Comment on Martha’s Getting Past the Blog Block: Part 2

Martha’s been blogging about writer’s block with respect to her blog. Here is my comment on her second installment:

First off, I have nothing to say that you don’t already know. But let me ignore that point. The way to become a better writer is to write. The way to become a more comfortable blogger is to write blog postings. It’s as simple (or as hard) as that. You don’t need to agonize over it. Just do it.

Okay, so let me respond to your specific points: I think you’re working from some faulty premises. On the one hand you suggest that a blog posting has to be a magnum opus. “[S]truggling for breath on a mountain trail and then suddenly finding myself at the top. ” Great metaphor and I agree that sometimes writing can be like that, but blogging? For me, rarely. Later you say that blogging should be spontaneous. I don’t think blogging can be both.

I wonder if you’re trying too hard or maybe thinking too hard. Blogging should be like breathing –something you just do without too much conscious effort. Sure, you want to express your point correctly and well. So just do the best you can and let it go. Blog postings aren’t intended to be finished publications. You think your ideas may be half cooked? Why don’t you let your readers decide? I’ve never thought that about any of your posts. The worst reaction I’ve ever had is, “This doesn’t really interest me,” but even that, rarely.

Personally, I don’t worry too much about getting posts published. I tend to write them in three steps: First, when I first get an idea for a posting, I open a new post and jot my notes down. Next, I come back, usually at least 24 hours later, and write a first draft of the post. This is for me the hardest step, and I often do it in several sessions. Finally, I come back a third time and polish the post. I almost never write an post in one try. In fact, at this moment I have 9 posts in various stages of construction, some going back months. It is true that sometimes a partially finished posting gets dated and I delete it. But I don’t worry about that. There’s always something else to write about. Something that someone might find interesting.

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6 Responses to Comment on Martha’s Getting Past the Blog Block: Part 2

  1. Martha says:

    Ah, yes. Well, if only I could just rewire myself. 😉

    I have to laugh when you say that perhaps I’m “trying too hard or maybe thinking too hard.” That’s what I could call The Story of My Life. No suprise that it’s playing itself out in my blogging habits, really.

    But I do take your point to heart. And, trust me, finding a way to turn my brain off and simply, well, LIVE, is a challenge I tackle almost every day in almost everything I do.

    I find your own description of how you write a post very interesting. I wonder how others tackle the process of writing posts. It’s funny. We don’t really talk (at least in the blog circles I lurk in) about HOW we go about writing for our blogs. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that if we compared our processes we’d find a wide variety of approaches. Now THAT I find really intersting — much more interesting, in fact, than my own (blogging) neuroses.

  2. Andy Rush says:

    Man, I thought I overthought MY blog postings. Seriously? A three-step blogging program? Take a page from your own advice and “just do it”! Get those 9 other posts out here and let’s get cracking on the discussion. The best way to become a more comfortable blogger is to write blog posts and push the damn PUBLISH button 😉

    Easy for me to say!

  3. Steve says:

    Sometimes I skip the note-jotting stage and go straight to writing, but I almost never write and publish in one setting. 🙂

  4. Gardner says:

    Scattered responses:

    I almost always write and publish in one setting (sitting?).

    No brains turned off, please. 😉 Simply living sans brain-on = not good. imv.

    I like the feeling of not being able not to write. Having blogged most irregularly of late, I obviously need to cultivate that feeling some more. Reading more blogs usually gets me going. But I’m also doing some mulling these days that would be helped by blogging but is also blocking me a bit. Drat, another paradox, or perhaps only irony. 🙂

  5. Martha says:

    Perhaps I need a clapper for my brain: Brain-on! Brain-off!

  6. Gardner says:

    Nah, you just need a “fly” button. 😉

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