(What??!! A non Saturday Morning Post on Saturday??? What happened?? So, so many things. Just get over it.)
Ah. It’s good to be back. *I lean back sipping my London fog and wondering who I am because whenever I go anywhere I always order a chai tea latte but what the heck*
I once more took an accidental hiatus, but who on earth is surprised? I’m not, and though I am back today I certainly can’t promise I’ll be back tomorrow. But it’s Friday (for you dear readers, it is in fact Saturday when this is posted), and I had some extra space in my schedule so I headed to one my favorite coffee shops that I haven’t been to since the fall. It’s a neighborhood place, with people outside on the patio waving to friends that pass on the sidewalk. I’m not actually from the neighborhood though.
I’ll skip the usual hoo-hah about how life is so busy and crazy that I haven’t had time to write a blog etc. I don’t want to write it, you don’t want to read it, so I’ll skip it.
The question is, why do I keep coming back?
I know there was a point way back when (probably around the time I graduated high school) I decided to keep my blog going to build my “writer platform” and I honestly can’t say I’ve kept writing it for the same reason. Yes, it is platform building, and yes, it does help me stay connected to the online writing/book world (or at the very least it reminds me to and it serves as proof of life. Even if I’m constantly ghosting Instagram and Twitter, I am present and accounted for here. For the most part). But the other reason I keep coming back to this blog like a the dog that keeps biting porcupines though every time it does its face gets stuck full of needles, is that it’s good exercise.
(Not attacking the porcupine. That’s a bad idea)
I’ve talked about this before. I would dig through my archives to find where but I haven’t figured out how to connect to the wifi at this coffeeshop and am too introverted to ask. So we’ll just start this topic fresh.
(I’m currently eating this really yummy, vegan, chocolate chip muffin. But the downside is that it’s tremendously sticky and I’m struggling to eat it without turning into a chocolate covered toddler.)
Like anything in life ever, to get good at things take practice, and practice means exercising the skills you’re trying to learn or hone. And striving to write a blog every week has been the best exercise for me for years. (Or one of the best. Journaling is on tier with blogging.)
Yes, it’s about discipline and deadlines etc. But blogging also taught me how to write nonfiction. And honestly, learning to write nonfiction has been one of the most helpful things and has been a total door opener.
If we rewind to high school, the only concept I had of writing nonfiction were essays (which is funny because I had a blog back then, too. I just never really thought about what kind of writing it was). And I was ambivalent to essay writing. Sometimes I had fun, sometimes not so much. (Though, I recently found a binder with a bunch of stuff from high school, and let me tell you I wrote a lot of essays about Little Dorrit). But the thing that held me back from essays the most (and personal essays were hell), was that I felt they had no creativity to them. Purely academic.
Well, flash forward a few years and who knew that essays/nonfiction can be creative. There’s a freaking genre called creative nonfiction.
Blogging (among reading more widely as well), opened the door for me. Because I started to want me blogs to be…better. Funnier. More engaging. Not just “the 5 steps to editing your novel”. I wanted them to have quality.
Which I can’t guarantee this blog has quality because of my over indulgent use of parenthesis.
It’s opened opportunities for me, has made it easier to write bios or personal essays when the time arises. If ever I had to write an essay for something (if I became possessed by the terrible urge to go back to the school), I wouldn’t approach it with dread thinking essays are all substance and no fluff.
Personally, as a reader and writer, I live for the fluff. Not fluff in the sense of unintellectual things, but as the icing, the finishing touches, the something that makes the sponger interesting and tasty. No one wants to eat a plain, flavorless sponge.
So that’s why I keep coming back. Because blogging taught me you can bake a cake and frost it.
(I think this muffin is influencing my cake metaphors. Oops, another parenthesis.)
The sponge needs to be good, but the icing needs to be too. Your story (or essay) needs a good structure. But people aren’t attracted to a cake because they hear it has a sturdy sponge. They are attracted to the look of it.
So ice it up, baby.