Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Prepping, So Much Prepping

It always amuses / exacerbates me how many people think it's easy to write, especially a blog post. Now that may be the case of some personal blogs out there -- it's yours, right? But it's an entirely different matter when blogging is your job.

There's a lot of prep to do, especially if you're expected to generate several posts not only for today, but later in the week as well. But I've developed a nice routine to make it bearable.

Today my boss followed up on some rather large articles he'd queried about a couple of weeks ago. Near panic, I told him I'd them ready for him by the end of the week.

Well, that put me in a dilemma. How do I find the time not only to finish up those articles, but maintain my regular output for my two work blogs? Thankfully, I not only write the posts, but schedule them as well. Instead of prepping posts just to go live the rest of the day and tomorrow, I prepped up enough posts -- called "evergreens" -- to go live the rest of the week. That gives me time to devote my full attention to the articles.

The rest of the involved a long drive and lunch with colleagues and dinner with the spouse on the last day of the "work vacation".

Location Does Matter

Great weekend, though bright and hot. We spent the two days at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at its new location, the USC campus in Los Angeles, California.

I admit I have been burned out attending the event for some time now. I know a lot of it had to do with our online bookstore which we closed last year. Before then, we attended the fair primarily to improve our stock. That meant trudging with piles of hardcovers in sometimes 90+ Farenheit heat to stand in line as we waited our turn to get the books signed before bolting to the next location. More than once did we only have an hour or two the entire weekend to see the fair for pleasure.

Three factors made this year's fair to be different. One that we closed our book business and thus removing the imputus to, well, get those damned books signed. The second reason is then we had few books to get signed. Lastly, the fair was in a new location.

Never underestimate the difference a new location can change a once familiar venue. Suddently I really had to focus on my surroundings just to make sure we didn't get lost. The land, the paths, the buildings, heck, even the bathrooms, were all different. My enthusiasm was back as I took in the new sights, smells, even tastes. (The food venue on the USC campus is drastically different than the more poor UCLA.) I thoroughly enjoyed myself, a sharp contrast to last year's fair.

I don't expect the euphoria to be the same next year. But I gained a new perspective this weekend and hope to follow through until next year's showing.