I've seen many writer and blogger friends post this lately: "I haven't blogged in forever!" This is true for me as well and I wonder if they are having the same problem I have. I've been wanting to post things, have topics I want to write about it, but when I try, I haven't been able to and wasn't sure why.
I know that the longer a break you take from writing, the harder it is to get back to. I didn't realize this applied to different kinds of writing, until I recently read a preface by SK in a collection of stories that for years he had been working on novels and forgot that short stories took a whole different set of writing skills.
I took a break, meant to be a short one, from blogging because I went from thinking it was a good way to keep up my writing skills and my self discipline to write regularly to thinking maybe it was taking time away from working on my books and stories. Then when I wanted to post something on occasion, I found I couldn't. After reading that comment from SK, I decide the problem was that I had forgotten how to blog. I had let my skills for this type of writing get rusty and couldn't figure out how to get back to it. I couldn't make the posts read like I wanted them to and I thought that was silly, because blogging is so simple. But is it?
Again and again I learn the same lessons. Different kinds of writing - stories, personal essays, daily journals, poems - doing all of these things helps maintain and improve writing skills in different ways. Writing a blog post is as different from writing a poem as writing a book is different from writing a how-article or a short story. And all these skills are needed in some way in all kinds of writing.
I know I've 'discovered' this many times before and probably written a few other posts about it, but here it is again. No form of writing is a waste of time. It's like any kind of excercise, it keeps our minds and imaginations in shape and sometimes helps us learn new things. Often, in my case, again and again and again.