I wonder if other writers think much about writing about writing? Since I’m a writer, I do it almost daily. I think about how I’ll write whatever it is I’ll be writing about before I begin writing. This is more of a mental process for me rather than the actual physical act of putting into words words about writing. Confusing? Perhaps. There’s other types of “meta” things: metathinking is thinking about your own thoughts – hmmm, I wonder what I’m wondering about?
Wikipedia defines the prefix “meta” (in the epistemological sense): “the prefix meta- is used to mean about (its own category).” An apt enough definition I suppose, although most in academia frown on Wikipedia as a reliable source of information. What interests me more than the definition is the philosophical aspects of what “meta” might imply.
When I write about gardening in my weekly column for Grove City’s Allied News, I am actually gardening in my mind. That is, I picture myself in the physical act of performing whatever gardening chore or action I’m describing in words. Might this be considered metagardening? If this is so, you could prefix any word or action you choose with “meta” and make it become something in and of itself.
At this point you might be wondering why The Write Gardener (I just metaed myself) would write about such a thing as “meta” this or “meta” that. I have no answer for you, and you don’t really need one. Just give it some metathought the next time you’re in your garden.
My waning garden viewed from the second floor.