I think we can all agree that committing to something like NaBloPoMo is pretty stupid. Wait, no. That’s not what I meant to say *ahem*. What I meant to say was that it’s time-consuming and it can even be a bit anxiety-inducing, what with having to write a blog post every single day. For 30 days. Time is most definitely consumed during this endeavour, and those of you who have done this before will likely agree. But, think of it this way: can banging off a post a day be more liberating than crafting a carefully thought out post that can take hours to perfect? I mean I’ve been known to write a post or two in desperation along the lines of “Hey, I’m out of ideas, woe is me! But look! Here’s a cute video of a bunny being cute, that totally counts!” So 30 posts in 30 days? If all of them are well-written, topical, influential, urbane and thought-provoking, THAT is an accomplishment. If they’re all of the cute bunny variety, though… I’m not saying it doesn’t count, and if you want to link to that kind of shizzle, more power to you. What I have always tried to do during the dark days of November blogging is strive for a mixture of the two. You never know when you might be struck by a raging flu – like I was last year – and any and all UH MAZING blog post ideas go straight out of your head with the phlegm you’re coughing up. At that point? Get yourself to YouTube and go nuts. At other times though, the award-winning blog post is just right there, literally at the tips of your typy typing fingers, which is fantastic. All the planets align, you’ve got the mojo working nicely, you’ve carved out some time to do this thing, your brain is firing on all cylinders with firecracker wit and snappy turns of phrase, and then you think… “Where the heck am I going to do this anyway?”
It’s funny that for me now, the “where” problem seems to be bigger than the “when” problem. This was not always the case for me, of course. I look back to a day when we only had one computer in our house, in the dining room. It was right smack dab in the middle of chaos central, and with 2 adults and 2 kids jockeying for time on it, my blogging time was limited. I had to be quick! And it worked because I didn’t have another option.
Now, of course, I have my lovely little netbook which I adore, and I can easily take it anywhere in the house to do my blogging thang. But the weird thing is, I don’t. I usually sit in the living room with it, and since the main level of our house is still chaos central and will continue to be for a long time no doubt, I think it’s weird that I don’t high-tail it upstairs and shut myself off. In actual fact there is nowhere in our house that is sanctuary. The main floor any given evening has boys listening to music on the computer while they do homework; or boys watching TV once the homework is all done. We have an office-type room upstairs, which The Genealogist has come to use for his work at home days, and also for his other researchy type stuff, which is great. Sadly it’s not big enough for two of us, there is only one desk, and often when one boy is downstairs watching TV or whatever, the other boy is upstairs in their shared bedroom blasting Metallica. So a space for my personal writing or blogging? Yeah no.
In actual fact I can do a good amount of writing with shiz going on around me. Probably from years at a busy reference desk being interrupted dozens of times a day and still managing to bang out quality articles, policies and other things at an alarmingly fast rate. You get used to it, I guess. So I’ve never been one of those “do not disturb” types, you know? However, sometimes – maybe as I get older, I don’t know – I really want my own space. Like, really.
Whenever I read articles or books about the writing process there is almost always a section on the writer’s space and the importance of creating your own space, whether it’s a whole room, one corner of a room, whatever. And I do have these little fantasies of the ideal writing space every once in awhile. I can’t actually describe this space to you because it is so abstract I have to laugh at myself. It’s more of an impression I would say, than an actual plan. Again, odd for me, because I am exceedingly practical, so the idea that I would have this ethereal vision of anything is bananas. But there it is, my elusive perfect writing room.
And I would be lying if I said I didn’t expect my perfect, ideal writing space to make me a better writer. Of course it would, how could it not? With all the amazing details and perfectly crafted stuff that would be in it! And all the other impressions that I have, and fantasies and amazing little whatevers, why I’d win a Pulitzer! /sarcasm (obviously)
But part of me does think that if I had a place to retreat occasionally for deep down writing, I would A) do it more so therefore B) get better at it.
Perhaps what I need to do is walk around my house to see where I might be able to carve out a little spot for writing and blogging. It doesn’t have to be much, it just needs to be mine. And for now, I’ll leave the ball in your court, blogfriends: What is harder for your blogging and other writing, the time or the place? And of course, where do YOU write?