Daily Archives: November 1, 2016

Tuesday: Exercises in Writing #22



Today is November 1st. Like last November, and the November before that, I’ll be posting a blog each day, participating in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). Funny, it doesn’t seem to carry the weight of importance that it has in years past. Maybe because I foolishly took on another challenge last winter, and have been posting a blog every single day this year. After more than three hundred days in a row, the next thirty days seem manageable.

I am going to try something a little different. Maybe. Most of the time, I really enjoy this writing. I worry a little that what I put out there is getting a little repetitive and tiresome, but, I think, “Hey, you try finding something to write about every single day…” and I continue. It’s not like anyone is forced to read what I write, after all. Though I love that people do. That is part of the problem.

I have a whole routine when it comes to a blog post. The title comes first, and often helps me with the direction of the writing. At other times, the title has to be altered at the end, to more accurately reflect what I’ve written about.

I’m quite particular about the image. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with what I’m writing about, but it should be another reflection of the world around me. Sometimes it involves downloading new pictures from my camera (ten minutes) and sorting through them to choose the most appropriate or inspiring one (another ten minutes, on a good day) before loading the photo into the WordPress site so that I can transfer it to my blog post (also time-consuming).

Next, I write. Often, I’ve been turning ideas over in my mind; other times I just plunge in. Some days, what I write seems meaningful and worthwhile. Sometimes it is simply fulfilling a set formula, as on “Timeout for Art” Wednesdays, or the “52 Lists Project” on Sundays. Other days it is obviously just “getting something out there.”

Once published, I review it, as time allows, and make slight edits for spelling, clarity or semantics. I keep a search tab open at the same time, so that I can type in “spell repetitively” or “define semantics” so that I’m sure my usage is correct. Next, I post it to a social media site. That’s it. Or, rather, that should be it. This much alone usually takes an hour or more of my time. My best time, if I wake up late and have to get to work, and rush through every aspect, is something like twenty minutes. If I have a day off, like today, I may spend an hour just paging through books on writing, to find just the perfect writing prompt.

But it doesn’t end there. I try. I turn off the computer, and move on to other things. Then I turn the computer back on, to see if someone has perhaps “liked” my post or (even better!) made a comment on it. I click on the “stats” page, so I can see how many people have visited my site, from how many countries, and how many liked what they read. I make a mental note of the numbers, so I have a basis for comparison the next time I check. And on and on I go…making an entire career out of a simple blog.

This morning, I spent too much time paging through Old Friend From far Away by Natalie Goldberg, looking for a “quick” assignment. Today is my last day off this week and I have a million other pressing things to get done. I came upon this:

“Sometimes you have to kick ass, home in, write like a mad-woman. You have no alternative. No choice. This can be a very alive situation. Your life like a snake has been placed inside a bamboo pole. No wiggle room. You have to spit straight ahead. Write! Don’t think…Go!”

So, not today, obviously, because I’ve already wasted too much time leading up to it, but for the month of November, this is what I’m going to try to do. Ten minutes, stream of consciousness writing. It will be an adventure!