What I love about Blogjune, or any other writing challenge, is that you are forced out of your comfort zone, flying by the seat of your pants in order to produce a post. You can plan out your posts, scheduling themes and memes in order to get you through the month. You can also be hit by inspiration brought upon by sheer panic to produce something. It’s usually a mixture of both for me.
Last week, I posted a blog post, about some unfinished business which had been years in the (crochet) crafting. It had been sitting in my draft folder, waiting for the moment I could hit publish.
This week I also wrote a quick post about my cat on my phone while travelling on a bus. Both were very well received .
There are some ideas and posts which have to sit and slowly develop. You can add a bit here, tinker a bit there, and allow yourself to ponder about it. Then there are some which simply pour from the pen or from my fingertips. I remember writing a post about my frustrations with Florence when I was on holidays last year, and then when my grandfather passed away I wrote about my relationship with him.
So this is what gets me from a blank screen to hitting publish…
1. Prioritising- yes, I know there’s washing to be done, a floor to be vacuumed, because I am currently sitting in a house with stuff like this that has to be done. And I will pretty much use blogging as an excuse to get out of any housework . There were times when I was doing my Masters and I couldn’t see the top of the dining table for all the laundry and books and general household clutter. As long as dinners were cooked and clean clothes could be extracted from the huge pile on the table, I could get on with the business of study and writing. I was also able to be interrupted at any stage for cuddles and tickles.
2. Practising- my art teacher once told me to draw every day. Josh, The World’s Strongest Librarian also commits to writing every day. It may not necessarily be good, but it’s practise.
Do something. Do it every day. Focus on what’s in front of you, not how many days it’s going to take to get it all done. It all adds up.
Neil Gaiman has just released a new book and one site Book Riot has declared today to be Neil Gaiman Day- they collected a series of quotes he has said on books and writing.
One of the quotes I loved was
“I learned to write by writing. I tended to do anything as long as it felt like an adventure, and to stop when it felt like work, which meant that life did not feel like work.”
3. Ponder- just the very act of thinking of an idea and wondering about the angle upon which to write about it can make for great mental gymnastics.
4. And above all be inspired by other People’s Posts. Read what other people write, and be inspired by their triumphs, share their tribulations, and marvel at how they can put one word after another.
Other bloggers have also offered great insights.
Con likes the tactile nature of a pen in her hand when writing difficulties are encountered. Seeing the ink flow onto the page can be very soothing.
For Alisa it is writing one word after another to form a sentence, then another, until a paragraph forms.
And for Abigail the very act of sitting down is the greatest challenge. Even if your initial output is not great, you need to start.
And now I have a cat to pat, kids to put to bed, and a husband whose birthday it is today. Happy birthday Mr BG