A Pause to Plan

I have come to the conclusion that the major reason that I am finding it so difficult to write a blog post most days is the time of day that I’m setting aside to do it. I have been waiting to blog until right before I go to bed. By then I am tired and not thinking as clearly as I do earlier in the day. I struggle to remember the things that have occurred to me earlier in the day that would indubitably be exciting topics for a blog post.

Life is about making choices. I made an important choice seven years ago when I started writing at 750words.com. In those seven years I have become a much better writer. I have completed NaNoWriMo twice and attempted it two other times. I have written several short stories and hundreds of blog posts.

Almost a year ago I decided to step up my game and commit to writing a blog post daily. I felt like it would have several beneficial effects on me. It would force me to write things to be read by other people. My journal was private. No one but me would ever read it so it didn’t matter what I wrote. When you write for someone else to read, you shoulder a certain amount of responsibility. For example, responsibility for the veracity of what you say when you assert that something is true. You also accept a certain amount of responsibility to entertain, or inform, or both. You must give your reader some reason to read what you’ve written.

At about the same time, I stepped up the quota on my journal entry to a thousand words. Writing longer journal entries helped me learn to sustain longer threads of thought. It has been a productive year.

Now, I find myself feeling a need for a shift in my focus. I want to do some writing to share with a critique group. The experience of reading other people’s writing and giving constructive criticism of it while at the same time having them critique something you’ve written seems like the next step in my development as a writer.

This is going to require me to rethink my schedule. I can’t continue to write approximately fifteen hundred words a day, a thousand word journal entry and an approximately five hundred word blog post, and still have enough time left over to write things for the critique group.

The choice that I face now is what to keep and what to put aside, either for a while or permanently. My blog is something that I want to keep writing but I need to move that writing to a time of day when I have more clarity of thought. My journal entry may need to be repurposed and perhaps made shorter. Perhaps I should use it as a venue for writing a first draft of my blog post. Or perhaps I can use it to write pieces to be critiqued. During NaNoWriMo I used it as the time and place that I set aside to work on my novel so using it for other purposes than journaling is certainly not without precedent.

These are all good thoughts. I need to consider them for a while before I make a decision. I felt like it was the kind of thing that might be of interest to those of you that bother to read my blog. Although it was a bit of navel gazing, it had a clear motivation and it does effect the future direction of this blog (which is in no danger of ceasing publication any time soon.)

As always, let me know what you think. You can post comments on Facebook or Twitter, email me at jkelliemiller at gmail dot com, or talk to me in person if we happen to know each other IRL (In Real Life). I have tried repeatedly to set up comments in WordPress but I haven’t quite figured it out yet. I’ll give that a try again in the near future.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.