9:25 am, Monday, 13 December, 2010 – Atlanta
I do believe in coincidences: I believe when they happen I should check them out, or pay attention. Last week my son asked if I was going to blog over Christmas. He knew I was traveling to my mom’s and things would be busy preparing for a big family Christmas. I blithely answered: Oh yes, and he was briefly silent. Then I came across an article in Suzannah Freeman’s blog Write it Sideways. The article she wrote is “How to Avoid Blogging Burnout During the Holidays“. I read with interest. I blog and there are about to be holidays.
One of the things she talks about is the audience. Never mind the time I will have to find to write one blog. How about the time you need to read however many blogs you follow. I know that on a normal schedule, the blogs I read faithfully are the ones that arrive in my inbox. They make it easy for me. The ones I read the next most faithfully are the ones who have weekly prompts. And, the ones I would like to get to but it’s hit and miss so far, are all the rest. How many blogs do you follow? Are you going to be able to check them, or do anything other than skim them, until after New Year’s?
Suzannah suggests scaling back, and keeping the posts short. So, starting next Monday, I shall. You may see a few word lists, Wordles and images for a couple of weeks. I will take Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off and that takes us into a weekend. Today, rather than give you mantras to ponder at a time of year when you are juggling several things and your brain may be frantically shouting at you all the things you need to get done, I will give you a general suggestion for focus in the next few weeks and a shoutout.
First the Shoutout: Fiona Robyn, writer of the blog A Handful of Stones, wants to try an idea similar to NaNoWriMo, but with short pieces. She says “a river of stones is an international project to encourage people to engage with the world through writing a short observational piece every day during January”. Whether you write prose or poetry, this works. You can spend a month writing short pieces that you can later turn into poems, short or longer, as the muse takes you.
And, for the next few weeks, this craziness of Christmas, whether you celebrate it or not, happens every year. Look for the small nuggets, the scenes, the images that happen only now and jot them into your journal. You can only collect these ideas, scenes, and images once a year, so look closely. Look at things you have not looked at closely before because your mind assigns it to the craziness of the season. Maybe there is something you missed that would make a great poem. I might just post this paragraph for the next couple of weeks
Tomorrow: an exercise in colour.