Thursday, July 29, 2010
When you stop by here during the week and don't see a new post up that day, it is for one of three reasons:
1. The rest of my life got in the way and I just didn't have time
2. The previous post is something I feel deserves an extra day of attention
3. I couldn't come up with anything to write about
I always applaud people who put their priorities on the real world over the blogosphere so #1 is A-OK. I also believe in the power of promotion - giving your words an extra opportunity to be seen is A-OK too. But having a blank slate when it is time to post? That is just plain annoying. And it sucks the joy of blogging right out of me.
I've posted before about a brainstorming technique I use every now and then to kick writer's block. But today I want to address the benefits of a blog journal. I have limited time for blogging - just like you. So I don't like to waste that time sitting around wondering what I could write about. Wouldn't it be nice to have a book filled with post ideas to refer to in times of blankness? Well, I have one. My little spiral notebook with different colored sections is my blog bible.
In my journal I write down all of my ideas - good or bad - that pop into my head at all hours of the day or night. Sometimes it is just a snippet of a phrase that might make a good post title. Other times it is a broad idea for a big series. I write down sites that I think might be helpful or useful someday. I take notes in there from online conferences I attend or tips I read on other blogs. It is a catchall for any and every thought that might make a great post or teach me how to blog more easily.
This collection of ideas makes it easier for me to get out of a lazy moment or writing slump. I take things a little further and plot out posts for the upcoming month. I enjoy flipping through my blog bible and reviewing these random thoughts of mine and slotting them into a day where they might actually have a chance to be born for the blogosphere to discover. It also saves me time each night when I get home. I don't have to come up with an idea. And I don't have to go pick one out. I just look at what I suggested for myself for that day - and I write it.
I rarely follow a month's plot fully. I am forever switching posts around because I'm not really into writing that one - but the one for next week fits my mood just right. Or I don't have the accompanying photos taken for a planned idea so I put it off until I do and write something else from the list. My monthly post plots are a guide, and a safety net each night. But to some of you, that much planning might feel constricting or unnecessary because you like spur of the moment or don't keep to a regular writing schedule.
The most important tip I'm trying to convey here is that capturing your random thoughts and ideas can be a big help in saving time or to get you through a rough patch of writer's block. How you collect them is up to you. Find a method that works for you and put it to the test.