Wednesday, March 31, 2010

9 ‘UN-Blockers’ for Writers (Pt. 1/3)

Ok, folks in an attempt to work in a little more protein into my blogging diet, I am going to experiment with a short serial blog. This essay will be broken into 3 parts over 3 consecutive days. While yes, it may prolong the pain if the topic doesn’t light your fire. But the format will allow me a little more latitude in addressing topics that take more time to explore than my typical 300 – 500 word blogpost. Regardless, the idea is still to enlighten and entertain, so I’ll do my best to move it along. Also, I’ll continue to post my normal random blogs during the overnight update, so every morning topics will be fresh and new to start the day off right. Enjoy! - W.C.C.

---------- Begin Prime 9 ‘Un-Blockers’– Part 1 of 3 ----------

Let’s face it, you like to write and read, or you would have never started a blog. The only problem is that in a fairly short period of time, unless your life is rife with ACTUAL ‘taxi-cab confessionals’, your fresh ideas start to wane. Never fear as I, and millions of other bloviating bloggers, feel your pain and want to do something about it. We all start out with that same weak and wimpy blog-body. But if you bulk up on these 'prime nine' tips to sit down, lube-up, and start working out your blogging chops – then soon, you too will surely find writing Nirvana as the ultimate blockage-free blogger.

Now let me tell you first hand, as someone who posts at least two essays daily in addition to other writing tasks, blogging can start ‘dogging’ you big-time when those self-imposed posting deadlines are looming. Writing is like any job, no matter how much you like it, you have to find ways to keep it fresh and hone techniques to streamline the workload. In the end however, it all comes down to that dirty word ‘practice’ and finding your natural voice when you write. The best blog writers don’t struggle to ‘make it fit’ because their blogs are already custom fit to their natural style, expertise, and – you know … VOICE!

1)Start a ‘running’ document. Huh? This is a basic Notepad or word processing file named something original like “BLOG IDEAS”. I never shut down this document on my computer – it just RUNS all the time. Why? Well, some of my best blog posts materialize when I am doing completely ordinary things. In fact those things are so ORDINARY, that I will forget the “hook” that caught my attention in the first place. For example a “Pop Tart” may get caught in the toaster and I might reflect on how much “I hate cheap appliances”. Or maybe I’ll simply wonder how Pop Tarts got their name and figure that other people may be interested too? Anytime you find inspiration, expand on any of your running document topics but feel no need to finish. At this stage, we're not producing polished gems - your job is just to get those fleeting observations and ideas on paper. We'll clean it all up later with a few 'scrub-downs' and a final edit prior to posting.

2)Like your running blog document, start a “fragment file”. This document you can close normally but often it is a good place to throw funny word pairings or great mind visuals that you might be able to work into your blog posts or jog your writing-mind later. Random alliterations like “Apple’s Applets” or “invigorating ignorance” begin to help form word pictures in your writing. You should also store curious or interesting news headlines that may need further research such as “Winter Olympics trucks in snow” or “Prehistoric fish tastes just like chicken” would be oddball attention grabbing fragments I might keep. By maintaining a file of these ‘Big N’ Blasty’ fun phrases and entertaining news clips, you’ll be miles ahead in future writing ideas as compared to your blogging brethren.

3)Simply start writing. Oh gee thanks, I never thought of that? Ok, it is the oldest one in the book but guess what – IT WORKS. I often in fact cannot think of a clever hook or title for my stories but I have a general direction in mind to take the essay. Start smack dab in the middle and start laying out what you ALREADY know or at least write down what you think you know. You will be surprised how a few words will lead you to a few more, and suddenly you have a completed paragraph. Better yet, usually you’ll have an idea of how to hook your topic into that body copy and a good starting point for further research if your article requires sourcing.

------------- END PART ONE of THREE PARTS -------------

Ok, that’s a wrap. Check back tomorrow after 1400 Hrs. CST for Part 2. Have a great day! –W.C.C.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! Some great tips to keep me going.