Friday, January 2, 2009

How do you do it?

Over the holidays, in conversations with friends and family, I've wandered into the topic of blogging several times.   It's not something I always confess to doing.  I say confess, because talking about it does feel like a confession of sorts--to see my blog is to see a side of me that's not immediately apparent in my day-to-day life.   

Slowly, though, I am revealing it to people in my real life. See the pretty cards MOO cards I made for calling cards? I've now included the URL to 3littlechickies, which is a big step.

My blog takes up a decent amount of my thinking time, and writing it is something I really love to do. After keeping my blog for almost two years, I'm more ready to talk about it in real life. Maybe I'm getting more comfortable with the merge between the me I present in writing and the me in person. That's not to say that I'm so very different; it's just that to look at me, you really wouldn't think that I had much to say.   That assumes that I do have something to say, and that's assuming that the way a person looks is always representative of what they think about--oh boy, this is getting complicated, and this is why I don't usually talk about it.    That is fodder for an entirely different post, isn't it?

What I'm talking about here is much simpler.  How do I go about blogging?   Here are a few of the questions I get.  I'll give a few answers here, answers that are attempts to be more articulate than my off-the-cuff responses I've given to family or friends in the past.

Question 1:
"No, really," I'm asked by a family member, "how do you find the time?  I don't know where you find the time to write anything, let alone take photos."

It's not surprising I get asked this. I make no secret about not having time to do the basic things, like finish folding the laundry, or vacuuming the carpets more than once or (if I'm really good!) twice a week.  So to do the blog, I don't find time to write. I sneak it or steal it.  For instance, this entry that you're now reading has taken me 9 visits to the computer, each fewer than 4 minutes long. Some of my visits are less than a minute long, actually. Before I'm ready to hit the publish button, I imagine I will have written for a total of 35 minutes or more, and then edited for 10. And all of this writing is literally done in bits and pieces, a sentence or two at a time, in the bits of time I can manage to carve out of the day.  The time deficit from all these stolen moments shows itself in piles of socks that need to be folded, and sometimes by the circles under my eyes from waking up too early.

Question 2:
"Where do you get ideas? I would have no idea what to write."

I have always loved writing, and in my head, I'm "writing" all the time. So coming up with ideas and developing them has never been a problem. These writing-thoughts are the basic starting ideas for the posts, and they come to me all the time. I put some of them into a little notebook, and some of them get axed by my "inner editor" to be fodder for something else, like an essay or a poem. My family is sweetly supportive of my blogging, too, so sometimes my topics come from them. For instance, Ada will give me a suggestion, like "Hey mom, this soup is so good, it should go on your blog! Go get your camera!" A cute endorsement like that will sometimes make me write a post immediately.

Question 3:
"Who are you writing this for?"
This is the biggest and most loaded question of all, and it's one I grapple with all the time. In fact, getting asked this question is probably why I haven't talked about the blog as much as I might have. It merits a few posts for a fully-developed answer, but I'll give the brief version here.

Coming from some relatives, asking "Who are you writing for?" is akin to asking "Is a blog like email?" Needless to say, this relative isn't going to be looking at my blog anytime soon. Neither is the person who is asking it with an inflection that says, "Who do you think you are? Why are you wasting your time with this?" These people aren't my audience.

But you are reading this, aren't you? I am writing for you. I am writing for myself, too. I'm writing for people who know me well in person and live far away, and I'm writing for people who haven't met me, but know me through my words. I'm writing it because I feel compelled to get some of my thought-writing into a space other than the one between my ears. I send this little snippet of myself into the ethers and hope to make a connection with someone else, even if it's only connecting with the me I'll be at some later date...

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Irene Latham said...

Well, mission accomplished, missy! So SO glad we found each other in the ether!

Anonymous said...

I love moo cards! Aren't they darling? I'm so glad you have a blog, I do enjoy it :)

Kirie said...

Irene, I'm so glad we found each other, too! A perfect example of why I love this internet.

Kirie said...

I enjoy your blog very much, too! And MOO cards--I keep thinking of new things to do with them, and then the MOO people email me with neat ideas, and well, the whole MOO thing is addicting...

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