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Monday, April 26, 2010

Failing to Plan, Not Planning to Fail

All Saturday and Sunday, I hoped to get ahead of Middle Passages for the week. The schedule will be full and writing a post or two in advance would free up some time. I am aware that some of the reigning masters of the blogosphere, write their weekly posts in one sitting and portion them out day-by-day. I bow down to their planning and, well, their planning. As more of a proverbial, by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal, occasionally I jot ideas down for future posts, but as of now, I’ve used those up. In truth, the vast majority of topics for Middle Passages come to me the day of, or even while I’m writing, and with appointments almost every day this week, it seemed like getting a jump on a post or two would remove some last minute stress from the agenda.

With that in mind, Saturday, while I transplanted Foxgloves and Jacob’s ladder, hacked out the ferns overtaking the day lilies, raked up a million pine cones, turned my arms to jelly trying to scrape green moss from our patio pavers and lugged piles of winter debris to the mulch pile, I thought about what to write for your reading pleasure. Sorry to say folks, I came up with nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. For a brief moment, as I stooped down low to remove dandelions at the roots, a “digging deep” theme hovered, but it floated away like the cotton seed-heads would have in a few weeks, if I had left the yellow weeds alone.

There was still time though. Yesterday, as I grocery shopped, baked gingersnaps for the senior center coffee scheduled for this morning and, I confess, sat in church during a late afternoon service, I thought about what to write. I failed to pray for an idea though; maybe that’s where things went wrong. Even while draining pasta for dinner last night I felt confident that I could still squeak out a post if only I had something to say. Falling asleep on the sofa at 8:00 did not help with this mission.

Here's the thing. In spite of my inability to conjure up a blurb for Middle Passages, it was a good writing weekend. Between Friday night and Monday morning, I wrote six pages of Morning Pages as directed by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. And, with out planning to (hmm...), in place of Morning Pages on Saturday, (at Simon's suggestion, see below) I wrote a bit of flash fiction based on a daydream I created to put myself to sleep the night before. Try as I might though, I could not come up with a blog post.

So there you have it. A not post. The best I could do. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

How about you? Do you plan your posts in advance?

Contest Alert!
Two of my favorite bloggers, who are both both clever, witty, funny and above all, talented writers are holding contests, if you are so inclined. Simon, over at Constant Revision is holding a contest to celebrate 250 followers, and Carol, over at Carol's Prints is celebrating 300 followers. Stop over for some fun...oh, and prizes too! If you do visit Simon or Carol and decide to follow them, please let them know that I sent you! ;)


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not bad for a non-post.

I plan mine a couple days in advance. I hate pressure.

glnroz said...

That was a pretty good "Winging it" post. I can think of the most clever topics while I am doing something else then I sit down at the computer and ZOOMM,, they have escaped... Then all I could say is "Dad-Gum",,

Sharon said...

This "not a post" was a lovely trip through your routine. I find comfort in sharing the mundane parts of life through your writing.

Robin said...

I often find inspiration in the shower. However, your posting on your ability to not find subject was still interesting. How do you do that????

Andria said...

I sometimes will carry a thought for a post with me for days, even weeks, before I get around to writing it. Most of the time, however, my blog posts are spur-of-the-moment "ah-ha!" moments.

Thank you for making a comment on my blog and becoming a follower! I'll certainly follow you as well. (Doesn't that kind of sound like a stalker?)

Helen Ginger said...

I try to plan ahead. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. The key is not to stress about it, I've decided.

Straight From Hel

Elana Johnson said...

I have to. I'm not creative spontaneously. Which totally goes against my writing life, but there you go. I view blogging as different from writing my novels, though. So I have to tweak and rewrite and tweak some more. And that only happens if I'm scheduled.

Umā said...

Depends what the weekend weather is like ; ) Some nights after work though, if there's something I want to write about I spend the whole night on the couch, typing away. Not healthy but sometimes it feels necessary.

Yvonne Osborne said...

A non post post? Hmmm I might have to borrow the idea! I don't have a set schedule. When I get an idea I think worth sharing I put it down in draft form. I try to be mindful of my audience. I've been posting 2-3 times a week. The only thing I've been posting on a regular basis laltely is the Flash Friday 55 which is kinda fun and forces you to be mindful of word count because I can get carried away... As for contests...there just aren't enough hours in the day. I'm supposed to be querying agents.

Arlee Bird said...

I like to try to plan in advance, but usually only manage doing them the day before. Back before Christmas I set up 3 weeks worth of posts ahead of time to post automatically while I was on vacation. It worked great but it was some intensive writing and I wasn't commenting as much then as I am now. But I would like to set up advance posts a little more often.

May 3rd A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the promo, Liza. Much appreciated! Also, I've been considering reading my wife's copy of *The Artist's Way*, but have to, uh, curb my late-night habit to make that work. We'll have to see about that....

P.S. Word verification is "tables." That's dreadfully dull, Blogger. Please do better next time. kthxbai.