Why do I do it? It feels right. For example:
- I am productive, creative, and sometimes even influential when I blog.
- I become engaged in life, as opposed to dispassionate about life.
- I feel that I am sometimes helping people when I do it, and this makes me all warm inside.
- Against my better judgment, and despite the knowledge that I should not base my happiness on the approval of others, I relish the positive feedback I receive.
- I am networking and meeting people when I do it, and this satisfies my modest need for human contact, much of which had been lost when I stopped working.
- Since I’m an introvert, and rarely initiate communications with others, this is a way for me to update friends and loved ones about what is going on in my life and/or in my head. This way, I need not take any drastic action like picking up the phone and calling someone. Oftentimes even Kim learns what I’m thinking through my posts.
- I’m able to learn useful and interesting things from readers’ comments and emails.
- I’ve become introspective through the process of collecting, organizing, and acknowledging my thoughts and feelings before I write them down, as opposed to running on emotional autopilot (which I am prone to do at times). I’m not certain, however, that this is always a good thing. Ignorance and denial have a certain appeal in the world of the chronically ill.
I sit by the ocean and wait for inspiration to strike. No, not really…
I have a Microsoft Word file where I keep all of my future posts, half written posts, poorly written posts, and posts I may never post. I try to publish at least once per week. To meet this goal I begin formulating my post on the weekend or early in the week, whenever an idea emerges from the recesses of my brain, or maybe from something I read, heard, or watched.
I go to my Microsoft Word file, and I start writing, which for me is actually dictating using a program called Dragon Naturally Speaking. My first pass is sometimes just a collection of random ideas, or it may be a lengthy narrative. But either way, it’s utterly unreadable and suitable for my eyes only. Then, over a period of a few days I keep going back to the piece several times a day and make another pass at it, each time improving it a little more. If the piece is long, I try to cut it to below 1000 words, or under 800 words if I can. Interestingly, this paring process usually improves the quality of the piece at the same time it reduces the quantity of words. I try to take the perspective of the reader. Am I being clear and unambiguous? Will the reader give a damn about what I am writing? Can I be more succinct?
I usually post in the evening. Earlier in that same day I put the finishing touches on my writing. Sometime after dinner, when I think I have it ready for publishing I email it to Kim, who is likely sitting on the couch about 5 feet away, for review and proofreading. It’s funny, even though I may have read over a piece twenty times, Kim can find a glaring grammatical error that I missed in each of those passes. It’s a classic forest and trees situation.
Once Kim has helped me find any errors, awkward sentences, or outright lies, I make the final edits in Microsoft Word. I then add graphics and hyperlinks, and generally jump through a bunch of hoops to get the product from Microsoft Word to my blog page.
When I’m ready, I click the Publish button, and the post goes live.
I have a couple of programs that I use to monitor traffic at my website. Don’t worry; I can’t see your name, IP address, or what you are wearing when you visit my blog. But I can see where you are visiting me from, and how you got to my website (Google search, hyperlink from another website, Facebook, etc). I particularly enjoy the comments and the emails that I receive from you. Keep them coming. Don’t be shy.
Thanks for being a reader.
This is the sixth in a series of posts about how a disabled person like me passes the time at home, now that I no longer work.
Here are my other posts in this series:
1. I Watch (mostly) Quality Television
2. I Digitize and Archive Family Photos and Videos
3. I Read Books
4. I Attend Courses at Top Universities (sort of)
5. I Nap
7. I Read Other People's Blogs