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.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I think I'm going to change the tag line under the name of the blog within the next day or two. And if someone can help me tweak the color scheme bit, nothing drastic, maybe I'll do that too. Writing the law school advice post from a couple of days ago has made me realize I don't have lots more to say about law school, at least not right now. At some point I expect I'll feel compelled to sit down and do some real thinking, and try to write a piece about what I think law school does right, what it does wrong, and how I think it can do better. I'd like to write that piece, but I don't want to write it today. :)

In a way, I don't want this blog to be part of that world anymore. I mean, this blog's never been about the law or even about law school as much as it's just been about things that I'm noticing and experiencing and wanting to write about. I'm immensely flattered that people keep reading. But it's stuff I'd be wanting to write even if no one was visiting.

And there's a different world I think I want this blog to be part of. I'm spending an awful lot of time trying to figure out how to turn my Anonymous Lawyer blog into a novel. I don't know what happens once I write it. I'm in the incredibly fortunate position of getting the chance to figure it out on the fly. Of getting the chance to figure out how a blog becomes a book, and then how a book becomes a book. It still feels strange to think that at some point I'll have a manuscript on my computer, and somehow it will acquire a cover and a binding and find its way to stores. I think these are things I'm going to want to write about. I think writing about them will help me enjoy the journey, like writing about law school did.

So I'm not saying the blog's changing, because I don't think it's changing so much as it's just continuing the morphing it's been doing since I finished law school, with the exception of the exciting Bar Exam interlude that gave me an awful lot of fun stuff to write about. This post is just to acknowledge the morph I guess, and say that there probably won't be a ton more I have to say about studying for law school exams and joining a journal and getting a clerkship (although I do want to say, although I think I've already said it, that everyone I've talked to who has recently started a clerkship loves it and thinks it's exciting and awesome work -- it's almost making me regret not applying, although it's not what I want to be doing -- but if you're even thinking about it, the evidence I'm gathering is that it's definitely something worth pursuing, with hardly a downside outside of whatever the financial picture may look like). Of course I'll always gladly answer e-mails about law school stuff, and post the Q&A if I think it's something of broader interest.

I had dinner with a friend tonight and we talked a little bit about artistic integrity. He has more than most people do, I think. He writes stuff he believes in and is willing to fight for, and he writes with inspiration to go along with an awful lot of talent. This is what I aspire for with the book I'm working on -- really, it's what I aspire for with most of what I write, although I know that some of what I've written here, and surely some of what I'll write here in the future, doesn't live up to that. It's hard to truly believe in what I'm writing each and every day, and there are certainly song parodies and things I've riffed on where I feel like, to a greater or lesser extent, I'm posting partly just to post, and I'm going through the motions, and there's not that same passion behind it as there should be. I tend to hope that those posts are still worth it, and are entertaining even if not entirely inspired. But there are definitely things here that I do feel proud of, and that I do feel have come from entirely the right place, are rewarding to have written, and make me glad to be doing this. I hope that comes through. I expect those are the days that keep people reading, and the rest merely don't turn people away who are already here.

I feel like it's impossible for every piece, on anyone's blog -- or maybe even every word, in anyone's book -- to truly come from that place, and to have that spark, to have that glimpse in it of something real and of something special. But I think the right standard isn't that everything has to meet that goal, but that some of it does. When I watch TV or read a book or listen to music or see a movie or a play or a musical, that's all I'm looking for. One glimpse of that spark. One moment where I know I'm in someone's hands who I can trust, where I know there's some kernel of light shining through that deserves my attention. Where I can't wait to turn the page or get past the commercial or get to that next song because I want to see more, and find more of that spark. And once I know that the potential is there, I know it can be anywhere, and I just want to find it again. When I find that trust in a creator, I want to devour everything he or she has written, to find that spark as many times as it's there.

This is what I aspire to be able to do with the book -- and if I'm expecting too much from myself, that's probably better than the opposite. To get the reader's trust, and to have real moments of spark. To express a point of view. To have something meaningful to say. To entertain. To be proud of the words I'm writing, and to make every sentence count. I'm working on it. I think it's going okay. But I keep reminding myself to double-check and make sure. To make sure the book is better than the blog. To make sure that blog readers will think the book is better than the blog. To make sure that what I'm writing is coming from the right place, and that it's inspired and I'm not just forcing out words for words' sake. It's hard. I've thrown out a fair number of pages. But I think it'll be okay in the end. I want to write something I'm proud of. And I want to write something with as much integrity as I think my friend's creative output has, and not be ashamed that the book isn't everything I think it can be.

I'm probably saying too much. But no one's making you read it. :)