When I Can

Hello blog.

Honestly, I don’t know how to start you – to start this blog and keep it going. It’s been almost 8 months since I wrote something here, and even that something is about the intent to overcome inertia which didn’t really came into fruition.

Is it really so hard to start a blog and maintain it?

I’m a work-at-home mom. I have a 2 year-old daughter, Yani, who can be clingy and needy if I let her, and a babysitter who takes care of her during the day so I can work. At night, when the nanny goes home, I am left with baby’s care. Often, we play or read books or watch her favorite YouTube videos. Then when I feel that she’s winding down, I watch movies on my laptop while I nurse her to sleep.

Sometimes, she can be so sneaky and would sprang back to life after breastfeeding and stay up late (like 11pm late). This means that my movie time would often be interrupted by different pleas to get out of the room, or watch something else on YouTube, or read more books – all of which I would oblige to in hopes that all these will tire her out and she will finally fall asleep (and I can get back to finish watching the movie – that is, if I can still keep my eyes open). But when I’m lucky, she’ll start her journey to dreamland right away and I would be able to understand and finish the movie before I myself become sleepy.

It is during this end-of-the-day movie indulgence that I often find myself thinking, “Should I just write a blog post instead? Am I wasting precious time watching movies when I could have used it to keep this blog updated?” Honestly, I don’t know. And I always choose to continue watching the movies anyway, instead of turning them off to write a post. So I guess that shows my priorities, eh? Or maybe, it’s not that simple.

Watching a movie vs writing a post, let’s try to dissect this a little bit.

Watching a movie is a mindless activity. It can be relaxing (although not always calming) or stimulating (depending on the movie I’m watching). But in general, it is a pretty dumb activity – a way for me to keep my brain busy but not engaged. It’s like doing light exercises at night to relax and tire your muscles at the same time to help you sleep better. I have to choose the movies I watch at night though and make sure they are not too disturbing or emotional. I like feel good movies or Sci-fi/adventure flicks because they are easy to digest and won’t provoke any unwanted emotions that might stimulate my mind and keep me awake and thinking. I stay away from heavy dramas and horror films for obvious reason.

Writing a post is the opposite of a mindless activity. It requires a lot of mind. Sometimes, writing in itself is a taxing process. Even if, let’s say my muse is pleasantly doting and my vocabulary is suddenly generous, writing engages my brain too much which ironically doesn’t make it feel tired and sleepy but makes it want to keep going and going and going and you know where this will lead. I won’t be able to sleep until I write every bit of inspired thought that crosses my mind. And if my brain is really fired up, those thoughts won’t stop crossing.

Of course, writing is just part of the process of writing a blog post. I also need to proofread and find/take pretty pictures to adorn my article with – because a textual blog content isn’t always enough. And these also requires time and a lot of mind, both of which are critical in my chances of getting a good night’s sleep.

So… yes, I know you understand now.

But… of course, there’s always a but.

When can I write? How can I maintain this blog if I don’t have the time and energy to write a post on a regular basis?

I write when I can. Like today, while waiting for something work related, I decided to burn the hours by writing this post. I know saying “when I can”, “when I have time” doesn’t sound determined or definitive. But that’s an honest answer. I can only write when I can, when I have the time. I wish I can say something more resolute like “I promise to write every day” or “I promise to set aside time to write blah blah”, but that would be making promises I don’t know if I can keep.

But here’s what I’m thinking. Maybe if I find more of that “when I can” opportunities, I’ll be able to write frequent enough to a create a semblance of a “maintained” blog. And maybe, if I write often enough, I will develop the habit and find it easier to write more often. And maybe, I will get my groove on and rock this whole blogging thing! And maybe… Okay, I’ll stop myself there.

Bottomline is, I still don’t have a plan on how to write regularly. The best thing I can do, I guess, is to try to find (or create) more of these “when I can” moments. Let’s see how it goes.

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