One Hundred and Thirty-Eight Days In A Row!

Today marks the completely random milestone of 138 Days in a row of posting! Ever since February 8th I’ve had at least one post each day. It’s just something that sort of, happened. Though the idea did have it’s roots in me lying there in isolation with covid reading M.R. James. It wouldn’t be until a month later that I actually started hitting the output.

Sure, a lot of the posts have to deal with Wordle. Which I’ve gotten a little tired of, both playing and writing about. There’s been some bookish thoughts and some writing updates as well. 

I wonder if I can make it another one hundred and thirty-eight?

Writing Is Hard

Writing is hard. Pretty much everyone reading this is a writer and doesn’t need to be told that. It’s no secret, nor is it difficult to figure out on one’s own. Stories and thoughts are milling about inside each and every one of us. Only a subset are worth manifesting into some physical or shareable form and an even smaller subset of those will actually come to fruition. 

Not only is finding the time difficult. Aligning that time with the energy, mindset, and need to write can be a challenge. I try to set aside time each and everyday, usually in the morning to write. More often than not, the time is there and available. All I have to do is seize it. Which I do more often than not. 

However after so many days for seizing that writing time and looking at the results or gains, it can be difficult to want to continue this – dare I say – enterprise. To which, even though it can sound a little disheartened at times, I respond with, “Yes.”

“Why?”

“I do not rightly know. The simple idea of pointing at a work and saying that’s mine. Bring some manner of escapist joy to one’s life. Perhaps even inspiring others in some form. If nothing else, it’s a fairly inexpensive way to pass the time.”

Well, there it is. Plenty of meat to pick on that bone. After a sesh of picking, it turns out that the I write because I’m cheap. Writing apps are inexpensive. Especially when you don’t subscribe annually to those kind of writing apps. A website, also inexpensive. Oh, they can be expensive, but they can also be free. Guess which one I have? Actually my site isn’t free, but I did get a good deal from WordPress. 

How do you feel about writing? What keeps you going?

A List of Reasonable Length Declaring Why Being Pen Pals Is Great!

Pen pals, having one and having been one, is something I’ve be reminiscing about recently. I’ve also been proposing that people start writing to other people. Either me, a friend, or – in true pen pal tradition – some rando. Being pen pals is a great way to connect again or for the first time. Here are some reasons why.

  • It is and always has been, socially distanced.
  • Smooths out the awkward re-entry to socializing. Face it, it’s been awhile. Things are going to be weird. Hide the weirdness in a piece of long form writing.
  • You get to talk about yourself in large chunky monologues. Just let it flow! Let it all out. 
  • Your pen pals also gets to talk about themselves in large chunky monologues. Which is great because people are like TV shows. Imagine trying to watch a show again after missing a couple of seasons. Because – *SPOILER ALERT* – that’s what has happened!
  • Connecting via video and phone are great, but they are a bottle neck.  The conversation is real time. People will accidentally talk over one another. Smaller, but just as important details and threads of thought will be lost. The minutia is easier to track in written from.
  • You don’t have worry about being muted or if the camera is on. 
  • There are so many ways to write! By hand, phone, or computer are obvious. Go pull that typewriter or wordprocessor out of some closet. Send it by email or blow the dust off that printer and classic mail it! Who doesn’t love mail that isn’t bills?
  • Perhaps best of all, writing can be done on your own schedule. No need to set up a coinciding time with your pal. Write and read at your convenience.

Why I Started Blogging

I started blogging because I’d always liked to write. However simply liking to write wasn’t enough. I had to make time and actually do the writing.  Blogging allowed me to do this. Once I started blogging, liking to write quickly turned into wanting to write, followed by needing to write. At some point in time I actually became a writer.

Before blogging, I tried my hand a few times at writing books. Writing a book is a daunting challenge to enter into. All those characters and events, not to mention all the pages with all the words! If you’re not committed to a schedule things can go off track easily. So I tried some short stories. Which felt a bit more comfortable. Though sometimes I felt like I was dealing with more than a short amount of pages could properly handle. Short stories are deceptively difficult to write. There is a certain art to containing the characters and events within a short amount of pages.

The main goal of blogging was to just write and get comfortable with writing consistently. Chiseling out daily chunks of time and keeping a schedule was important. Life will always attempt to create things that need to be done. Some are truly a priority while others can wait. Having the opportunity there to write for myself was necessary. I felt secure having a few cordoned off spots of time in the morning and evening. I don’t always take advantage, but it’s comforting knowing they are there.

Blogging gave me a chance to express and analyze thoughts. More importantly, I was able to run posts through multiple drafts and editing. Being able to write, revise, and publish repetitiously was a fantastic learning experience. I was able to affirm my style of writing and hear my voice clearly. I gained a better understanding of my thought process and how I actually felt about the topics and subjects I was writing about.

Getting posts up was a great confidence builder. Especially on the posts that started gaining traction. Comments and interactions directly on the post or through social media were great motivators to continue. Being able to entertain and engage people with my posts was satisfying. We may write for ourselves, but isn’t the idea to have other people enjoy reading our work?

What got you into blogging and what’s kept you there? What else do you write?

Hello World… Again.

I’m a writer in my spare time and a digital artist by trade. Mostly for video games. Over the years I discovered that I thoroughly enjoy the written word. Reading had been a hobby of mine for a long while. Then writing came along and became the way I’d spend a good amount, if not a majority of my spare time. It was a diversion from what I do for a living. In addition, it was more personal. A great way to express and reflect on my own thoughts while connecting with others. 

It’s been more than a few years since I started my first blog over on blogger.com. I quickly outgrew it and found a great community on WordPress.com. It’s a more robust platform with a supportive community. For the years that I was really active, I had a great time. Connecting with other bloggers, engaging with their posts, and having others engage with mine was so rewarding. I read a lot and learned even more.  

My original blog’s content was varied. Though it was usually humorous and fun to read. At least that’s what some devoted readers said. Eventually, I started a few additional blogs trying to hone in on topics. Most didn’t last too long. Multiple blogs just seemed like a lot to manage without it being a full-time job. 

After a few years and reading way to much marketing propaganda, I started a self-hosted WordPress site.  As far as customization went, it was a huge leap beyond what WordPress.com offered. I could install whatever I wanted and edit CSS to my hearts content. However, maintaining all the tech components was a huge upkeep. Which began taking away from writing. An even bigger drawback was that my blog wasn’t integrated with the community. Which had been a huge reason why I loved blogging. 

Blogging missteps aside, life coincidentally got pretty hectic for a couple of years. Time became more difficult to manage. With all the challenges I stopped blogging. I’d had a great time, but I needed a reformative break. The desire to blog was still there. Always. However, I felt like I needed to have a good think about blogging before fully starting again. Figure out what I wanted to write about and how I wanted to write it. 

While I did that, I focused on writing books and short stories. Like my blog before, there were several different genres. They were also done to various levels of completion. More importantly there were varying degrees of happiness from writing them. Focusing on the ones that made me happy became a priority. Every now and then I would write a blog post, but I was still outside of the community and it still didn’t feel right. 

Now, I’m ready to start again. I’ve moved back to wordpress.com. It’s the same blog name, but now it has a clear topic, writing life. I’m on the eve of doing another NanoWriMo. I already have enough words. So this will be the first time I’ve done the editing track. I’ve never been this close to putting a book on my written pile. I’m really excited to be starting over and finishing up all at the same time.