Yesterday was the first session of a ‘Build your social web presence’ course I’m teaching at New Writing South, and the common question of how does one find the time to blog came up. Fellow bloggers, how would you answer this? Do you set time aside to blog, or just fit it in when you can? Do you have a schedule, or simply blog when you’ve got something to say?
As we talked about it, I said that actually not only do you find the time, you enjoy finding it – and that blogging and tweeting has helped improve my writing and my writing process. (I suppose it’s not always the case – it depends whether you’re blogging on a topic you feel strongly about. I’ve blogged on behalf of clients in the past and it’s not always easy to find enthusiasm for pallets or lanyards.)
Although it’s not a great idea to stop blogging for months on end – it might look like you left the country, or the world – I don’t think it’s worth stressing about things like how often, or how long a post should be, etc. But we all like rules, even if they’re rules of thumb.
I’m really enjoying writing this current book, a handbook on the theme of ‘blogging for writers’. Already I’ve made contact with many brilliant writer-bloggers and it’s great fun pulling together all the wisdom and ideas out there. I’m two-thirds of the way through and on target to deliver the bulk of it by Easter. After that … another book! So it’s all about blogging at the moment.
BUT I’m making time for poetry too. I’ve been thinking about how I need to step back a bit from submissions-fever and spend time working on (DUH) writing better poetry. Just chill out a bit. Take my time. Read the greats. Resist reaching for the notebook or getting on the laptop. Enjoy the writing I am doing, even if it’s not poetry. This is a very new feeling for me, and I can only put it down to the joy of having created a pamphlet and a permanent home for my ‘first wave’ poems. All my ideas now are not ‘poem shaped’ but ‘collection shaped’, which feels more substantial and worth taking time over.