MAK, with whom I traveled to Las Vegas, has an inquiring mind.
Do I understand that you have a couple of blogs ready to go at any given time and ongoing drafts?
Well, sort of. When we left for LV on Sunday, I had 41 blog posts scheduled. On Friday, I had 36, having written one while there. But many are specific to a particular date (two about the daughter for the 26th of September and October, one regarding my mom’s birthday, one for Veterans Day, one for the 25th anniversary of my appearance on JEOPARDY, posts for November 1 and 2).
So, while they’re ready to go, it’s not at “any given time.” The great thing about writing ahead is that sometimes I change them. Indeed, my November 1 and 2 posts generated a third one. Several sooner-than-later pieces (music, movie reviews, Ask Roger Anything answers) exist. Some I could post eventually. And about five that no one will see until I die so I can haunt you after I’m gone.
I’ve learned that when I have an idea for a post to write for a specific date, such as November 11, I’d better write it right then, even if it’s September 17. Otherwise, I might forget that great idea. No, not the idea, but the approach.
I don’t publish in the order that I write. Also, I often switch the order, so something urgent to write about might bump a post already in the queue. I do that a LOT. As a result, most of the time, I have no idea what’s being posted on most days, which is a lot of fun.
I saw Barbenheimer on successive days, but I didn’t post reviews of them back-to-back. My working theory is that if someone doesn’t like one type of feature, maybe the next day will be more their cuppa.
The Ask Roger Anything and Sunday Stealing features serve the same function: generate ideas to write about, but my approach is quite different. For ARA, I’ll look up things, such as the law for ADA compliance. Conversely, Sunday Stealing is essentially free association. The former might take a couple of hours, while I can usually do the latter in half an hour.
The reason for the linkage is that there are too many things I could write about, but I don’t have time for that. I don’t always agree 100% with every POV, but they interest me in some way.
Need a new shiny object.
I tend to write as fast as two-finger typing allows. While I might start a post on one day and finish it the next, posts that, for reasons of time, go on past that tend to make me cranky. The blog post I wrote in Vegas took four days, making me cranky because my brain wanted to go on to the next topic.
I once noted: My late blogger buddy Dustbury “noted that he and I have something in common: we are both magpies. As he put it: ‘The Eurasian magpie… is wicked smart, especially for a bird… I am not quite sure how ‘magpie’ became a descriptor for humans who flit from topic to topic unless it has to do with the bird’s tendency to be attracted to Shiny Things, but I’m pretty sure I fit that description, and I have several readers who seem to do likewise.’”
I seldom know what will land with the audience and what won’t. I was pretty sure Roger in a pink do-rag might resonate. But a piece I wrote in 2014 about Spaulding Krullers – think donuts – continues to generate comments in 2023.
I have – let’s see – 111 posts in drafts. The vast majority will NEVER see the light of day.
Here’s a bonus of writing it down. It’s a repository of my personal information. When DID I see that movie? What year did that cousin die? It was not the original motivation, but after nearly 18.5 years, I searched my blog at least twice a week.
Until it sucks
There is an article I came across, How To Know It’s Time To Quit Writing. “You don’t find any joy in it anymore – when you sit down to write, it feels like a struggle, you have no motivation, and even when you do manage to get words out, you don’t get that rush of satisfaction like you used to.”
It still brings me joy most of the time. When it doesn’t, I’ll probably stop. And BTW, congrats on your second post in less than a month. As I told you, quoting the late Steve Gerber: “There is only one characteristic that distinguishes writers from non-writers: writers write. (That’s why there’s no such thing as an “aspiring writer.” A writer can aspire to sell or publish, but only non-writers aspire to write.)”
Note about the photo taken from our car, my wife driving, on October 8, 2023, just north of Catskill, NY. Five minutes earlier, the rainbow was quite strong. This is Fading Rainbow from a Moving Car. I like it anyway.