A professional writer asked me, 8 months into my nearly daily posting, how I was finding so much material to write about. Well, how could you not? I replied. Life is so interesting. Not so fast….Life might indeed be interesting but writing after work as I do can be tiring, ideas don’t light up at the turn of a switch and, let’s face it, I don’t lead as interesting a life as Mata Hari.
On January 1 WordPress issued a challenge to all its bloggers, inviting them to try to blog once a day or once a week. Flurries of e-mails followed packed with suggestions on how to sustain a blogging life, including daily topics one could pick from in the absence of inspiration. That is when I realized I had developed mechanisms to help me stay on track, for no other reason than needing to assuage my incredibly stubborn streak.
- Keep lists – Ideas strike at inappropriate or un-blogging moments. Write them down because they will never present themselves again in the same form. If I remember to be incredibly organized, I will jot them down on my i-Phone, otherwise it’s bits of paper thrown in my purse. I might not use all of them but they have become a security blanket I can draw from.
- Posting is a little bit akin to going to the gym – I might not always feel like it but I stay focussed on the bigger goal, whatever that might be for you. A smaller ass or a creative outlet – not much of a stretch.
- Once you start having subscribers, even if just one, you don’t want to let them down. I get so pissed off when I miss my New York Times delivery! Not that anybody waits for my postings with bated breath but I feel like I entered a little pact with my readership.
- Take a vacation from your blog from time to time and recharge your brain.
- If you are particularly inspired, write multiple posts and keep them in your back pocket.
- If you are shy or fearful, it’s an excellent way to put yourself out there and receive criticism. Only once did I come across some nutcase who started bombarding me with offensive and threatening comments but as we are the ruler of the comments we receive he was quickly spammed.
Most of all, have fun. As a literary major and a non native English speaker I am painfully aware my writing is often not up to snuff. But whose snuff anyway? I am not aspiring to a Jane Austen pantheon. Just fulfilling my words addiction.