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Update: July 17, 2007

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Eleven Months On Paper; A Collection

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In a broader attempt to spread the good word, it seems I have reached my limits when it comes to writing news, essays, and editorials. At one point a week ago, I had new content living on as many as five different sites at the same time in different capacities.

Even though much content can and has been cross posted before, not everything is suitable for every single site. About five days ago, my creative well ran dry, instigating a situation where I was putting not just the majority of my efforts, but all of my efforts, into writing non-fiction content online.

As often happens, things were going quite well, and then suddenly I had nothing. There are bits and pieces laying around, of course, but they are more like jumbles of thought and unfocused rambling that reminds me of my lesser days about a year ago when I set about writing at least one thing online each and every day.

I always thought that blogs that only provided short snippets of commentary wrapped around a quote or two from another site were entirely useless. It's good that you found something interesting, and are linking to it, but what benefit are you providing readers to slap your identity stamp on it when you won't take the time to say something original or substantive?

Often times what you get are people that are trying to be sardonic, but end up just looking like assholes, in as few words as possible so they can move on to the next thing to get more hits.

My first month writing for a blog made this quite clear, because while I was getting the laughs, I was also being an ass, and that's not what I wanted.

The short snippets were as infrequent as possible after that. I wrote only when I thought I had enough to say that I could fill it out with one thousand words minimum, while trying for fifteen hundred to two thousand if possible. On good days, they would stretch on as long as four thousand words, and some things I actually never worked on because I knew they were probably going to reach into the ten thousand range.

At some point you've got to realize that an hour-and-a-half is something you can set aside to enlighten and enrich the world a bit, but five or six hours without getting paid just doesn't make sense -- especially when you write for a living.

Or try to.

So for five days now I've been empty. Nothing on my personal blog, nothing on my John Edwards '08 blog, nothing on the official Edwards blog, nothing on Newsvine, and no DKos diaries. Nada.

I have managed to start one essay on Josh Wolf and one editorial on adapting books to screenplays, but only the later has any kind of consistent feel, and even though I think it's probably great quality work, I have no heart for working on it. As I said, I'm empty.

Instead of boring you with more of this whining, I decided to put together a collection of my work over the past eleven months.

The quality varies from short and mean spirited ranting to lengthy news-quality type that I'm extremely proud of. Some of it is good, lots of it ain't. It does without a doubt however show a marked improvement in writing style over the past year, and that was pretty cool to see.

This collection took about five or six hours to put together. While all of these articles were saved in the same word processor file format (Open Text Document, e.g. OASIS or ODF) they were formatted in wildly different ways, contained no dates and many of them had HTML in them. I took the time required to make them all as consistent as my patience could withstand, and converted them to PDFs for as a consistent viewing experience as I can possibly provide to you.

I have also released the entire collection under the newest Creative Commons 3.0 license that allows you to (re)distribute and modify them at your pleasure, as well as use them in part or in whole commercially. The only catch is that you must attribute the material back to me, and anything you do with it must also be released under an identical CC license.

This collection contains 73 PDF's and 73's detached OpenPGP compliant digital signatures. It's a geek thing, but you can verify cryptographically that these PDFs were in fact written by me, should you have an interest in doing so. I can also prove that I authored them with these, so don't get any funny ideas about playing with the attribution please, thanks, and all jazz.

If not, you can happily ignore and/or delete the signatures, it won't hurt the PDFs in any way and they are not covered by the CC license, so you are not required to redistribute them with the PDFs, though I would appreciate it if you did.

I don't know if there is any value in doing this, but it isn't like people are knocking down my door to purchase and syndicate this stuff. In fact, you may see much of this content on Newsvine sometime down the road, things that haven't been posted here before, if I start to run dry again.

I hope you enjoy this collection, a lot of heart and effort went into creating it and it's not doing anyone a damn bit of good sitting here burning holes in my hard drive.

I just hope I spelled my name right.
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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.