Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday Salon: A (blogging) Routine

I need routine in my life.  I feel more liberated when I have a set schedule than I do just "going with the flow." I am definitely more productive, which in turn brings me a sense of peace and satisfaction.

Now of course, I can easily carry a routinized life to an unhealthy level, so I am trying to learn to allow time for spontaneity:  a weekend trip here, a lunch date there, an impromptu get together with friends.  But I have had little routine in my life since school started, nearly three weeks now, and it is starting to affect my mood.  I feel myself getting anxious for no apparent reason; I  am short on patience; I crave to be left alone.  And my writing has suffered as well.

I promised myself that I would not waste the new-found freedom that my reduced teaching schedule provides, and I promised myself that I would be faithful to follow the call to write.  But so far the only writing I have done is to finalize lesson plans and develop a weekly blogging schedule.  For my few faithful followers, you can see how unsuccessful I have been.  I thought perhaps if I publicly shared the schedule, it might enforce a bit of personal accountability (which I desperately need).  So here are my thoughts...

In every book I have read on the subject of writing the number one piece of advice is to write.  Writers Write is the axiom.  Don't censor... don't judge... don't procrastinate.  Just write --- every day.  And while I am faithful to my morning pages and daily devotionals, that is not the kind of writing that will help me improve my craft.  I do not plan to publish everything I write to the blog, for there will be lots of unsuccessful experiments and crappy first drafts to be sure... but I do think that consistent blogging will push me to improve my writing.  To that end, here is a list of potential daily memes that I strive to maintain on a fairly consistent basis:

  • Sunday Salon:   a general review of my week's reading activity.  I read all the time... although lately it has often been non-fiction books related to writing and photography.  I am yearning to return to fiction, however, and I think Carl's RIP VIII reading challenge will help.  When I maintained my book blog, I always looked forward to this event and participated on a regular basis.  This year I am especially excited because I think I am FINALLY going to read the Harry Potter series.  My youngest daughter has volunteered to read them again to help keep me accountable, and I would be happy for anyone else to join us if interested.
  • Monday Crafts:  I have had a fondness for paper crafts for over a decade now --- scrapbooking memories and stamping cards are my favorites.  For the past two years I have harbored the idea of marrying this hobby with a ministry by volunteering to make greeting cards for all occasions:  birthday, get well, thinking of you...etc.  Currently I have over 400 ideas posted to my Pinterest Board, and it is time that I put action to good intention.  Posting the finished product would be a simple way for me to stay true to my word.
  • Traveling Tuesday.  I like the alliteration... and I also want to focus efforts on this style of writing for two reasons.  I want to relive the notable adventures of the past, and perhaps uncover a few insights that can only be found with the perspective of a few years' distance.  But also, I want to hone this craft .. this vision that I have of pairing one photo with one essay ... so that when we retire and begin our extensive journeys to England, France, and Italy ... I will feel confident in making this dream a reality. 
  • Writing Wednesday (the mnemonic device of alliteration has always thrilled me).  I like the idea of reviewing my writing progress in the middle of the week.  I can easily look back to see what I have done, and I can begin to look ahead and plan future goals.
  • Photography Thursday:   For me, Photography and Writing go hand in hand, you know... a picture is worth a thousand words.  If I am going to practice my travel writing skills for future adventures, then I must practice my photography skills as well.  I love reading about the subject, and can spend hours viewing photos on sharing sites such as Flickr and 500pix, but somehow I fail to translate this passion to actually taking pictures myself.  I want this to change and I hope that a weekly deadline will help me to stay focused.
  • Weekend Cooking has been a meme that I have adored since its inception four years ago.  In a previous life (that is, long before my teaching career), I was a part-time caterer, but I have always enjoyed creating in the kitchen.  I hope to rekindle that passion - and share the journey along with (hopefully) some tasty recipes and cookbook reviews.
I have lots of ideas and great intentions.  I just hope that I can be faithful to myself to pursue them.


2 comments:

  1. Molly:

    Actually I'm going to praise you for how consistent you've been in putting up content. If you look at the number of posts you've done over the past few months, you've approximately 10 posts a month. You are doing better than I am. Look at it this way - There are approximately 20 working days a month and you've posted content for at least 10 of those days.

    My question is what kind of writing makes your heart sing? is it blogging? Or is it something else? Don't write a blog post because you feel you have to. Do it because it somehow ties into your passion for writing. And if you photograph to illustrate your writing, I think you'll get the practice and the images you want.

    I've struggled with this very question and I think I've figured it out. My passion for writing is tied to communicating the technical aspects of photography for my clients and for other photography creatives. I'm slowly building content/ideas towards that end.

    Much love to you my friend.

    Paula


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  2. If I weren't hoping to publish novels at some point, I would put my heart and soul into blogging, as it is quite rewarding, and greater efforts would reap greater emotional rewards. Your blog posts are always so good, I sometimes feel guilty for having access to such intellectual bounty, and for free. You really could earn money from your written thoughts, and so my suggestion is similar to the other friend who commented. If you are spending much time on blogging because it feeds a need, keep doing what you're doing. But if you want to write and publish fiction or nonfiction, spend far more of your writing time on that and less on everything else, including blogging. And dispense with time-wasting morning pages altogether, unless you need them as therapy.

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