It’s a beautiful Sunday morning as I tap the keyboard, thinking of seven posts that might be written at this moment. Instead, I’ve decided to do something a bit different. My thinking is that it’s Sunday, a day when fewer readers stop by than any other day of the week, and it’s unlikely that I’ll get too many complaints.
As of yesterday, Simple Justice was number 4 on the list of Avvo top legal blogs . Today, it dropped from 4th to 6th, out of the top five and off the big list. I’ve no idea why, nor does it matter. Simple Justice will be as significant, or insignificant, as my posts. But the interesting thing about it is that each of the top five is made up of blawgs written by groups rather than an individual, except for Ann Althouse. She’s obviously more interesting than I am, which is why she remains at number 3. I kinda like being on the big list, and feel badly that I’ve fallen into the abyss, as if the list just told me that I used to be okay, but now I suck. But I can’t argue with a list.
Simple Justice is something I do to amuse myself, an opportunity for one guy to write whatever strikes him as being worth writing at any given moment. There are no rules about what I write. It’s mostly commentary about legal news and decisions, but can stray far afield without notice. I regularly hear from readers about how they prefer some types of posts more than others, urging me to limit my writing to posts that interest them. Even more regularly, I’m told how a reader hates a post and demands that I lay off the subject upon pain of . . . something.
I don’t care. This is my soapbox, for better or worse. If you want to read what I write, great. I appreciate it. If not, well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
More significantly, at least to me, are the complaints that I write too much, or that I must spend every waking moment writing to churn out the amount of content that appears here
every most mornings. I’ve explained numerous times that it just doesn’t take me very long to do this. I average about ten minutes a post, often interrupted with important things like refilling my coffee mug, talking to my kids or listening to Dr. SJ’s instructions on what I shouldn’t screw up that day. I get back to writing when I can. Writing Simple Justice never interferes with life or practice.
People don’t believe me. As my buddy Mark Bennett says (and I hope I get his quote correct the first time, this time), I can explain it to you but I can’t understand it for you. Despite my having explained the mechanics of doing this blawg, I’m often met with disbelief, and occasionally called a liar. Some have even questioned whether there are elves in some backroom somewhere churning out content to be posted under my name.
Sorry. No elves. Not even a backroom. It’s just me. One guy and a keyboard.
How is it possible? I take a few shortcuts for the purpose of doing a blawg. While I spellcheck after finishing a post, I don’t proofread, which is why my posts often contain stupid errors that should be easily cleaned up. Many blawgers contend that it’s idiotic to not proofread their posts, as it gives the impression of carelessness in one’s work, which a potential client might extrapolate to indicate similar carelessness in writings for court.
They’ve got a point, though it’s not the case for me. My motions and briefs are an entirely different matter than this blawg, and they are proofed thoroughly. This blawg isn’t a motion or brief, and more importantly, no one’s life hangs in the balance. That said, I now have my editor, Marilou proofing my posts, and she’s been an angel. I’m much happier knowing that stupid mistakes no longer abound.
People demand (yes, demand) to know how it’s possible that I can do this. They suggest that I must spend all day doing it, that I must have no law practice, that I steal my content from others, that it’s just not possible. Look. I’m sorry if it bothers you so much that you feel compelled to rationalize why I can do this and you can’t. Bothering you isn’t my purpose. But what am I to do? Should I not write because you can’t keep up? Heck, people complain to me that I put too many posts up a day, more than they have time to read. So don’t read.
Even the brothers and sisters in the blawgosphere complain, that I get to stories before them and don’t leave anything for them to write about. This is total nonsense. I leave posts on the table every day, for lack of time or just because I don’t want to get another smack for being too prolific. I despise the word “prolific”, as it smacks of an all-you-can-eat buffet. The food sucks, but there’s plenty of it. Don’t blame me if you can’t think of anything to write about. In fact, don’t blame me for anything. I have nothing to do with your choices. You’re on your own.
As Norm says, there’s certainly a large dose of ego gratification in blawging, One feels good about others reading their words, especially when there is no reason for them to read at all. Of course, the flip side is also true, as the internet consists of an angry mob waiting to pounce. Write the wrong thing and they will descend like locusts, ripping your eyes out of their sockets without a thought. Readers tell me that I’m an idiot. Some want their time back, wasted on reading my posts. I offer a full refund. And some readers think they can hurt me by telling me that they won’t be back. My take is they’re borderline (at best) psychotic narcissists. Even if they aren’t, that’s how I choose to perceive them.
Having a blawg is partially about writing, but largely about herding feral nutjobs. The first thing every nutjob buys is a computer with internet access, so that they can roam freely and make sure that no one on the internet is saying anything they disagree with. When I started Simple Justice, I was unaware of this. It’s since become the most time-consuming part of maintaining this blawg. You, on the outside, have no clue what I put up with. None.
I’m often critical of other bloggers, who want to be recognized as a law blogger but instead engage almost exclusively in navel gazing. And here I’m writing only about myself. Since the vast majority of my posts here are substantive, I’ve given myself permission to indulge. And it’s Sunday, so I don’t anticipate inconveniencing anyone who has stopped by for something worthwhile to find only this drivel.
You may have noticed that I included my name in the title of this post. It’s the first time I’ve ever done that. The reason is that my name appears in plenty of posts, usually the ones critical of me or at least being overtly snarky. I know, the snarky ones are meant as an homage, but sometimes they take my jokes too seriously and strike me as being unable to distinguish between the person and the persona. It annoys me at times.
A couple of weeks ago, an email came in about how the writer had googled my name and found some insane, vile posts about me on the second page. My psycho stalker is still working hard through the night trying to get his inane nonsense on the first page of google. You haven’t made it as a blawger until you have a psycho stalker. Psychos, by definition, don’t go away. I assume that people who aren’t totally nuts realize that these attacks are the work of a psycho. I could be wrong, but I have no plans on spending my time worrying about it.
By putting my name in the title of this post, it’s likely to appear on the first page of google. It will push the insane posts down the list by one. It would be really great if everyone did a nice post about me and used my name in the title, so that the insane posts could be pushed back to page 28. I don’t expect anyone will think it worth their effort to do so, unfortunately. Simple Justice may matter enough to read, but there’s little concern out there for the writer. I’m more the hired (yet unpaid) help, as far as others are concerned.
Simple Justice is as meaningful, or meaningless, as you find it. It’s just the thoughts of one person, cranked out while drinking my morning coffee. Believe it or not. Care or not. There are posts that mean more to me than others, and sometimes I’m bothered by the posts that attract little attention because I believe they are pretty good, or sometimes pretty worthwhile. You don’t? Yeah, that bothers me. I’m not above caring that others share my view of what matters. At the same time, I can’t make you care.
If you’ve reached this point in the post, I thank you. My bet is that few will. My navel gazing likely won’t interest too many folks out there. There’s little to commend the fabulous life of a blawger. No great wealth. Certainly no appreciation. Complaints? You bet. Attacks? Daily. Freeriding? Constantly. Yet I continue to wake up every morning with a bunch of stuff I want to write about, sit down at the computer and just start to tap on the keys.
You never know what’s going to come out. I never do. Thanks for reading.