Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Blog About Blogging

In her second place essay for Procrastinating Writers' "How I Overcame My Procrastination This Year" essay contest, Alanna Klapp tells us 
To battle and overcome procrastination on a daily basis, I keep a log, eat a frog and write a blog.
 The "log" part of her formula is adopted from Kelly L. Stone's Time to Write, and consists simply of documenting the amount of time she spends writing each day, and a weekly total goal.  The "frog" she eats should be familiar to regular readers of Put it to Bed.  Ms. Klapp  refers to Brian Tracy's advice, in Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, that we begin our work day by tackling our largest, most important task--our frog.  The "blog" component is Wandering the Mind of Alanna Klapp, which she began, as I began Put it to Bed, in December of 2009. 

Today's post is the 100th for Put it to Bed.  In the nearly five months that I have been writing it, Put it to Bed has served as log, frog and blog.  It seems an appropriate time to reflect on its usefulness for me, and for a few others.  

When it was suggested to me, several times in the past few years, that I consider writing a blog, I demurred, reflecting my total ignorance of the blogging world.  The few blog posts I had run across in the excessive hours I spent online appeared to be 1) the workings of obsessive and sometimes dangerous-sounding persons, or 2) amplifications of all I find repellant in the kind of Facebook posts that celebrate the minutia in the lives of the exceedingly self-focused.  ("[insert photo] cooked an amazing meal using exotic but politically correct ingredients, while her kid was preparing his valedictory address."  Or "[insert photo] wonders how she found the time to add 50 recent publications to her already impressive vita.")

But I was wrong.  So wrong.  And it took Therese Borchard and Julie Powell (in her film persona, played by Amy Adams) to show me that a blog could be real writing.  I have mentioned before how important Therese's Beyond Blue blog has been in dealing with my own mood battles and those of one of my children.  I found it when I was searching online for ways to deal help my child deal with anxiety, and later referenced it for myself.  But I began to read Beyond Blue regularly because of the quality of the writing, as well as the content.  

Around the same time, I saw the movie Julie & Julia, and was caught by the premise that doing a blog was a way to write regularly.  Since I don't cook any more than I have to, and Therese Borchard was already doing a great job covering a subject I know too much about, I spent some time pondering what I could write/blog about.  And it didn't take long to recognize that I know a lot about procrastinating.  And not as much as I wanted to know about not procrastinating.  And thus, with a frisson of excitement and at least as much trepidation, Put it to Bed was born.

This blog has got me writing, and taking myself seriously as a writer.  And it has pushed me in other ways to get off the dime.  And to learn why I sometimes stay planted squarely on said ten-cent coin.  I am reading more, meditating more, thinking more about my important relationships and how I want to spend my time, and exercising regularly.  I am not sure I would have completed my first almost-5K without the public declaration of my intent to do so.  I have learned that I can find/make the time to do what I care about, once I figure out what that is.  

And I have heard from people who have found some value in what I have to say, which is really gratifying.  My following is not deep, but it is wide, extending over several continents--though some find their way to Put it to Bed in search of images or references to themselves and their work.  At least one of my children is a regular reader, and thus gets to experience Mom in a nonparental guise.

All in all, a worthwhile enterprise.  And one that I pledge to continue.  Happy 100th, Put it to Bed!

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