Thursday, October 04, 2007

Finding What Works

Allison Winn Scotch had an interesting post yesterday, about the things she needs to write productively (coffee, order, and--if I remember correctly--an absence of footwear). It got me thinking about the different types of writing I do all day that I don't "count" as writing, where I don't need things to be lined up in a certain way to churn them out: emails, lists, notes to Steve about where I've jogged off too in case I get too winded to jog myself home.

I think blogging falls into this category. Right now as I type, I have no coffee (although I'd love another cup), nothing is organized, and THAT DOG is giving me the look that says, "Don't get too involved in whatever you're doing there, cause it's time for my walk...." I've been more faithful to blogging than my other writing over the past few months. It's easier, and the gratification of comments left by people like you guys--who I feel like I know through your own daily posts--comes in hours, rather than months or years. It's just a little bit seductive for a writer looking for a quick hit of approval.

All this has me wondering this morning if we (okay I--I'm sure none of you have this issue) don't need some sort of delay in the gratification to get to the real writing? You know, where we wrestle with sentences until they are as right as we can get them, or rush home from work because we've finally figured out how to fix a problem in a scene that's never been quite right.

I guess I'm fishing around for input here from those of you who are better at this balancing do you balance blogging and your OTHER writing? How do you resist the urge to post every cute or funny thing that happens to you on your blog for a quick laugh, and hold on to a few of them to mull over and craft into something a little more lasting (or at least available in 3D form by people like my Mom who don't have computers)?

(Speaking of instant gratification, this is the first post where my spellchecker responded "No Misspellings Found." Honestly, I'm not sure I've ever seen that line in relation something I've written...)


Jess Riley said...

Oh, I've wrestled with this one. Life just kind of sorted it out for me, and now posting weekly on my blog (and every other Friday at The Debs) works for me. I started out blogging daily, but wow, that's a hike.

Larramie said...

Lucky Trish. Your spellchecker works, mine never has!

The Dream said...

Hi Trish-

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog. Congratulations on writing a book! That is on my list of things to do - someday. I will definitely buy it, as I am a voracious reader.

In relating your question to creating artwork, I TRY to devote time to it every single day, even if it's a mere doodle or something I later deem as garbage.

I know that Joyce Carol Oates views her writing as her job, setting out to write each day for 8 hours. And she IS amazing.

Swishy said...

It's hard. I go in spurts, but when it's "real" writing vs. blog writing, I find myself doing the blog just because I get (near) instant feedback instead of writing into a black hole. It's sooo tempting!

ellesappelle said...

I know exactly what you mean; I feel like I'm a lot more faithful to what was once a sudden whim to create a blog than my lifelong ambition to be an author.

Jane said...


I think as a visual artist, I have the same challenges. Sometimes (OK, most of the time) I'm at a loss for images and ideas. One thing that I think causes this is the fact that I don't schedule in time every day to sit with my materials and see what happens. I look for inspiration in art publications and long walks outside. My daily morning prayers help me go within and get centered.

I'm very guilty of being highly unorganized. I'm working at changing it though. One quote I came across recently said: One of the most common causes for not getting to an important activity is that you haven't set aside a specific time in which to do it".

I'm a blog junkie as well and I love the sharing back and forth.

Patti said...

i tend to use my blog to get out the cobwebs...the silliness/sadness that is lurking and making me laugh/cry and feeling like i need to share it or else i won't be able to concentrate on the real work.

plus, i getting the comments is like having my very own play group ready and willing to do this with me.

i blog a lot. i have two blogs. but i am also a very chatty gal. this seems to work for me..somehow.

Carleen Brice said...

I've been wondering about this too. Something tells me I'm going to have to lay off the blogging a bit to get the real writing done. Maybe I'll be like Jess and go to some kind of schedule instead of every time I get a thought.