The blog has, of late, been mainly a lot of posts about what I've been up to in my day-to-day life. Nothing wrong with that; I always intended this to be a journal of sorts (along with photographs) and it's great to look back and remember where we've been and what we've done.
I also like to have a bit of structure to things. You know, monthly series like Food Memories, Elegant Economy and so on. And I like the odd link-up and collaboration. Structure works for me. I'm a natural worrier and start to get a bit panicky if I feel things starting to slide a little. This probably explains the notebooks and lists. They help me keep track.
So. I've decided to add another regular post to the blog. One that covers the creative process: of writing, photography, inspiration. Of staying (relatively) disciplined. You see, blogging can often be dismissed as a bit of a hobby. It doesn't pay (unless you're extremely lucky). It requires a lot of time and thought but ultimately isn't really a career option for most of us. Oh, that it were. But the fact is, we do it because we enjoy it. These friendships we make, the creative expression, the recording of life's little ups and downs.
I've been thinking about my blogging essentials. You know, like those articles you see where someone empties out their handbag and describes what they need to carry around with them. So as an opener to this series I'm sharing what I, as a seasoned blogger of two-and-a-bit years, see as my must-haves.
Firstly: my camera. It's seen a lot of action and taken a few knocks. It's travelled pretty much everywhere I have. It's quite clunky, being a DSLR, but I'm used to it being part of my person and to be honest I struggle taking photos with my phone - it just doesn't feel right, somehow. So yes. My Nikon D3000. Love it.
Second: the Great Outdoors. If inspiration strikes, it's usually when I'm out and roaming. Although it's pretty normal for me to wake ridiculously early with all kinds of ideas fluttering around in my head too.
Next: notebooks. For post ideas, all those passwords you need online, notes on photo formatting and so on. It's important to get things down on paper before they disappear for ever.
Also: actual tools. Sharp pencils. A very specific type of pen. And my blog schedules, found online and printed out. They're invaluable: they help me remember things and get them in the right order. Oh, and cups of tea are important too.
In terms of staying organised and focused I try not to do too much. You don't have to engage in every social media platform going. I pretty much ignore Twitter these days. Facebook occasionally gets a photo album stuck on my 'professional' page. Instagram: well, I'm getting there. Slowly. I do upload photos onto Tumblr and Pinterest and that's because photography is such an important part of my blog. I also love that aspect of it.
It can be easy for this blogging lark to become a bit of a chore. Sometimes you just don't feel like it, and that's OK. It's not journalism. Nobody's paying you by the word or expecting you to meet a tight deadline. But I find that a bit of organisation helps. Flicking back through my Mitenska notebook often works - I'll find the seed of a post idea and feel inspired to develop that. Other times, I just want to share what's happened during our week. And that's OK too.