Fiona’s Last Blog: Four Drafts
The second is an idea: my analysis of this observation. Sometimes it’s convoluted and takes time to work out, like, “Maybe I’m glad in some ways that we don’t have a woman president.” Other times, it’s as simple as, “I’m tired of carrying a purse.”
Once this second draft has been scrawled in my mind, I move onto the third, a document on my computer, where the idea sometimes flows forth with precision and fluidity I didn’t know I was capable of, and other times lurches onto the page clumsily, requiring dozens of revisions.
The fourth, and final draft, is a letter to the world. In this draft, the strange thing I noticed on the subway, thought about before bed, and struggled to encapsulate on paper is available on computer screens all over the country—and maybe even the world. In this draft, I sometimes share personal embarrassments or controversial opinions with complete strangers.
The immediacy of blogging awes me. What is born and grows in my head, my small world, is suddenly in front of 10,000 readers, all free to comment.
Some stand out: Grace, 17, who said she ran for student body president after reading my blog about my election. Jane, a counselor who posted on her school’s walls my piece about asking for what you want without fear of rejection. And even – or especially – Rachel, whose criticism of my piece on the filmmakers the Coen brothers got personal. I think of these women as my editors.
Grace encourages me to speak candidly about my personal risks. Jane reminds me that my readers may span generations and include communities I do not know. Rachel prompts me to ensure that every opinion I post is one I feel I can defend.
Without these readers, my writing might have remained stagnant. The attitude I walked in with two years ago when I sent out my first blog to the world might have remained the attitude I have today. The risks I was afraid to take might have stuck with me.
Instead, these readers (you all) have urged me to push my limits, speak candidly, and write about more difficult topics. In doing so, I hope in some way I may have inspired some of you do to the same.
In my first blog for Rachel, I wrote, “ I look forward to sharing my ideas and hearing yours (no matter your age or gender!) so we can be sure to continue a much needed dialogue about all the tough things girls and women face, and all the wonderful things they encounter.” From my world to yours I’ve blogged, and I thank those of you who shared a part of your world with me.