Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How, although the latter is generally tacked on. I’m the “Who,” and hopefully an older and wiser “Who” then when I started this this written journey. Having started to write again for my blog, and being more self-aware of time, feelings, motivation, and having the perspective of time, I turned my lens of introspection on to my blog writing.
I want to answer “What” I’m writing as the pieces those which I enjoy the most, particularly those useful articulated descriptive pieces about what is. Truth or reality as I can describe it, or those posts similar to my last post. Almost as if I’m writing like the NPR of old, an in depth piece that will make you sit in your driveway while you listen to it. What’s amazing about this is that as much as I enjoy writing like this, it’s sometimes painful as it is detail work. It’s basically real journalism. I like to write the topic, get photos for it–which used to have to be my own, and now I’m okay with creative commons shares–then verify my facts, check sources if I have them (down here that means informal interviews), and if it’s a big enough topic I footnote things as I can. It should come as no surprise that although the research pieces are a labor of love, many get lost in the process. I get caught up in my non-digital life, the topic is no longer topical, the writing itself sucks, the research is to detailed/can’t be verified/or is just not going to get finished, etc, etc. I’m sure I have many old pieces, maybe some are salvageable if I get bored this winter. This is what I see as the “How,” or an overview of the hours of the “How.”
Of course the “What” and “How” are also blog like this one I’m writing today which doesn’t involve research and is me conveying my process which doesn’t have to be authoritative, it’s dramatically different. I just have to do my best at wordsmithing, copy-editing, and of course writing. (Not all of which are the best as you may have figured out.) In the past I haven’t self-identified with these as much though. Writing these in the past felt like cheating, as I didn’t have to put half the work in. Now I think it’s somewhat cathartic and useful for my readers, most of you have met me and enjoy keeping up on my whole being as much as you enjoy learning about the strange and wonderful vehicles on station. Not to mention I now more fully understand it’s useful to be engaged in my lower brain as much as my upper brain.
Toward that end, the “When” I write is now also dictated by self-care. I’m not sacrificing enjoyment, self-time, and attempt at being in the moment whilst in Antarctica, or my work for my writing. As it is time seems to get away from me and the weeks fly by, it’s a bit baffling really. I continuously struggle to remember it’s okay to not accomplishing anything and doing nothing once an awhile. But I do enjoy the act of writing, and as I said, it is a labor of love. I do it for me as it’s like a sudoku or crossword puzzle.
McMurdo of course is the "Where" as well as a good part of the "Why." Being this far south again, working and enjoying the renewed friendship, working on such a remote & unique place, and finding a need to find that articulated center of my self, it’s fulfilling to write again. Of course it’s also the Ice folk that reminded me of how much fun it is to write again. Reading other peoples Facebook posts, blogs, talking to people about there many stories, and catching up on the non-real world–as opposed to the real world populated world–incites a kind of will to re-engage with the writer in me, at least while I’m down here.