I’m trying to learn to become more of a stet person. Stet, let it stand, is a proofreading mark indicating that a correction should be ignored and the text should be left as it is. Letting anything as it is comes across as an extremely difficult skill to me as someone who, even when she’s not proofreading, spends time poking around, finding faults and, ideally, fixing them.
The urge to perfect what’s imperfect (which is everything) comes with a load of disadvantages attached, including that you spend all the time fiddling with things and have no time left for doing things. The only advantage is that I make a hell of a proofreader, and I’m sure I would make an excellent software tester, which I’d really fancy doing for money since I’m already doing it for free with all software I use.
Blogging assists me a little with developing some stet skills. When I started blogging in a text form rather than just posting uncommented pictures, I took forever to write a single line. I double-checked each word I used and was unsure of (you’re never sure, so each word) and devoted hours to writing and rewriting a tiny hundred-and-fifty-word post.
A year or two later, the present, I’ve grown a bit in the practice. Not only have I been writing a post on an everyday basis for the last half a year—that’s my 365 blogging challenge this post is part of—I also occasionally end up with thousand words or more written on the spur of the moment within a single sitting.
I don’t produce good quality, unless accidentally (I’m still intrigued by how my personally least favourite posts regularly become the most popular ones with readers). A fact of life which I don’t particularly like but have no saying in has it that the point today isn’t quality. While I’m unsure what the point is then, I’m pretty sure quality has become irrelevant. You can trust my keen discerning eye on that.
Blogging is a good example of quality playing no role from the greater perspective. That’s nothing to be necessarily depressed about, it follows naturally that a blog post is a text for fast immediate consumption, to be read and forgotten. No one is going to read my posts twice and ponder on them. In terms of efficiency, there is zero sense in crafting my posts as though they were to be carved in stone.
I may not know what the point is (and being an existentialist, I maintain that there is no point), but I should know what my point is. Well, my point is that the above is good news really—I’m learning to blog freely and carelessly, and I might even learn to extend this stet approach to other, non-blogging activities. Imagine the time I’d have and the stress I wouldn’t have.