Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Canon of drafts.

Think that this Sherlockian blogging business produces a lot of words on Sherlock Holmes?

Doing a little online housecleaning this morning, I saw that I currently have sixty unfinished blogs in my draft folder. The dates show that they've built up over the past three years, and usually my unfinished drafts are only a line or two of an idea that didn't pan out. But, you never know, so this lazy Sunday morning seemed like a good time to see what thoughts I didn't follow up on, see if there are patterns, etc.

The first is only a title, but the title shows it was intending to review a third season episode of Elementary. Late spring of 2015 was about the time I had decided to give up on the constant Elementary reviews, so this makes sense. Two drafts later, an actually pretty well developed entry titled "The Epic Failure of Joan Watson" sitting in the bin confirms this, as it looks like I still had some thoughts on the matter, but was willing to start letting them go.

Shortly after that is the start of another piece of Sherlock Holmes and Dinosaurs fan fiction, a fandom within a fandom that blossomed beautifully for a time, but now has mostly gone silent. Alas.

Some blog posts get basically finished but never published, and when on comes to one where the topic is a political mixture of the Conan Doyle Estate, Steve Dixie, and Confederate monuments, it's easy to see how a reluctance to miss the mark on tone could hold up hitting that "Publish" button.

In an odd bit of synchronocity with today's headline, the next on the list was inspired by the moment Donald Trump claimed that John McCain was no hero, entitled "Was Sherlock Holmes a Hero?" I apparently got only two sentences in and never bot back, but those two sentences are enough to identify exactly what inspired it.

Hypocritcial Sherlockians, the quiet kids, Zen Sherlocking, BSI shillings, the hundred dollar sandwich, Mary Morstan versus the patriarchy, bullets in a jar, worms in apples, "Mazarin Stone," hardships of Sherlockian pioneers, personal Facebook rules, "racing engine," the chosen fans, stewards of our community, tweetalongs, words, a Sherlockian's Sherlockian, Ichneumon GO!,  whisteria . . . a lot of partial essays out there in that file.

But then, blogging has always been as much an exercise in the doing for me, rather than the response. It's basically an open diary that I throw out on the web in the hopes that it might be of use to someone else. Since it's open, however, some entries do hit a point where they seem to have no possible benefit to anyone else . . . or just lose my own interest before they reach any kind of conclusion or natural stopping point. And those are the ones that wind up in the draft file.

If you think about Sherlockiana as a whole . . . the pastiches, the researches into minutiae, the social gatherings . . . most do follow a similar pattern to my blogging habits. We enjoy Sherlock Holmes in the way that works for us, then delight when our fellow Sherlockians come along for the ride. Perhaps their company does give us some motivation, but there is a good amount of this that I suspect we'd just do anyway. Sherlock Holmes is our excuse.

And no matter what your approach to enjoying Mr. Sherlock Holmes, there is always going to be collateral wastage. Whether it's books you didn't really need, interesting facts you pick up along the way, or just a weird statue of a duck that stares at you as you type, even now . . . . yipes.

Discovering a Canon-amount of drafts out there wasn't a real surprise. Just how much thought had gone into them, then was left behind, however . . . that was a bit of a shock, even with a decent understanding of the thought behind each abandonment. Yet it's just a result of the richness of this hobby.

Sherlock and Sherlockians never fail to fascinate.

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