In July of 2009, I started Wild Muse on a complete lark. It was a slow week with freelance work. Before I knew it, I’d signed up and published my first post. It was about my anguish over songbirds flying into my sliding glass doors located just beyond my seed feeder. Within a short span of time, I stumbled into science blogging and later got on board with ResearchBlogging.org. But my posts have never been solely recaps of science papers. I also occassionaly write personal posts, publish short excerpts from my in-progress book, and travel photos I’ve taken (I’m the sort of gal who comes home from a trip with 500 pictures of trees, rivers and landscapes and two of people…).
Unfortunately, I’m not too sure I can keep Wild Muse up, at least not for the foreseeable future in 2011.
Since last fall, it’s been an extreme — and I mean extreme — hardship to find the time to post regularly. My time is in constant competition between paying work, writing my first book, and living the rest of my life (which, lately, encompassed moving — the house was not ready, so we spent weeks cleaning and fixing things– planning my wedding, rehearsal dinner and brunch, getting married, litigation over a horrific car accident last July, and helping my husband to get his new business off the ground). Each day, I barely have time to issue a few tweets, much less spend a few hours blogging.
The frustrating part is that I see ideas for blog posts everywhere. After our wedding, I planned on writing a post about the sustainable choices we built into our vendor selections. (We bought some of the flowers from a local gardener who sells wildflowers by the bucket, the caterer used locally-farmed rainbow trout and locally-grown vegetables, and the outdoor venue was located on a 50-acre conservation easement on a 500-acre working farm in the Appalachian foothills which raises Polled Herefords, chickens, goats, llamas and grows alfalfa hay.) I also planned on writing a post on the active broad-wing hawk nest I found down the street where we’ve regularly spotted three nearly-adult chicks hanging out on the nest’s rim on warm days. Then there was the post I planned on large mammal diversity in the Blue Ridge Parkway park, which lays about a five minute bike ride from my back door. (There are black bears, smaller than those found at the N.C. coast here, and bobcats, but much fewer deer than compared to the Piedmont and cougars were extirpated long ago.)
The rub is that while I want to blog, now that the post-wedding dust has settled, I realize that I’m much too behind on book progress. I’m trying to write one chapter per month, and I’m three weeks behind on completing chapter eight. (Which is likely the hardest chapter of the whole book because it covers different theories on the origins of red wolves.) I was also supposed to start writing for Carolina Public Press this month, but I’ve had to put that off for another month as well.
This year, I set a goal for myself to read more. A lot more. Particularly books. If I’m going to build a career as a science writer, I need to improve my writing craft. So I set out on a journey to study other writers’ work and analyze their methods. Since January, I’ve read 14 non-fiction books. The ones that I liked the best, I’ve reviewed here on Wild Muse. There are two more I will review soon: The Species Seekers, by Richard Conniff, and Shell Games, by Craig Welch. After I get those reviews up, there is a strong likelihood that I will put Wild Muse on hiatus indefinitely. Or at least until my book manuscript is in the mail to the publisher at the year’s end.