My neighbor Sheila stopped by yesterday. She occasionally helps me out around the house when I get so overwhelmed with things, I can’t keep up. If it wasn’t for her I’d never get through my “Job+Job+Job” situation. She and her best guy, Jon are also kind enough to look after the birds when I have an overnight trip.
Writing for “Bird Talk,” “The Bird Channel,” keeping up my blog, “Parrot Nation,” and flying full-time takes time; lots of it. I once had to explain to my birds that while it appeared that I was simply sitting and staring at my computer, I was actually doing something called “writing.”
It’s not easy. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that when you have birds, you are popping up every five minutes to either clean something, move something, or chase down a bird that has decided to amble down the hall or get into a waste basket. I cannot sit down for five minutes without having to get back up to do something; like get Parker back up to his stand when he’d rather screw around with a water bottle:
This does not work well when I’m writing because by the time I get back to my laptop, I forgot what I was writing about.
I was showing Sheila my blog and while she liked it just fine, she mentioned that she wanted to start a blog as well. That’s all well and good and I asked her what she was going to write about. Sheila was a little vague. I’m not sure she even knew.
Now I’m all for people beginning to write. I happen to love writing and encourage people to write all the time. It doesn’t matter what you write about, the more you do it, the better you tend to get. I see blogs lying around the internet that haven’t been updated in ages and it’s sad. They usually begin so strong and people are so enthusiastic. Then they tend to run out of steam along the way or they lose interest. Or don’t have the time. Or can’t figure out what to write about. Or they just don’t want to do it anymore because it’s too much work. Gee, it sounds similar to people who get a parrot and then realize what they’ve gotten themselves into. This is an interesting article from the N.Y. Times published June of 2009 about abandoned blogs:
Many people begin a blog but soon realize that in order for it to be a viable contribution to the world, you actually have to work on it. Writing isn’t easy. The only easy thing about writing is that you pretty much have to be seated in order to accomplish anything.
Patrick Dennis is one of my favorite authors:
I just love most of his work and he was quite an interesting (read: colorful, vivid, and brilliant) person. After he retired from writing, he became the butler for McDonald’s Founder Ray Kroc. If the name rings a bell, it’s because he wrote Auntie Mame. He also wrote my all-time favorite book, The Joyous Season. Written from the point of view of a ten year-old boy, (We probably dressed similarly…) this book never really made it big, but it is so clever, so smart-ass, and so witty that it captured my heart when I was a kid and I never got tired of it. But Dennis must have run out of gas because he just simply stopped writing. One of my all-time favorite quotes about writing was from Patrick Dennis:
“Writing isn’t hard. It isn’t any harder than ditch-digging.”
I like to think he might have kept writing if he had a blog. Writing is hard work if you do it diligently with a purpose. It’s also difficult to do every day when you have to come up with a subject to write about out of thin air. But the more you do it, the better you become. But if you start a blog, be prepared to stick with it. And it helps to understand that it’s not as easy as it looks.
Patricia Sund is a Free-Lance Writer residing in Florida with her three African Greys. She has been published in About.com, Bird Talk Magazine, Birds USA, In Your Flock Magazine, Good Bird Magazine as well as numerous websites and newsletters. She is currently doing research for a book titled "Parrot Nation".