April 08, 2008

Writer's Block- Do You Stop Blogging

I recently received an email in which I was asked if I ever suffer from writer's block and if so, do I stop blogging. The answer is that like everyone else I have moments in which I suffer from writer's block.

Sometimes I just can't seem to think of what to blog about. Since I am not paid to blog I don't spend a lot of time worrying about it. I don't have to worry about whether I'll lose readers because of poor quality or because the topic is poor. Of course I prefer to have good topics and great quality, but that is a side issue.

The second form of writer's block is the one that I find to be far more pernicious. Instead of struggling to come up with a topic I struggle to write what I consider a quality post. The writing doesn't flow. It is stilted, awkward and lacks any sort of rhythm.

This begs the question of how to handle these situations. The answer for me is simple. I never stop writing. Writing takes practice. It doesn't matter if I can't seem to get it out, I keep pushing. Sooner or later I find my way again.

Let me clarify a few things.

My first rule of blogging is to read other blogs. Read, read, read and then read some more. The blogosphere is full of some wonderful writers. Some of them are simply amazing. Simple, eloquent, powerful pieces of writing are all around us. Expose yourself to them and you begin to learn how to adopt some of their tricks for your own use.

The second rule of blogging is to write even when you feel like you cannot. Write, write, write and then write some more. Technically you should take a moment to review and rewrite your posts. As my long time readers know this is something that I rarely do. It is probably a mistake on my part, I could certainly improve my posts.

The third rule of blogging is to write with passion about something that you are passionate about. It is not profound. It is not all that insightful and I am not the first person to say this, but if you like what you are writing about it will come out in your writing.

I don't want to get caught up in writing about rules. I have an issue with authority. I don't like rules, I often break them so why should I list them. Instead let me share another idea/thought with you. Music inspires me. I often find that I can break through whatever challenge is facing me by playing music.

Music is a language unto itself. Obviously I like to share that with you. Right now I am listening to Daler Mehndi. I haven't the foggiest idea what he is singing about, but it has a nice beat and he has passion. That is a good combination.

One more suggestion for you. If you really enjoy writing I encourage you to purchase a few books that you can use to help build your vocabulary. It is another good way of finding ways to break through those tougher moments. I have a few of these books.
Words That Make a Difference And How To Use Them In A Masterly Way- Robert Greenman
Rare Words- Jan Leighton
The Highly Selective Thesaurus For The Extraordinarily Literate- Eugene Ehrlich
They have all been very useful. I would suggest that you be judicious in your use of them. That is, it is good to expand your vocabulary but don't let new words spoil your natural rhythm and flow. Introduce new words slowly and it will sound natural. Insert too many at once and you can come off sounding like a pretentious fob.

Well, it is after midnight here so I think that we'll call it a night. See you all in the A.M.

4 comments:

Leora said...

You don't talk about vulnerability. I can write, write, write, but do I feel comfortable sharing? I self-censor. Part of my upbringing. "Think before you speak," so I think so much it doesn't come out.

Debbie said...

I don't think about writer's block. There are days where I don't even want to open the laptop, not because there is nothing I want to write about. It's because I just get tired of all the negative things going on in our country and the world. Sometimes we need to step back from that negativity.

There are so many GOOD and wonderful things, if we listen to the news we forget that sometimes.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

chaviva said...

Luckily, I don't believe in Writer's Block. I think it's the biggest myth out there, and most of the time is an excuse for lack of motivation or an excuse for not writing down the ideas that are presently percolating!

Maybe this comes from being schooled in the ways of journalism? Who knows :)

Jack said...

Leora,

I understand vulnerability. I have written those posts and they're not real easy to write. Although it was easier when I had complete anonymity.

Debbie,

It is important to share the good news.

Chaviva

Could be.