The future, in deadlines

With a change in life comes a change in time. A change in priorities and a change in former habits. With my change in life came a reluctance to take too much time writing for Black Marks on Wood Pulp. This change came two-fold – in an increased amount of work during the day and an increased amount of cute babies at night.

Still, I love this blog. It’s my little sandbox, my voyeuristic travels through cyberspace, my chance to throw sentences left and right in the semblance of logical writing. I can talk about whatever the hell I want, and – fancy this! – people read it. People comment on it. People like me, they really like me.

I’ve found the life changes to be quite draining on the site itself. My updates come less and less frequently. Where I was posting every day, I’m now going weeks with just one throwaway post.

The problem was primarily internal. I began dropping simple posts from the repertoire. I felt them unworthy of reading, too “Personal Bloggish,” too boring to the casual reader. I stopped talking about small news items unless I had something incredibly profound to say. I raised the level of the blog to a more respectable cadence, yet dropped the familiarity I once sought.

In other words, I attempted to make the personal blog impersonal. And with that, I either ran out of things to say or I pushed them back into the recesses of my mind, allowing only the most researched or most “full of raw emotion” posts to see the light of day.

I owe more to you, the reader. And I owe more to me, the writer.

I’ve learned that whenever things go off track, whenever new changes are going to be made, take a look at the original mission of the project. The goal of Black Marks on Wood Pulp, to begin with, was to write every day, even if it was rubbish, even if it was throwaway. The mission was to create a place for my thoughts that could be viewed publicly, taking these metaphorical black marks and turning them into a story that was experienced, even if only by a few.

I had strayed from my mission. It wasn’t to create a blog worthy of the Pulitzer. It was to be myself and talk about myself and the things I liked and all of that. It was, at heart, a personal blog, regardless of the stigma that surrounds it, regardless of the subjects that didn’t appeal to everyone at every time.

Which explains this little meta-post. A flash of Monday inspiration, an answer to a long considered problem. What do I write about when I’m unable to brainstorm? What do I expound upon when I’m no longer thinking constantly about the minutiae that once made up my life?

I’ll do what I do best. I will create a loose schedule of expected deadlines. Yes, deadlines.

Ahh, deadlines. The familiar structure of my everyday life. With that deadline, I become more productive. When I promise, I deliver, especially when my work depends on it. And you, my fair friends, benefit. Those of you who have waded through this self-serving BMOWP update post are the real winners.

Some may see it as lowering my standards; I see it as going back to the heart of my mission.

So here it is. My expected output. My promise to you, the loyal reader that thought it would be worthwhile to travel to the end to this meta-post. The old random stuff will be around. But inspiration will come from the structured posts around it. Old favorites will stay. New columns will embark. Everyone’s a winner, I tell you.

The rough schedule of special articles:

Mondays: A three way rotation of new articles: a sports themed column, single word prompts (or, the On… category) and a new article – 16-Page Reads, a fun little review of one of the Children’s books I find myself reading on a regular basis now.

Wednesdays: A three way rotation of Random StumbleUpon (where I search through StumbleUpon five times and report on the weirdest/funniest site), parenthood thoughts and music.

Fridays: A three way rotation of two old favorites (Random YouTube and Steinbeck on Random) and a new addition – Sierra Picture Day. I tell you, she’s cute. And since this is my blog, I refuse to shy away from talking about my daughter.

Mid month: Special Articles: Once every month around the 15th, I’ll rotate through three articles (ending with four each per year) – Road Oft Traveled, The Top 15/20/100 lists (including one with fellow blogger participation), and another column series yet to be determined.

End of the month: What I’ve Been Reading. Duh.

Therefore, you’ll see eleven guaranteed subjects throughout the four weeks of the month. And I’ll continue to write the usual stuff as I see fit.

Which leads me to the next question. I’m used to brainstorming. So if you have an idea for a column that I’ve totally forgotten, let me know. Throw the brainstorm at the bottom. Help me out with this little experiment. I might steal your idea and replace it with mine.

And if this experiment doesn’t work, at least I gave something new a try.

This was lovingly handwritten on September 10th, 2007