“How do you have time to blog?”
Image from Library of Congress’s website.
Lately, several lawyers have pondered about my finding time to blog. My response is: Do you take time daily to eat, brush your teeth, and get dressed? Do you take the time to read court opinions, expand your persuasion abilities, and self-reflect? Can you write well and quickly directly onto the keyboard without needing to use a pen first? If so, there is time to blog, especially after eliminating wasted time on television, instant messaging, web surfing and listservs.
My days start and end with a round of t’ai chi. In the middle come spending some morning moments with my family before heading out to fight for my clients, handling work at my office, and spending time with my family in the evening.
I spend an average of fifteen to twenty minutes daily blogging. When I come across an idea or court case to blog about, I save the idea to my BlackBerry. By the time I start writing, the framework of the blog entry has already grown in my head, so it then just becomes a matter of putting my thoughts onto the keyboard. Sometimes I type a few blog entries in advance, and save them in draft form until I am ready to release them into cyberspace. My blog software lets me program blog entries to be released for a pre-designated day. This way, although my blog entries come out daily, I am not blog writing daily.
To some, like I, writing is as essential as breathing. The late great Pramoedya Ananta Toer was was deeply emotional when he said in 1999 that the Indonesian government’s decades-long effort to ban his books was like trying to cut off his life. Writing was so vital to Pramoedya that he told his masterpiece Buru tetralogy orally through a chain of prisoners on Buru prison island during the time he was denied pen and paper. Past issues of Index on Censorship show the risks writers repeatedly have taken against censorious governments to keep their written voice going, including getting their writings smuggled to other countries, to be published and finally read.
By now, Underdog gets several hundred visitors daily, on top of additional daily readers viewing archived Underdog entries. The world remains more unjust and brutal than the opposite. Accumulated feathers can sink the boat of injustice and inhumanity. At the very least, my blogging is hopefully part of those accumulated feathers.
So I blog to get on a bully pulpit for justice, and to discuss court opinions and persuasion approaches from an angle of fighting for justice daily.
My brother lawyer and blogger Marc Randazza has pointed out how quality bloggers often are among the busiest people, and says of his own blogging: "I have very little time on my hands. I *make* time to blog. It also helps that I am an insomniac." Whether or not Marc jests about insomnia, I blog without it.
Asking me how I have time to blog is like asking how I have time to eat. Jon Katz