My last post was February SECOND? For real? I don’t think I’ve gone three weeks without blogging since the summer of 2005 when Wonderboy had an unexpected surgery. Even when we moved cross-country and I spent weeks on the road alone with four little kids and an infant, I found time to toss up some short updates. It’s not that I’m busier, really—although I am seriously busy. But I was busy then too. It’s about daily rhythm and habit. I used to start the writing part of my day with a 20-minute blog entry. For years and years, that was my transition from homeschooling mom to working writer. It worked beeyootifully for nearly eleven years: spend the day with the kids, then write about the kids for a bit, and I’d be in writing mode and ready to work.
We rearranged our schedule last…summer? spring? Instead of one big six-hour block of work (writing) time, I now have a four-hour block in the afternoon, then an hour or two off for dinner and whatnot, then back at work from 7:30-9:30. When we made this shift, which has worked out well in many respects, I started reserving the evening block for blogging and various busywork tasks—paying bills, updating the website, answering emails, and so forth. I tried to save the last 30 minutes for sketching, and for the most part I’ve been successful with that. But the reality is that I need more than four hours a day for writing-work. So after dinner instead of blogging, I’ve been doing the other kinds of writing and editing that make up my workday. I’ll blog at the end, I think, and then…don’t. I’ve filled up three and a half sketchbooks, though, which feels good. I understand that I needed to take this time, need to keep taking it, to develop a sketchbook practice. I spent way too many years wishing I could draw instead of learning to draw, and I’m glad I’ve put in the effort these past 18 months. A year from now, ten years from now, I know I’ll be grateful I cultivated the habit.
Ah, but I miss Bonny Glen. The chronicle, the discussions, the community. I miss blogging and reading blogs (because that too has slipped to an occasional activity). I miss you guys!
Okay, now I’m laughing because I’m making it sound like I haven’t blogged in YEARS instead of a few weeks. When you’ve done something on a near-daily basis for over a decade, it’s reasonable to take a little vacation. 🙂 It just wasn’t planned, is all. This morning I was thinking about how quickly one habit (blogging daily) can be replaced by another (not blogging). I didn’t even think about writing a post yesterday, and today that fact startled me. My habits have shifted when I wasn’t paying attention. Sneaky little things, habits.
I’ve tried a few strategies for rebuilding the blog habit, this past year, like the weekly roundups of our reading. But those cross over into work territory, and I can’t have that. This blog must be the antithesis of work: no pressure, no obligation, just chronicle and fun. I’m greedy for that chronicle, though! I don’t want three weeks to become three months, three years. In three years, Huck will be ten, Rilla twelve, Wonderboy FIFTEEN, for Pete’s sake. (I just gave myself a heart attack. And holy cats does that boy need a new blog name.)
Well, the timing is good for me to revisit my approach, since I need to dig into my archives here anyway…I’m mining our past for good stuff I did with my older set when they were little. Today was a vintage Bonny Glen morning: first Rilla gave Huck an impromptu piano lesson and played chords to his melody (“I’m learning how to sight-see, Mom”); then a quick Michael’s run for 2-for-1 sketchbooks plus another 20% off—jackpot! Then home where we messed around on Google Maps for a while (they “drove” via street view all the way from our house to piano class); then a geocaching excursion and another two finds logged. Home again, where they made scrambled eggs for lunch. Now she’s reading Warriors and he’s reading Calvin & Hobbes. A lovely low-tide day for my littles. Beanie is off on an all-day field to the Gem Institute in Carlsbad. I have a full deck this afternoon (boy, do I ever) and I ought to get started. But this was good. Let’s do this again.
Sounds like nighttime isn’t the right time slot for you for blogging, even though it’s working for other types of writing. I also recently went through this, finding my rhythm for when to blog. I tried to change it to a night, but realised early mornings were far more productive for me, so moved my blog writing time back to then.
Yes if I had my time again I’d give my older children more ‘growing with them’ blog names, which I have done with the younger children. My 20yr old said the other day, maybe it’s time I had a more ‘grown up’ blog name, his is Carpenter, but then he decided to keep it for a bit longer as he’d just started a job as a Carpenter.
Great to have one of your posts pop up in my feedly again 🙂
On February 25, 2016 at 3:13 pm
WONDERBOY IS NOT GOING TO BE FIFTEEN!!!
Nope nope nope nope nope
On February 25, 2016 at 3:43 pm
Melissa Wiley says:
In three years. 🙂 Maybe by then I’ll be used to the idea!
On February 25, 2016 at 3:59 pm
Oh yikes! He’s the same age as my son, who seems to feel that growing up in inevitable and I should just get used to the idea.
On February 25, 2016 at 9:25 pm
Holy Cat should be Wonderboy’s new blog name. Still has the other worldly feel, but with some claws to it too. 🙂
On February 25, 2016 at 4:03 pm
I wondered where you had gone! So glad you are doing well and getting in sketch time! 🙂 I like your “blog philosophy”…”This blog must be the antithesis of work: no pressure, no obligation, just chronicle and fun. ” Amen!!!
On February 25, 2016 at 5:38 pm
Anne Marie Pace says:
If Wonderboy is going to be fifteen, then he’s twelve, and then that means you moved way too long ago.
On February 25, 2016 at 6:51 pm
You’ve been missed 🙂 But its too hard to conceive of how fast these children grow up!
On February 25, 2016 at 8:56 pm
Oh I’ve missed you, but i do know how busy you are and also how challenging it can be to blog when one’s “sweet spot” for daily blogging time has been supplanted by something else …. All these kids with the growing!!! Next year, in 2017, just next year my Callie will be 18 ….!! I ask you ….
On February 26, 2016 at 5:53 am
I refuse to stop having children, which is my way of planning for the future. My goal is to have less than a five year gap between youngest child of mine and oldest grandchild. Now, if I can only get the teenagers to commit to said plan… The oldest will be 22 when the youngest is 5, come on, 22 is a fine age to have a baby, amirite? No pressure, no pressure.
On February 26, 2016 at 9:33 am