I was reading this post from Cheri at Idle Chatter, which begins: “Here is is, 11:15pm, and I’m just now sitting down to write today’s post. Somebody make me feel better and assure me that I’m not the only one who’s ever found themselves staring at a keyboard as the day dwindles away, the ‘publish’ key impertinently mocking, waiting for a flash of inspiration.”

Two things came to mind:
1) I really enjoyed the post, but
2) I almost never write that way

I find that I need to write things when they enter my mind. The post about my mother’s birthday, which you will read on November 17, i.e., my mother’s birthday, I wrote on September 15. It just came to me, and if the muse says, “WRITE THIS,” I write it. The muse can be rather insistent.

I would hate to get to November 16, think, “Geez, I ought to write something about Mom’s birthday,” and stare at a blank computer screen, so the muse does me a favor.

I find it easier to write when I know what I’m going to write about, which I suppose is obvious. For instance, if I know for an ABC Wednesday post X is for X-Rays (it won’t be, at least not this time around), it puts me to mind to think about all the X-rays I’ve had. The brain will percolate in the background while I’m doing something else, such as showering or bicycling, then, suddenly, a theme emerges.

After I have written it, I might change it, but it’s easier to change something than nothing. If it isn’t tied to a specific date, I might even move it to another day because I need to say THIS more right now. THIS is usually for some national or world event, or perhaps a noteworthy death. When Hal David died, I wrote a piece, but I had had something else scheduled for that day which was, fortunately, movable to a day or three later.

The downside to all this moving stuff around is that, sometimes, I don’t know what I’ve posted for a given morning; I’m as surprised as you. The upside is that I get to read it, well, semi-freshly. “Oh, yeah, I remember this one.”

I tend to write in spurts. I’ve created as many as four posts in a day, and often two. Then I might go four or five days without writing anything, because the muse is on strike, demanding higher wages. Or I’m sick and/or tired; spent nearly a week in mid-September with a stomach flu that was not helpful to the creative process. Or I’m busy, often with the Daughter.

I like to read other blogs, not just so I can steal ideas (e.g., this post), and create my end of the month summary, but because it makes me feel connected to the rest of the world. Otherwise, it’s just navel gazing.

Today, not incidentally, marks exactly 7.5 years of blogging, every day. It is better to post once a day than three times in one day, then nothing for three days, in my hardly humble opinion.

Anyway, I hadn’t written a blogpost about blogging in nearly six months, so this is my semiannual contribution to that much-maligned body of work.

6 Responses to “Tabula rasa”

  • I actually enjoy posts about blogging because I’m always curious about what other bloggers do and why. Which is part of the reason I did the same thing (posted about blogging), but with a big difference from your method: I wrote mine this morning. I really should give your method a go.

  • Cheri says:

    I’m poking my head out of my cave to start making rounds again today and find myself here; what a treat! Believe it or not, I am trying to slowly modify my approach to things, learning from others. Taking a clue from you, I’ve written almost two of my future ABC Wednesday posts, so I figure that’s a start. Thanks!

  • My problem is that I have too much to say. The trick is organizing it so it makes sense. That takes sheer effort, and I sometimes can’t find the time or the energy. But eventually all the things I want to say drive me back to the machine and I make the effort.

  • Cheri says:

    Oh, and by the way, 7.5 years of daily posting is an amazing accomplishment. Congratulations!

  • Lisa says:

    My muse sometimes takes a vacation. But she usually comes through for me when there’s a self-imposed deadline.

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