Over the years I have changed when I write the blog.
Originally - wow, quite so long ago that I have almost forgotten - I wrote it when I felt like it. Whenever the idea struck me. This is not a very bad way to get started - but does not lend itself to a regular output.
The change seems to have happened around 2008 when I actually started blogging on a regular basis - probably, as I think back, synonymous with my change in jobs such that I was not having to get up at an incredibly early hour to commute. This is when we moved into the phase of blogging every week day. When did the blogging take place? In the morning, before I left for work (I think this is where the tradition of always publishing at 0400 Pacific Standard Time came from). Blog entries were done as part of the morning routine prior to getting ready for work.
Which was successful - so successful that it ran for seven years before events intervened - simply put, with a change in commuting and being responsible for ensuring certain smaller members of my household got to school on time, I found my mornings getting time crunched. Which has brought us to the third version of the blog: writing the day/night before the post.
I have somewhat mixed reactions about this. On the one hand, I almost feel as if I am losing the spontaneous nature of my writing - before I would just get up and write whatever came to mind. Now, some level of thought (perhaps not much, to be fair) goes into the post. On the bright side, it can give me a greater amount of time to think about what I am posting and occasionally even come up with a good idea - and the time to develop it.
It has become a discipline, this writing five days a week, much as I am sure writing any daily newspaper column has become. It would strike most people funny that a weekday that I am not writing is a very odd day, almost uncomfortable.
Were anyone to ask - if they knew I actually wrote the darn thing - I am sure that question would be "Why?" Not a horrible question - after all, I have stuck with this far longer than would seem reasonable if one was going to become a "break-out" writer (having outlasted many of my contemporaries) and I long ago made a conscious decision to derive no funding from the ever helpful "Alphabet Ads" that are suggested to me. This exercise consumes an 1% of my weekly time of 168 hours (1.5% actually) - not much I suppose, but something to someone who always feels as if there is a little more I could be doing.
Why? I suppose because of a certain innate stubbornness inside of me that tells me to write, that as long I write - anything, even this - I am a writer. And, truth be told, that somewhere inside there is still that nascent hope that if I keep writing enough, maybe that is what I will ultimately be.
But as I think about it - or really as I stream-of-consciousness-ruminate as I am write - I find a second reason as well: the simple fact that as long as a writer has readers - even the ones that manage to show up accidentally or flood one's site in hopes of advertising their wares - one has the chance to make a difference. To change a life. Maybe just to get someone to think in a way they have never thought before.
It has become a discipline, this writing five days of seven, an exercise in determination and perseverance and hope - for myself, that something good eventually does come out of it. For you my readers, that perhaps something I say will make a difference in your life.