Monday, April 18, 2011

The Troubles of Blogging

My head has been full of thoughts but there has been a general lack of writing, posting, and sharing of thoughts. The strange thing is I’ve wanted to expand on last Monday’s “I’m pondering life and faith” post every day since. I have things I want to share. I have had time to write. I’ve have even sat at my computer intending to write for hours with nothing productive to sure for it (I did win a few rounds of minesweeper).

The failure to post above my regular weekly themes got me thinking about blogging in general and my personal struggles to write lately. I like writing but I don’t think I’ve devoted any significant time to the hobby since November and the end of NaNoWriMo. My question is: why is blogging so hard? These are the answers I’ve come up with so far:
  1. Ideas come to me at the most convenient time like while driving. I can mentally work out a whole post and forget it before I have paper to capture the ideas on.
  2. I want to say it right the first time. There are so many times that have got caught up is trying to craft the first sentence to be “perfect” that the second sentence never gets written.
  3. I have a silly “three paragraphs rule” that gets in the way and adds to the stress for perfection mentioned in reason two. The rule is based on the observation that I normally won’t read something online over three paragraphs so I try write ideas in three paragraphs…it doesn’t work and that frustrates me and has kept me from posting.
  4. I have thoughts but I doubt that I can communicate them well or if it is something I am still processing I fear getting it “wrong” or not being able to defend my thought.
  5. Ideas are always growing and morphing. The questions I had last week might not be the questions of this week. There have been time that by the time I sit down to write a thought I have had I’m no longer interested.
  6. There is so many other things happening that take time. Something has to be dropped and for me writing "well" takes a long time.
  7. I'm scared of publishing thoughts or mistakes.
  8. The hay day of blogs has past and the blogosphere isn’t as important. I felt more pressure to keep posting when Matthew had his “blog of the month” contest and more people were sharing thoughts and linking to each other. The times they are a changing.
  9. I’ve been avoiding writing in general…not sure why. I think I just got out of the habit. I am holding out till I feel like writing and like everything else that could be a long time.
Those are some of the reasons I’ve been struggling with writing. Do you have any thoughts on why writing/blogging can be difficult? What about solutions? I want to write more frequently especially because I think I have things to share (as my head turns to goo) but I don’t think I am going to be any more prolific…I will try because I do like Bowl of Stew(art) and after six years and four months I’m just fourteen posts away from my 1000th article. I feel like there needs to be some type of celebration, mleh.


AuroraLee said...

Liz, I can definitely sympathize with the fear and doubt and perfectionism. Also with the time constraints (I haven't been posting very often on my own blog in order to concentrate on other projects, including novel writing). Other than the over-used 'butt-in-chair' advice I can suggest something to help with point #1:

We definitely don't want you writing stuff down while you're driving. That's insane! But do you have a cell phone capable of recording voice memos? If not, you can usually buy voice recorders fairly cheap at stores like The Source. It depends on what features you want - I think you can even get voice activated ones. A single purpose recorder is probably best for driving because there won't be as many buttons to press.

Have either your phone or recording device nearby and when you get an idea, hit record. Talk out your idea (you might even dictate the post/scene/whatever). It would probably take some getting use to, at least it would for me, but if that's where you get most of your ideas and you're, you know, busy driving, it may help!

Good luck!

Glo said...

I felt the same way a couple of months ago, I really hope you keep blogging sense that is one of the reasons why we have kept in contact. I miss those who don't blog anymore and would hate for you to stop.

Anonymous said...

A thought why writing/blogging is difficult: you're trying too hard.

Go with the flow - and abandon perfectionism. Temporarily.
Practice (practise?) this by writing a week's worth of blog entries as 'word wars'. (For those readers who are not familiar with this term, it means that Liz should set a timer for 15 minutes, then write for that long - with no editing allowed.)
As a special gift to your blog-reading public, you can edit for five minutes only - afterwards. For grammar only.

You can preface each entry with a description of what you are doing (that is, writing in a flow-of-consciousness style) in order that you regain your joy in willingly blogging on a regular basis.
This caveat will explain the week's differences from your regular offerings - whether it is that your posts are shorter, or are more disjointed or whatever.

This does not solve your 'ideas while driving' problem. (Does it help to use mnemonics to keep the topic in your head?) And maybe you will break your three paragraphs rule ... but remain firm to your preface.