Change is good.
It’s taken me a long time to get used to that idea. I remember when my grandparents cut down the tree in their front yard and I threw a conniption. They kept telling me about how the tree was ugly (true) because it was sick (true) and how it was hurting the rest of the yard (maybe true?), but I didn’t want to hear any of it. I just wanted things to stay the same forever. But they didn’t, of course.
Is that what growing up means? Wow, this just took a real philosophical turn that I wasn’t expecting, but let’s run with it. Is growing up simply the idea that change is an insurmountable, unavoidable, necessary fact of life and well, you better get used to it? Resistance is futile! In all seriousness, though, it’s good to sit back and look at how changes have affected you, to see if everything you are doing is still exactly what you want to be doing. I only have so much free time and, frankly, I want to spend it in the best way possible.
Now, don’t worry, I know this sounds like I’m gearing up to tell you that I’m not going to blog anymore, but that’s not why I’m here. I want to keep blogging, I want to keep writing. Writing is a fundamental part of who I am, whether it is writing poetry, writing in a diary or writing blog posts. But at a certain point, I have to take a step back and really, seriously examine the writing I’m doing. Is it really the best use of my time?
I think the reality is that the answer is no. Regular Rumination has become a comfortable place, where I rarely challenge myself. I write book reviews and sometimes a personal post or two, but it’s always safe. I don’t ruffle feathers. I don’t work at Regular Rumination, like I did in the beginning. I’ve let it get stagnant.
Maybe that was what I needed for a while, but my life has changed. I will have a more organized life and schedule once I have a job. I will be able to set aside time every day to write and I want to make sure that I write every day. I read something interesting, something that really resonated with me. It was on an article called “9 Reasons Your Blog Isn’t Bringing You Clients.” Now, I don’t want my blog to bring me clients. I am not even sure why I clicked on this link, but honestly it has given me the kick start that I needed. Here’s the first reason:
1) You’re acting like an amateur instead of a professional.
Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art, talks about Resistance and the difference between amateurs and pros.
Amateurs write when inspired.
Pros write when inspired, but luckily, inspiration always strikes at 9am.
Well – it doesn’t, but the point he makes is that writing is about consistency. The hardest thing to do isn’t to write, but to sit down and prepare for it.
What you can do:
#1:Pick a time of the day and sit down in front of your computer for 10 minutes with all other browser windows closed. Whether you write a line or 10, don’t get up till your time’s up.
#2:Keep a draft folder of all your ideas in your wordpress dashboard, a folder on your computer and in a little notebook that you carry with you. When you’re stuck for ideas, go through them & pick.
# 3: On a day you’re feeling really inspired, stock up on writing 2-3 blog posts and schedule them for later dates.
In the world where amateur simply means that this blog does not make money, Regular Rumination will probably always be an amateur blog. But it terms of professionalism and making Regular Rumination an absolutely essential part of my daily routine, honing and practicing my writing skills, is what’s really important to me right now. There may come a day when I start to write something else and when that happens, Regular Rumination will probably become that safe place again, where I can turn to it and write a review when I feel like it.
That brings me to my next point. I don’t want Regular Rumination to be a place that is just about book reviews. I want to write personal posts, I want to write opinion pieces, I want to link you to relevant information about our community and the book community in general. This blog has to go beyond just book reviews, and I sincerely hope it will.
None of this is a criticism of how other people run their blogs. I read plenty of blogs that just write reviews and I love them. I read blogs that don’t write any reviews, that rarely talk about books, and I love those, too. I don’t want to lose site of the fact that my blog is my space. If what I need right now is to work on being a better writer and, therefore, a better blogger, then that is what I will do.
I hope you’ll begin to see these changes to Regular Rumination in the coming weeks. It’s going to take a little while for them to really start to get off the ground and running, but I hope that we’ll be the better for it. Change is good, remember?
As always, thank you for reading. I wouldn’t be the same without you.