To be filed under ‘Stuff Happens’ and ‘Irony’

The renowned Scots poet, Robert Burns, penned more than a few lines that are still well-known and often quoted today, more than two hundred years later.  One such quote I reach for frequently comes from the penultimate stanza of Burns’ 1785 poem “To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough”:

“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men
Gang aft agley,…”

The past week has certainly ‘gang aft agley’ for me and my schemes.  Thus the title of today’s post.  ‘Stuff happens’ is the only reaction I have, though I am shaking my head over the ‘irony’ I am able to find in that ‘stuff’.  My very first post on this blog exactly two weeks ago indicated I would be commenting on my adventures in learning to use WordPress.  A few days later I said the blog would be updated relatively frequently as I learned more about WordPress and blogging, but that it would settle down to once or twice a week.  And then — nothing.  Nada.  Nil.  Zilch.

My ‘best-laid schemes’, my editorial calendar, my good intentions all imploded in the face of one of my semi-annual bouts of cold/flu/crud.  And for the past week I have been wishing I felt good enough to die, not to mention well enough to spend my mandatory, minimum two hours per day on my writing, plus working on the October Platform Challenge at Writers’ Digest that launched this blog, plus learning to use WordPress…  Well, you get the idea.

Just over two weeks ago, I found the inspiration for a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ ten months late (or three months early, if you prefer).  I decided to plant my butt in my chair and get back to working seriously on my writing after avoiding it for more than a year.  I cleared my desk of extraneous distractions and cleared my calendar, scheduling time to write as my highest priority.  While in the ‘clearing desk’ phase I ran across the October Challenge mentioned above and it seemed a good idea at the time, though I didn’t realize the time a technologically challenged ‘old fogey’ like me would need to become familiar with the social platforms my grandkids understand implicitly.  Between mandatory minimum writing time and being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, I was going to be quite busy for the coming weeks.

‘Stuff happens’ and it is a week later.  I am five days behind on the Platform Challenge, more than twelve hours behind on the “mandatory, minimum” writing, I missed a submission deadline for a writing contest I had planned to enter, and the house is a mess.  Cold/flu/crud destroys not only my writing schedule, but any inclination for housekeeping as well.  😉  And, yes, I find it rather ironic that just over a week into my resolution and new schedule, that schedule collapsed.

However far behind I am on my ‘best-laid scheme’, I am now back at The Salt Mine and beginning work on getting caught up.  There are several comments on prior posts — Thank you very much! — to which I need to respond.  There is a new short story bubbling on a back burner in my mind.  There is a great deal I need to learn about WordPress and other social media I am now learning to use.  It’s going to be a busy few weeks while I get caught up.

One of the first things I need to learn about WordPress is how I go about writing “October Platform Challenge” and make it a link to the blog at Writers’ Digest by Robert Brewer called “There Are No Rules”.  If you haven’t found it yet, I highly recommend it.  Here is the link the only way I currently know how to provide a link:

As to other social media I am beginning to learn about, you can find me at Facebook.  I’m the only Jay Leeward in Arizona, so far as I know.  The page is still essentially blank.  Hey!  I’ve been sick, remember?  Also at Google + (again a generic blank page).  The website is a generic blank home page, but it is being worked on behind the scenes.  Twitter is coming soon.

Yup.  Definitely a lot of work and learning to do.  Not to mention the ‘daily mandatory minimum’ writing time.  But it’s all good.  It will definitely keep me off the streets at night!


8 thoughts on “To be filed under ‘Stuff Happens’ and ‘Irony’

  1. Try not to stress too much about it. My motto is, “I get done what I can get done.” I know you said you’re new to WordPress, forgive me if you’re already aware of this but you can schedule your blogs to post in advance. It’s a nice feature that’s helped me out of sticky spots. In fact the blog I published today was written yesterday. Hope you’re feeling better!


  2. I am glad you are feeling a little better. WordPress is a bit confusing at times. I’m still learning new things about it. 🙂 Everyone misses a day. I have a better time writing posts m-f and the weekends goto crap, I missed day 14 & 15 even tho technically I didn’t miss day 14 for starting Google+, I just don’t know how to change anything about my profile and don’t touch it on a regular basis. My goto motto for those days “Life Happens!”


  3. If it’s any comfort, Jay, I’m another “old fogy” being dragged into the 21st century style of communicating. One of the reasons I finally retired from college teaching was that I was tired of the demands to learn this new program, teach more online stuff, post my lesson plans on that web page, etc., etc. What I really wanted was the freedom to research and write when and how I chose. But I kept reading more and more about the importance of building a writer’s platform and gathering “followers” so that when I finally do get my book done, I’ll already have a bevy of eager readers waiting for it. That’s all fine and good — and the basic reason why I took on the Writer’s Digest Challenge. But here we both are, faced with a giant learning curve that is taking us to a good place, but leaving behind those hours we planned to spend writing. There’s got to be a happy medium! What is saving my sanity right now is Robert’s reminder a few days ago that building a platform is not a sprint, but a marathon. So I guess we need to relax and enjoy the journey — and the writing will happen in the midst of all the traffic and the noise and those darned mountains.


    1. Thanks, Nancy, for stopping by and for your thoughts. With a fresh challenge from Robert waiting each morning, it is, indeed, difficult to remember ‘marathon, not sprint’. But I am enjoying the learning, and I am fighting to retain the time to write the fiction that is my passion, as opposed to blogging and developing a platform.


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