Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Monday, June 27, 2005

WARNING: The following post starts out sounding like it's leading somewhere it isn't. I'm sorry to build up false expectations. :) It does lead somewhere, though.

This is hard.

Over the past three years, I've really enjoyed what this has become. I started my weblog not even really knowing what a weblog was, and just thinking it would be nice to have a place to put my thoughts, a reason to write every day, and a place to get material out there in the universe instead of just in a drawer somewhere, on the off chance someone would ever stumble across it. I never expected to build up any sort of readership, and never thought it would be as rewarding as it's been, and have helped me make as many friends as it has. Every e-mail I get, every time I'm linked by another site, every time someone I know mentions something I've written here, it's really quite a thrill. It's exceedingly rewarding to feel like there are people actually interested in what I have to say and wanting to read what I'm writing on a daily basis, even when I have very little that I think is necessarily worth saying.

Law school, in almost every way I can think of, provided great material to write about. There were constantly new things happening. Classes, extracurriculars, exams, recruiting, graduation. There was lots of interaction with people. There were lots of things that people cared about, or that were worth caring about, or institutional things that were able to be observed and written about and satirized. There were lots of commonalities -- things I was doing that every other law student was doing, things I was thinking about that every other law student was thinking about -- that made finding material to write about pretty effortless. And if one day was slow, there was always the promise of something new and bizarre and interesting happening right around the corner.

Since law school has ended, I've been fumbling around on here more than I should be. And I think what's happened is that the weblog has slid down a strange slope and become more about me than about my writing. That sucks. I mean, I suck for not realizing this sooner and being able to stop it. There's almost nothing in the past month that's particularly amusing, or even trying to be. And I've ended up writing some things that aren't worth writing and don't make me feel good about people reading. This is a real danger of a weblog. Of not having an editor. And of letting the thought that I should be writing every day overtake the thought that I should make sure I actually have something to say. I'm sorry. Honestly, I'm a little bit ashamed and a lot sorry. I hope you'll forgive the lapse.

With this realization, one more specific apology / explanation:

1. This whole bar exam stuff. I just got an e-mail that's shamed me into cutting the daily updates, because it's right on the mark:

You may think that you’re being self-deprecating and funny, but a fair segment of your readership, ie, those of us who’ve been your fellow-travelers through law school, is now buried under Bar prep. It’s really a miserable way to spend a summer, particularly when the cost of failing is so very high; many of us need to practice traditionally at least for a little while, and to do this we need to be licensed. I think it’s great that you don’t have that pressure, and if I were in your shoes I’d probably be investing as much/little in the process as you are. In fact, I might not even be taking the Bar Exam. But you are investing so little in the process—when most of your readers are investing a great deal and are losing sleep over it. Blogging daily about your de minimus approach is a little too much.... [I]f you were really doing Bar Prep – albeit without the horror of daily BarBri classes – it would be fun to read about that[]. The fact that your ‘study’ seems confined to running MBE questions on the subway is not fun to read about more than once.

I suck if that's the way it's coming off. Here's the deal, and why I started to post this stuff: I would sorta like to pass the Bar Exam, but I don't think I'm really in any position to, since I don't know all sorts of things that are on it. Obviously if I needed to pass it, I would be taking Bar/Bri, or if I wasn't taking Bar/Bri I would be studying some actual amount of time every day and I'd be worried about it and I don't at all mean to minimize the validity of anyone's worries about it. If you're going to practice law, you obviously need to pass the Bar Exam and it would be foolish to spend no energy on trying to do so, since it tests on all sorts of stuff that we don't just magically absorb by osmosis in law school. I'm in the amazingly fortunate position that all that is wounded if I fail the Bar Exam is my grandmother's pride in her grandson and my ability to tell people I passed it. That puts me in a different position than most people. Still, if I want to pass, I should study. Obviously. I thought posting about my progress would shame me into studying more. It hasn't really. And it's pointless -- and clearly from the e-mail, self-indulgent and obnoxious and bad -- for me to continue writing about not studying for the Bar Exam. So I apologize, really, because it's just indicative of this larger problem where it's become about me and not about my writing, so no more of that. Despite the front, I really would like to pass, and really do think that if I don't study I'll obviously fail, and am just lucky that failing won't actually have any real consequences for me, just by virtue of what I'm doing.

So I'm drawing a line in the sand, even though it's an imaginary line, and pledging to actually go back to thinking before I write, and trying to write funny, entertaining, interesting things that are worth reading and that I feel good about writing and feel like really add some value to the world to be written. The vapid and pointless book reviews will cease. More about the subway perhaps, since that's always fun.

That's all for now. :) I know this whole post is overblown, but I just started to feel like I need to press the reset button and make this fun again. Again, to everyone who's been reading, it's awfully cool to think that people are interested in reading what I'm writing, and I'm humbled by the fact that people do visit, and e-mail, and come back for more. Thanks.