Blogging (DOG EAR)

Blogging (DOG EAR)

loved Japan. If you read my trip report, you can see how much I loved it, day by day. Great fun, good food, friendly people. Outside of the “purse incident”, it was the perfect trip.

Now I’ve been blogging DOG EARs since 2012 and recording trips since 2011, which is a lot of words under the bridge. And it does take some effort. Usually I’ll take my tinytop with me so I can write as I experience it. This time, we were traveling light – a backpack apiece (and a purse, sometimes, it seemed). But this time it was adding some weight I didn’t need, possibly a pound (counting the computer, case and charger). And that wasn’t something I needed when I was carrying 13 lbs of weight on my back.

So I went with a small spiral notebook. This was dandy for recording my impressions – every night in the room, I’d lay in bed and doodle out the day’s events, capturing whatever clever phrases and observations came along. It actually took a while to settle into this writing – unlike electronic formats, with a pen you get one shot. And since carefully crafting something before putting ink to parchment (as the old monks would say), I had to learn just how much effort I’d put into formatting the prose. On one hand, I could just write Shrine, Buddhist temple, ice cream and then come out and fill it in, I felt I might forget some of the details. In the end, I settled on writing a first draft of what I wanted (adding details to the left page as I later thought of them, arrowing them into their insert points).

And then, home. And this is when the keyboard really started to rattle.

The first day we were home, I sat down and wrote the first two days pieces (adding this to the pre-trip piece). This gave me a bit of leeway. Then I’d try to knock out one a day, just to keep a spare posting or two to the good. Some nights I’d stay out late (train club stuff) and I’d lose my backlog. Sometimes I’d get inspired and write two. But every evening after dinner I’d publish the next installment and add all the BACK and NEXT links, then fuss with Facebook to put it out there.

It was actually sorta funny when the last episode ran. I sat there and realized I had no more. Then again, I do have other blogging to attend to. I have three books stacked up for posting, and I’ve got to start DOG EAR again (I gave it a break while posting about the trip, but here we are again). But yes, producing under a deadline is good training. As writers, you should try it. It’s good training for that happy future time when I’m producing content for millions, and not just my small plucky band of loyal followers.

And, to that, thanks for all the nice comments about my trip. That added to the fun!