Monday, 23 May 2016

Why Haz I Not Any Thinks? Hmm ...

 So, it's been a couple of months since I began to blog.

At first, the words poured out so fast I figured I'd never run out, and so I committed to posting five days a week.

Then I started to struggle. In hindsight, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.

I became over-conscious of what I was writing. All the little (critical) voices in my head, which had been surprisingly quiet to that point, started clearing their throats, whispering behind their hands, and snickering.

Too many pictures! the voices said. Too much weather! they said. Too much humour that relies on being able to see the writer raising an eyebrow or winking. Too many big words, too many simple words, too many words, period.  Too many links, too much use of the phrase "a lot", too self-centred, too friggin' much about the cats ...

The ideas dried up under the onslaught. Self-censoring and self-editing were not improving my work; they were murdering it.

In what was probably a happy coincidence right about then, life became unexpectedly busy and I had less time to think about writing and less access to our home computer. Such is life; I went to twice-a-week posting, and I don't regret it. And I've told the voices in my head to move along, nothing to see here, vamoose now like good little voices.

Still, I am curious about how other people managed their blogs at first. If you choose to answer, you can use the questions below or anything else that springs to mind.

Do you remember your first few weeks or months of blogging?
Did you have a firm goal or purpose in mind when you began, or did that evolve over time?
What advice would you give a newbie?



This free photo was labelled "donkey hitting a wall" which is just what I was looking for, except it looks like the donkey may have been simply interested in resting her head against the wall, not actually hitting it. But that's okay. Some days I feel like doing one of those things, and some days I feel like doing the other. Don't we all?



14 comments:

  1. I haven't started a blog yet, but have been considering (read that working toward) it for a long time. I've been reading and commenting on some really excellent blogs for 12 years, and I know for a fact that I don't have the kind of ability that they demonstrate with each post.
    So at first I just felt that I didn't have enough time to invest in doing it right. Then I had a stroke and could no longer work, so I have all the time in the world, right? Not exactly. To be a reliable blogger, I need some reliable factors in my own life, such as an internet connection without a 6GB data limit, a place to live where me working on the computer is acceptable day in and day out, a reliable computer (thank you Sara!) and some basic life stability where my income and health are concerned. I didn't just think these things up, they have each presented themselves as items to be focused upon as I progressed into a more confident mental state where my writing is concerned. As of now, my plan is to get a Word Press account as soon as I finish dealing with getting my driver's license back, which should take about another month, so realistically I should be up and running by the end of the summer, just in time for the election. Or maybe I'll wait until it's over, as it looks to be ugly in the extreme.
    Anyway, whenever I do launch, I only hope to do as good of a job at it as you have here. So don't beat yourself up over how you are doing. You are doing fine. My only criterion for blogging is whether it is worth reading, and you always are. Now I need to figure out how to be that myself.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. Your criterion is the same as mine, Doug - I read all kinds of different blogs, and only stick with those I truly enjoy. Thank you for your kind words. I'm really looking forward to reading your blog. Did you know that you can get the account anytime and just not publish until you're ready? I didn't know that until I finally started! Duh :)

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  2. I'll go with your excellent questions:

    "Do you remember your first few weeks or months of blogging?" Yes, I started with my poetry bog, Gardening with Geo. because I've always written poems.

    "Did you have a firm goal or purpose in mind when you began, or did that evolve over time?" My idea was to create an activity that would put me in the company of good minds. Then, in 2009, I retired from my job and found the idea sound.

    "What advice would you give a newbie?" Find subjects that you like and write as you wish --and do seek out other bloggers, comment, make contact, at a rate that doesn't strain enjoyment.

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    1. All excellent points. From a VERY good mind. Thanks for answering, Geo.

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  3. I think I was more regular when first I started blogging. But rapidly decided that a regular schedule was beyond me. Particularly a five day a week schedule. These days I manage Sunday Selections (almost always) but anything else is random. When blogging becomes work it is time to step back I think.
    I love that donkey resting her head on the wall shot (and it is the way I see it too). Sometimes I think we would all like to do that - and it means that not a lot of effort/energy is needed when a head bang or two is required.

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    1. Your point about not letting blogging become work is a very good yardstick. That's how I felt on a frequent schedule. Now I feel like it's enjoyable again. And your last line made me smile.

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  4. dear Jenny_o, I do remember so well my early days!! I was incredibly self-conscious and proud to be A Blogger. I committed to posting 5 days a week and I did for the first year, I think. Before I began my blog, I was pretty clear on its boundaries - a record of what I make - and that has guided me so well. Even when I feel like no one is reading, I know that I am keeping a record for myself and I can be happy with that. I also keep very personal things for face-to-face conversations. I try to have a picture for every post, so that slows me down sometimes if I don't have a good photo or I don't feel like uploading photos. I try to stick to one topic per post.

    I guess my advice to a newbie would be to stick with it so you can find your stride. I have developed a definite writing style and rules for myself - I'm sure it will continue to evolve, but my confidence as a writer has increased because of blogging.

    You are a good, interesting writer! I hope you find a rhythm that works for you :)

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    1. Your point about sticking to it supports what I've started to understand about my writing - I have to actually do it in order to figure out what I do best and what I enjoy most. Learning by doing - like so many things. Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement.

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  5. Hello!! So glad to have stumbled upon your blog this morning. Seems we have many of the same blogging friends. When I first started blogging, I did it in a very difficult period in my life - I looked at it as a way to express myself. I must say, it helped me tremendously and it grew into something I did not anticipate. I only blog about once every two-three weeks, but I LOVE the blogging community and making new friends. I am now following your blog and I look forward to your future posts :)

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    1. Welcome, OE! And thanks for your comments. I'll get over to visit you soon - and yes, I love the blogging community too. It's brought me so much reading enjoyment, such interesting friends from all over, and now it's given me a way to follow my interest in writing myself. Amazing :)

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  6. I actually wrote about the birth of my blog just today, so some of what I would tell you about my first posts is there. I think it definitely shouldn't feel like work. For me, part of the enjoyment (and the challenge!) is finding interesting fodder in the mundane activities of daily life. There's always something funny or weird or interesting happening! It will all seem more natural as you get used to it and develop a rhythm.

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    1. I've been over to read your post; it's very much what I was hoping to find out from more experienced bloggers. I think I'm trying to focus pretty much in the same direction as you are - the little things of everyday life. It is taking some getting used to, but it's early days yet and I think I need to allow myself the trial and error. Thanks for answering!

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  7. I had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer and felt like I needed to say some things to the world or the anyone who would listen. Then what does one say? I often can't think of anything to write about, but something will come to me eventually. I just have to remember to write it down before I forget. Some have recurring themes like "wordless Wednesdays" or an ongoing story. I feel pressure if I don't write once a week or so. While the weather seems trite, everyone's is different. Someone is drowning, sweltering, or freezing somewhere. People will read you because, believe it or not, they may actually like you having gotten to know you through your writing. So relax and write whatever comes to you. We can't all be Earnest Hemingway or Lucy Maude Montgomery. Just be yourself.

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    1. Very good advice. Some days it's harder to follow than others. That's when the earplugs come in handy :) Thanks for the thoughts, Jono.

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