This is one of those posts about posting. I hope you’ll forgive my bit of self indulgence today.
As I write this, I currently have nine already-drafted posts waiting their turns in the queue to be published. So I’ve written this more than a week ago, based on when you are reading it. I have another two drafts that are not yet ready. And I have another two photos to be uploaded for drafts yet to be started. I lie awake at night thinking of posts I should make. I prowl Roundrock looking for photos that will make nice entries. I worry constantly about not having a fresh post waiting for you to read each morning. I fear that soon I will run out of things to say about Roundrock. Or worse, that I’ll start repeating myself and not even realize it. This blog has become a primary feature of my mental journey each day. Should I seek help?
Because I write posts for so far into the future, it is sometimes hard to be timely. Oftimes I find myself bumping a post to a date farther into the future so I can use its former date for a new posting that seems more suited to that date for whatever reason. (Birthdays. Holidays. Anniversaries.) Therefore, the number assigned by WordPress to each post can get oddly out of sequence.
I’m not sure, but I think I have recently passed 200 posts to Roundrock Journal. (Wait for cheering to subside.) I could go back and manually count the posts, but I’ll rely on WordPress to assure me I’ve reached this milestone. Even if I haven’t, I’m close enuf. In any case, let me say that I am once again astonished to have reached this far. When I started down this road, I didn’t expect to make daily postings. I thought I would do as many other bloggers do and make a new post every few days. That would be sufficient. But the gates of my delirium opened and the words have poured out. (I leave it to you to decide whether the words are any good.) And here I find myself with this daily obligation. It’s an obligation as much to myself as to you, gentle reader.
For those of us who scribble as a hobby, a blog can be a wonderful thing, and for me it mostly has been. For one thing, it allows me to do the “warm-up” writing that I find is essential. (My children lament to me when they have to write a five-page paper for one of their college classes. Five pages is just warming up. Give me a ten-page paper if you want good writing, and then I’ll edit it down to five pages so it is even better). If I should rise at an unholy hour on a Saturday morning with the specific intent of writing productively, I’m glad to have Roundrock Journal and my self-imposed obligation. I can crack open the blog and draft one or two posts for some future date. That greases the mental wheels, and I can then drift into my other writing with momentum. (“Drift” and “momentum” used together like that probably confuse the metaphor.) The nice thing about writing posts for so far in the future is that I have ample time to revisit each piece and fine tune it. Writing is rewriting; so saith the old saying. Once again, I’ll leave it to you to decide how well I’ve done.
Blogging also gives me something other writing rarely provides: immediate feedback. When you leave your gracious and generous comments to my posts, I have the chance to see if I’ve made my point. Or if I’ve made some point I didn’t realize. Or if I had no point. I get to see if my phrasing was clear. If my facts were presented well. If my tone did the job I envisioned. If you say something that gets the facts altogether wrong (well, not you, but other commentors) — and it has happened — then this is my fault for not stressing the facts properly. I can then re-read what I have written to see how it has gone astray. This is an uncommon opportunity for a writer (editors, in general, not knowing what they are talking about!).
I must confess that it still bugs me a bit to find that my off-topic posts tend to get more responses than the Roundrock-specific entries. Although I do see this blog as an account of a particular man’s adventures in a little bit of forest on the edge of the Missouri Ozarks, and thus some of my personality and ambition deserves to creep in, it really seems that posts about my life in suburbia and my hometown are out of place. Yet y’all like them. And so I have concluded that I shall, reluctantly, spread a few more such posts into Roundrock Journal from time to time. (If nothing else, it will help me meet my daily obligation.)
And so I find that Roundrock has delivered yet another treasure to me. Along with the countless hours of wandering in an ever-changing woods, the discoveries and surprises, the scheming and dreaming, the slow and halting education I am receiving, the satisfaction of physical labor, the break from the routine and mundane of daily living, and the unmatched time with my bride in a nurturing setting we both love, Roundrock has given me another way to enjoy it. Blogging has become part of the adventure.