The blogging habit: “habit” is the word that matters. If I don’t blog regularly, routinely, as an automatic habit, it’s not gonna happen. It’s easier to decide to blog weekly than to kid myself that I’m still a daily blogger.
Lockdown jolted the rhythm of life for most of us here. Every day in lockdown held a yawning void in place of regular events and spontaneous outings. So every day I did a wonky drawing and almost every day I blogged.
The benefits of a daily exercise like these surprised me. Never a lack of ideas. More a rush to grab an idea before it was displaced by the next one. Daily practice energises, inspires, professionalises, and strengthens you for more creative work. To quote Simon Sweetman, you become match fit. Terrific!
When lockdown ended in New Zealand, the rhythm of life gradually resumed. Now my days, weeks and months are studded with events large and small until, whoops, my blog entries became random. I’m also committed to a big editing job, doing a few pages every day. With this shift, this reversion to normality, comes random posting. And randomness weakens the blogging muscle.
Those outside commitments are precious and important. Like regular practice, they also energise and inspire me. How to find some balance? It ain’t easy! Maybe if I look back over the last week, that will give me some perspective.
A quick trip through last week
Last Monday: started packing for this week’s private concert in Nelson.
Tuesday: Capital Choir is rehearsing our wonderful song cycle based on New Zealand poems. Composer is Felicia Edgecombe. Previous choir members are returning especially for the occasion.
Wednesday. Sacha Copland lent me a red dress for our dance to Autumn from the Four Seasons by Vivaldi. Yay! Now I can rehearse the scarf-wielding section properly.
Thursday. I launched Mary Cresswell’s book of poems, Body Politic, at Unity Books. It’s hard work preparing but we had a good time and launched her ecopoetry into the world.
Friday. I walked to Epuni Street to chat with Simon Sweetman for his podcast, Off the Tracks. Such a gorgeous street in Aro Valley!
Saturday: I discover my book (of poems, for crying out loud) is listed among this week’s best-sellers for The Spinoff. Wow. I also discover the book has sold out and needs a second reprint, fast. What a nice problem to have.
But poems? A best seller? When I walk over Mt Victoria to Hataitai I wonder whether our semi-local aliens have been messing with people’s minds.
Lessons about the blogging habit from one week’s random events
What have I learned from this rushed exercise in weekly blogging—maybe:
- when I’m in a pickle (in this case, not-blogging) doing something is always better than doing nothing
- this week in my life there has been packing, singing, dancing, walking, and working—not a week of lockdown leisure but a week of many pleasures
- my new book How To Be Old is not like my other books: something peculiar is going on here, but what? Selling out in a week? What’s the story, ETs? Are you conducting experiments on my book? If so please tell me what the secret is.