Report From PIA – January 31
I’m at the six-month mark in my commitment to post a Report From PIA every day. It was cold outside today, but the sky was a clear blue and the sun, still low in the sky, lit up every plant that hasn’t gone to ground for the winter. I especially appreciated the Sedum and Sempervivum this afternoon, because they add color to the bare ground, so I took some pictures for today’s entry.
Blogging every day has been work, no doubt about it. Since I’m a writer, I can’t be content with something dashed off and posted; I write, edit, rewrite, and rewrite again. For me, part of the challenge is to put enough down to convey what I want to say, but to get rid of all the extra words. Believe me, there are always extra words.
One of my core beliefs is that the good stuff usually takes some effort. Posting every day is work, but like gardening, that labor brings gifts beyond what you set out to create.
Daily blogging is a good writing exercise. Saying publicly that you intend to post daily provides the discipline to sit down, consider thoughtfully, organize your musings and write them down. I have never kept a daily journal, nor decided to regularly write from one perspective, but this blog gives me a reason, and the self-control, to do that.
Knowing that I need to post daily means that I’m constantly keeping my antennae up. This is the biggest gift in this whole exercise. I need to be alert, watching for things that are especially interesting or thought provoking. I have to be more reflective and look at my daily experiences from a variety of viewpoints. Writing on a daily basis keeps me awake.
Because I choose to use photographs as part of my posts, blogging regularly sharpens my vision as well. I need to grab my camera and see what’s there, even on days when I’m feeling lazy, or when the weather isn’t very welcoming. I am prompted to look at my gardens (real and metaphorical) more closely, and to pay attention, both to the little things and the overall landscape.
Blogging every day has introduced me to new people that I probably wouldn’t have connected with had they not found something interesting here. It’s kept me in touch with friends, who tell me that they stop by frequently, even if they don’t always comment. Thanks, guys! I believe that our lives are enriched by these connections.
Because I want to increase such contacts, I started to use facebook and twitter each day as well, and love how these digital “back fences” turn the world into a small town.
Writing a daily post is also an exercise in faith. Most days I have no idea what I’ll write about, and I walk through the day believing that the subject of the day will appear. It always has.
Daily blog posting has made me rich and famous. Not really…just seeing if you’re paying attention. Although I can truly say that all of the above is a type of wealth, so perhaps writing daily has made me prosperous after all. I’m hoping that this blog continues to connect me with others. It may give those who want to hire me as a speaker, or publish future books, a better understanding of how I connect gardening with the rest of life. It may be a path to a destination that I don’t yet see.
So here, at the halfway point, I’m thinking that I may not stop this practice when I reach the end of August. I’ve grown fond of my readers and being more open to inspiration. Like the Sedum and Sempervivum that I photographed today, my daily posts add color to my life.