wizened writer for a brief moment.
I have been a writer since I could hold a pencil. I did not always blog, but I have done so since 2012, when I was at a previous large law firm, and I was the Florida Banking Law Blog. I learned a lot over the course of writing those posts, both about content and generally about what readers are seeking when they visit. The post must be informational and educational, else they will have no reason to visit it, and the post must be at least mildly entertaining, else they will lose interest quickly, and they won’t bother reading the content.
Before I blogged, I was a creative writer and an editor. I am a published poet, a fairly widely published legal author, and I attended Wake Forest on the Presidential Scholarship for Excellence in creative writing – based upon a novel I had written, which I began when I was sixteen. In college, I was an editor of a journal, and in law school, I was editor-in-chief of the second largest journal at the school. As such, I am rightly proud of my writing. And then along comes Brandi.*
My current firm has decided to enter the blogosphere, and I have taken on the responsibility of creating the website and the lion’s share of the content. Some of the content is very dry – after all, I am a tax lawyer – but I have striven to engage the reader in even the most esoteric posts. Some of the posts are downright funny, and they have been incredibly well received by my peers and my shareholders. And then along came Brandi.*
Without solicitation, a young lady (I think she’s thirteen or fourteen), a lackey at the marketing agency that our firm has chosen to engage, sent me an email at 5:23 last night “editing” and “proofreading” one of my more creative blog posts about the use of testamentary trusts for your animals (think Leona Helmsley or Karl Lagerfield). I read through the comments, first with bemused apathy, and then with growing vitriol that rose to a veritable boil by the final page. The white-hot anger washed over me like the surf in the photograph at the beginning of this post, which was taken in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
I can be criticized for many things, and often rightly so. I am overweight, though I have lost eighty pounds since last March. I am a perfectionist. I can be untidy. I can be many things less than the paragon that I strive to be, but when it comes to criticizing my writing, this is an inviolate line that nary a person ever crosses (nor, I must point out, dear reader, would they have reason to). And then along came Brandi.*
I have calmed down since last night, when I quite literally turned off my computer – physically pressing the power button without logging off or shutting down – with the full knowledge that if left to my own devices, Brandi* would have been the recipient of a wrath-filled dissertation on the error of her ways. Ultimately, her words will pass like those written on running water, a simile that was first used by the Roman poet Catullus. One of my fellow associates at the firm left me with these parting words: “Scott, you have too many degrees to worry about what she said.”
I will respond, likely with class and dignity. I will rise above, likely with great aplomb. If I see her, I will smack her, likely with my shoe. The fact that I know that those three sentences contained the rhetorical device tricolon crescens, and the fact that I intended such effect, gives me solace. I will rest now on my laurels, laugh at her comments, and disregard them like a wave washing over the rocks on a sunny day.
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*Names have been changed to protect the little twerp.