On days like this, I both adore and curse my blog. The routine is a morning blog post four days a week. This is actually a fantastic exercise for a number of reasons.
Sitting down to write a blog post is an exercise in self-discipline. This is something I do whether or not I feel like writing a post. That doesn't matter. Hell, even the length of the post is not the point. The point is that every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday there is a blog post that is written.
Practising this self-discipline translates well in to my writing, when I sit myself down in front of a computer and write, whether I feel like it or not. The number of words I write is not the point (though I strive for two thousand a day). The point of the exercise is that I've written that day.
And that, ladies and gents, is how books get written.
Often, I might be struggling a bit with my own thoughts on a topic (currently, I'm struggling through what I think of free speech. When I think I'm close to a solution, I'll be blogging about it). Writing it down permits me to examine it from a multitude of angles without getting lost or distracted from the core topic. The way writing is structured helps in this regard so, so much.
Tackling bigger issues in a blog format helps me discover where I stand on a lot of things; even if the end result is that I'm still undecided. It still feels clearer once I've written everything out.
Oh, how I love getting to vent my frustrations on this blog. It's great. I get to explode at something I find hateful, unfair or utterly stupid, and I get to do it in a space designed for me... by me. I have an added bonus of being about to control what goes on in my space. If someone starts spewing vitriol at me in the comments, all I have to do is hit the delete button and they're gone.
I genuinely don't have a problem with people who disagree with me. I do have a problem with people being venomous morons just because they think hiding behind a computer screen will protect them.
This space is mine, and I am at complete liberty of crafting it to suit me perfectly. This is my space to speak my mind when something is bothering me. I always feel better after having vented.
Sometimes you just need to rage at the world for a bit, you know?
Creating Something Out of Nothing
Arguably, this is what writers do all the time. They might hear an innocuous throw away line from a conversation between two people who passed them on the street, and their mind latches onto it and suddenly there's a whole thriller about how someone is poisoning North Americans using orange chocolate (or something).
Blogging regularly helps me exercise that part of the mind; that part that can find a few hundred words when before there was nothing.
I mean, just look at this blog post. I started by saying I literally didn't have the energy to tackle the things in my head right now, and from nothing pulled out this fairly wordy thing that is today's post.
That might not seem like an impressive skill, and honestly, it's not the handiest skill to acquire unless you're a writer. Or in university (let's be honest). In those cases, being able to pull a few hundred words out of absolutely nothing is wildly important for writers (and university students).
Blogging is actually really excellent for building the skills necessary for being a writer. That's not to say that every writer should blog, of course, merely that I find it super helpful.
And look. Now I've done a complete post.
Now I'm off to work on my art a bit and restart my Welsh language lessons. Afterwards, it's back to writing.