At the start of this year, I resolved to "write something useful every day". Today, I'm halfway there.
Well, halfway there in terms of posting every day. While I've tried to stay useful, I feel as if I have also sputtered of late, something that bowerbird, my most consistent source for comments, pointed out in a recent exchange.
When I first made the resolution, I harkened back to my three guideposts for writing here: link out; add value; and be constructive. Posting every day, some repetition and refinement is probably the norm, but posting consistently has taught me some things along the way.
Chief among these: writing every day makes it easier to write. This isn't just a function of "practice makes perfect". Single pieces may sometimes stand on their own, but any given post can also refine or extend an idea in small ways.
Frequency also demands an external focus that takes me out of my (paid) responsibilities. This has led me to broaden the range of periodicals, books and web sites I read, on its own a good thing. It has also made me think outside of the containers I'd used to set up the blog in 2009.
Posting each day also allows a bit more risk. In that sense, I admire what Laura Dawson does on her blog. Publishing posts abound, but they trade elbows with her thoughts about family, pets, gardening and much more.
If you know Laura, you know that her writing reflects her spirit. If you don't know Laura, read her posts and you'll soon change that.
Reading her work clarified something that I'd struggled with in the last few months. Writing every day, I have trouble hiding my occasional despair for things publishing. I may not be right, but believing (as I do) that radical change is required makes it hard to cover the industry in hopeful terms.
Still, harping on what's not working gets old, fast. Recognizing this brought to mind the lyrics of a song by Josh Ritter:
So throw away those lamentations
We both know them all too well
If there's a book of jubilations
We'll have to write it for ourselves
So, at this halfway point, I'll keep the original resolution and add one more: focus more on building solutions. I have an idea I am working on for a fall presentation; it seems like just the place to start.
And.. thanks for reading. An idea doesn't do much good if it isn't shared with someone.