Every week at this time I drive my daughters to their riding lesson, which is far enough from home that it’s better for me to hang out with a latte at a cafe and use it for a writing studio. Morning energy, a few shots of caffeine, and no one needing me for over an hour–lovely. I have a prepaid coffee card and the barista now knows my name. Background of voices not addressed to me, inoffensive radio, banging espresso tools. I read a favorite blog or two, then get working at those draft posts.
What’s great about blogging is that it’s (pretty much) free, offers access to a huge readership, and the folks who like your work often have forgiving standards, many being aspiring writers themselves. Reminds me of busking–no booking, no stage, no reputation, just walk downtown, open the guitar case, and start singing “Heart of Gold.” Passersby may or may not respond, but if a few stop to listen, even just at the edge on the line of vision, it’s worth it. Some even drop money in the case. I used to do that back in Halifax to earn pocket money in my undergrad years. Blogging is a lot like that–you put out what you have, get some visitors, a few readers Follow, Likes pop up in the mailbox.
But there’s a nagging feeling it’s time to get serious. Blogging is therapy–God knows I need that, but where will I go with this writing thing? It’s too easy, too eclectic, too occasional. Yes, I left Facebook behind and am trying to write something more substantial, but I know I need to put more thought and planning into this. What’s my niche? I ain’t no fresh-faced grad, free to go wherever, spend 24/6 building a new career, do an internship. Going to school to hone my writing and publishing skills and give me an expert status in my field is a possibility, but not so simple these days. Money issues, commitments as a mom and home manager, and I have friends I haven’t called in months. It’s not that I need to support the family financially, though I can help with that a bit now. But neither can I take the family off to New York so I can do a masters at Steinhardt. Got to build something here.
I need mentors, and to somehow find more undistracted time to set out my goals and refine my vision. Lots of mentoring available on the web, but I feel the need for real people. I’m interested in so many things, need help distilling my stage one writing purpose. Should I go to one of those “unleash the creativity within” workshops? Maybe they’re not so flaky after all.
That’s the season I’m in. I hope it bears fruit.