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The Undocumented Tools of a Blogger’s Trade

Posted By Darren Rowse 2nd of January 2006 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

The Undocumented Tools of a Blogger’s Trade

I’m John Evans and I write Windows Vista and Microsoft Weblog for b5media. My personal blog is SYNTAGMA.

Medieval monks had their scriptoriums for the laborious task of illuminating manuscripts. Do modern bloggers have an equivalent nook?

A blogorium, ideally, would be a room set apart from the daily round. Quiet, even to the point of meditative in mood, it would contain the tools of the blogger’s art, plus a few indispensable extras. No, not a minibar. I was thinking more of a trampoline (see below).

The blogorium would be the focus of any serious blogger’s household. Children would pass the hallowed entrance in awe and perpetual silence. The dog would refuse to bark when padding by. Wives would remove suggestive clothing; husbands stop clanging their tools around. In short, it would be a place of retreat, devoted to blogativity.

My blogorium is a snappy space with a bay window which overlooks a rest-home for the elderly. I can gaze down and contemplate my future. Coincidentally, the room has become a repository for furniture nobody knows what to do with. Thus it has developed an old world colonial charm of decaying opulence, rounded off by the aroma of ancient books and polished oak. And that’s only the blogger.

All bloggers deserve a blogorium, I believe, if they are to do their best work undisturbed by the trivia that passes for life. A short verse written about the writer Rupert Brooke catches the mood :

The young Apollo, golden-haired,
Standing on the brink of strife,
Magnificently unprepared,
For the long littleness of life.

Ah, what a blogger he would have made.

Of course, the blogorium must also be available for other activities, especially for exercise ~ what I call blexercise. Yes, it’s one of those composite words again, beloved by denizens of the blogosphere. Actually I made it up, but I’ve no doubt that others have been there before me, given the fertility of the net-mind.

Blogging, like air travel, increases the risk of DVT (Deep-Vein Thrombosis) and other circulatory conditions. I can make that statement without consulting any medical sources, because it is self-evidently true. After a hard day’s blogging, the Olympic Games can seem aeons away.

Blexercising then, consists of the steps you take to get your circulation moving while in the process of blogging. It’s very important that we get up from time to time and move around. Calisthenics in situ is one option, though not my favourite. Until recently I practised a kind of home-made Tai Chi. Not any more. Sliding around the house in slow motion, imitating the movements of animals, is a fine way to “summon up the blood”, though I doubt Henry the Fifth would have approved. In any case, there’s a danger of developing a reputation for eccentricity. So what’s the answer?

I have as it happens made a remarkable discovery which will change your life ~ and your blogging. No, I’m not going to sell you a pension. I refer to trampolining. Blexercise and trampolining go together like … well … Russet apples and Wensleydale cheese.

It was my sister ~ not otherwise known for great discoveries ~ who turned me on to the power of lift-off. Her excitement led me to try out her 3 foot, 30 quid model ~ nothing but the best for her, obviously. After a week of overdosing on lactic acid, your correspondent emerged into a wholly new realm. Life flew by in rhythmical, vertical motion, up-and-down, up-and-down. It was uphill most of the way.

Mindful of Talleyrand’s advice to new French ambassadors : “Above all, no enthusiasm”, I won’t bore you with the details. But sports trainers testify to the amazing circulatory and mental benefits of trampolining. And you won’t wreck your knees in the process.

So take my advice: trampolining is an ideal form of blexercise. You don’t even have to leave the room, and three feet of space is all you need. Pass the Wensleydale, darling.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Ok, let’s buy a trampolin and become a great problogger ;)

  • I flex my eyes every few minutes to keep them in shape :)
    Seriously though, I like the idea of a “Blogorium”. Peace and quiet is always appreciated when one is trying to write. Great article John.

  • No offense, but there are office ladies who do a lot more work than your average blogger, “pro” or not.

    The idea of setting a whole room apart for the specific use of blogging seems like major overkill. Sure, novelists and the like sometimes do it, but I’d say 95% of bloggers don’t need the kind of enviroment a published author does.

    Unless you’re a pro blogger raking in thousands of dollars a month from your blog(s), a “blogorium” is an extremely hokey idea.

  • Ray


    Hexxenn – I think you’ll find John’s using the long lost art of ‘humor’ here.

  • Sure, Hexxen, I’ll go with “hokey”. My blogorium is a very hokey place, so is the inhabitant.

  • That would be sweet heaven! A blagorium of your own, i’ll defintely have one when I move out and get my own house to live in, great article.

  • Joe

    I can just Jump up and down on the Bed, saving the cost of both the Blogorium and trampoline…

  • Face it, you’re just a skinflint, Joe :-)

  • I’d love to see a picture of this!

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  • Hexxenn – I have a simple philosophy: If you’re writing online for profit, and not raking in $1000’s every month, and you’re not doing it to be a pro, then why the heck are you wasting everyone else’s bandwidth? For that matter, why waste your own?

    Anybody who is serious about writing (blog, book, whatever) understands the need for a quiet space of one’s own to dissociate from a world which would have us conform to the idea that the more distractions we have, the better off we are.

    Writing is a gift, deserving a pretty box of it’s own.

  • Carole, you’re right. If your income depends on it, you’ll make a space for your work, whether it’s called a blogorium or a garden shed.

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