On Switching from Columns to Blogs and the Space in Which to Do It

Having contributed to our local newspaper and other publications too many columns to count – and I know because I just organized my office and I found most of them – it’s still easy to forget just how much I produced over the years. If the people I run into while shopping, dining out, etc., are representative, I am humbled. It’s been over a year and I still hear how people miss my work. I miss the readers, too. Whatever it was I decided to put out there on a weekly basis, people were happy with it. That is why I decided to put myself back to work. While I don’t pine for the stress of meeting deadlines or word counts, I think I’m going to enjoy blogging. 

I am what I call a production writer. It’s never been that important to get my self-reflections down, and it’s not the joy of the writing process that draws me to the keyboard. I probably do have a writing process, but I’m not sure what it is. My best work happens when I know it will be read, that it won’t just sit there. It’s knowing that liked or not, my work will be seen by other eyes. I also enjoy the feeling of completion when I finish a project. If I were to identify any other factor it might be that sometimes inner commentary gets better when it becomes outer commentary. These terms will not be found in any textbook, I’m just explaining how my thoughts end up in print.
 
That is why I decided to start this blog to share ideas, recipes and projects. After more than a year, I guess a lot of inner commentary started to pile up. Just as before, for the most part – unless I just CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE – I keep my political and religious views to air in other places. I have them, oh, yes, I do, but I want to enjoy myself, relax, share the latest nature observations and perhaps a chuckle or two, not end up with glasses steamed and pulse pounding. I like the framework timely tasks give the week, knowing I need to have something completed, and that I need to be thinking about what comes next. 

What comes next, really next, is that I have to finish my office redecorating project. Actually, it’s simply decorating, because we just dumped furniture in here when we moved, and it is the last room in the house to garner any attention. It hadn’t been done yet, therefore, I can’t redo it. Our youngest daughter bravely volunteered to spend the weekend and help me paint. If she hadn’t, it would not have even been begun. It was a catalytic act of love and it was all I needed to get ‘er done. I want it to be a calm, quiet, elegant spot where I can work and stay focused. However, achieving calm and focus is difficult when surrounded by the collection of . . . of . . . what do you call this stuff? Life souvenirs? Memorabilia? Treasures? Knickknacks? Junk? All of it probably applies. Throw in sewing and needlecrafts needs, in addition to crafting and artist implements and the usual stationary and office supplies, and it quickly becomes overwhelming. 

It’s not that I am disorganized. I’m actually an organizing savant. My family teases that I put a label on my labeler. It’s just the scope of all the stuff that is required to do the things I love to do. Only, I rarely make the time to do these things anymore. So, with the goal of getting some stuff out of sight until needed, I ruthlessly inventoried everything in here, softly chanting these cheery little mantras loosely to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” "If you haven’t touched it in two years, you never will." or "This object is not the person that you loved."

It worked pretty well, too. Rarely have I gotten rid of something by pitching, recycling or donating and regretted it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, this place is far from assuming the attributes of a prison cell. It’s still pretty cozy and I have already designated one corner of the room as “Critter Corner.” My family will not need a description of Critter Corner. Maybe more on that later.

 Just like my novel, my office is a work in progress.

Just like my novel, my office is a work in progress.