Lately I’ve been mulling over what to write about on Wild Muse. Since my son was born last summer, I’ve published exactly 14 posts; which is a drammatic downturn from my publishing rate B.H. (B.H. = Before Haydn, it’s my new way of referencing time!). It’s cliche to say, but joining the ranks of women everywhere in the global sisterhood of Mommydom has been a defining event that has led me to rethink many aspects of my life. But even B.H. I’ll admit I was struggling somewhat with what to write here; which is why weeks sometimes passed without a post. My preference has always been to publish nothing rather than spew junk simply to have something fresh posted. This blog began as an exploration of natural phenomenon, of experiences and observations in nature, of science papers, and of my meandering musings. It’s had a heavy emphasis on mammalian predators, wolves especially, and — lately — non-fiction nature & science books.
But my time constraints changed drammatically after my son was born. Now, I’m a part-time stay-at-home mom, I work part-time in my husband’s health care practice, and I struggle every week to find the time to write. Anything. As any new first-time mother will tell you, simply having the time to shower some days feels like a luxury. Having the time to blog? Doesn’t really happen most days.
After completing my book on red wolves, I also hungered to renew my commitment to being a reader. Writing had taken up every inch of my life for three years, and I yearned to read again — not for research, but for pleasure. This may sound silly but I think most writers will agree that it’s often hard to carve the time to read what they wish to when they are busy pinging between writing projects. I enjoy reading simply for the sake of reading, but I also like to read to study the way other writers do things: the way they structure large amounts of material, divide a book into chapters, attribute (or not), choose to use chronology (or not), reconstruct scenes they were not present for, report scenes they witnessed, present dialogue, and weave explanatory material throughout a narrative. This is why, for the past year, I’ve been publishing book reviews. Blogging about books let’s me enjoy being a reader while studying writing craft, but it also lets me enjoy blogging in my time-constrained world.
In the coming year, I want to maintain the focus of Wild Muse as a destination for explorations of the natural world and science, but woven into this will be a larger emphasis on the litarary and journalistic world. I plan to continue posting book reviews, hopefully just more of them. It seems people are always looking for interesting reading material at the intersection of science, nature, and good literature, and so I hope that readers of Wild Muse will be happy with the change. (You can also find me on Goodreads.com and check out my reading lists and recommendations there.) I’ll also post commentary here on wildlife-, nature- and science-related articles that interest me. Every now and then I’ll continue to post on peer-reviewed science papers too. Last, I’m also making it a personal goal to post more frequently in the coming year. Although I would have once considered a twice monthly publication schedule a rather low bar to meet, it now seems reasonably challenging.
… and, perfect timing, my son is crying and waking from his morning nap. Mommy duty calls… gotta run!