As Blogging months go I really didn’t enjoy October one bit. It was filled with excuses and distractions and I found very little joy in the whole experience and got myself into a bit of a hole with it all.
I’ve been doing this since last July and I was certainly at my least inspired and uncreative but I wont go as far as to call it writer’s block because there would be the presumption that I am a writer and that is something I just cant really come to terms with. It was more a matter of not being able to quite find the time to do it properly.
I started a new job a short while ago so am actually having to work for my money which is a real pain in the arse I tell you and at night I was finding myself far too weary when I eventually sat in front of the keyboard so mostly I just went to sleep instead or sulked a bit.
Now the urges and ideas were still there that wasn’t the problem. My head is always full of dirty limericks and images of stick people finger banging each other and I am never short of an idea for a bit of a story but time just seemed to conspire against me. Or at least I let it.
Interestingly my diet also suffered during the month which I wrote about here and I think maybe that was part of the problem. My discipline in general had gone to pot and across the board I was finding myself unproductive and rather jaded and allowing myself to find excuses wherever they presented themselves.
Anyway, as November loomed I decided bollocks to the excuses and given that I was off today planted my arse in front of the laptop for the day and forced myself to get back on the horse I have so enjoyed riding this last year. I forced myself to write whatever old bollocks I could muster and you know what, I have enjoyed it immensely. It’s hardly great stuff but it’s my stuff and I cracked a smile when I did it and I felt rather relaxed by it all which is great because It has caused me some stress at times which is just ridiculous.
Ive managed maybe ten pieces today which is great but mostly I have enjoyed feeling creative again. Yes I didn’t feed the kids and absolutely I should have made them do something productive instead of leaving them to do whatever it is they got up to all day, but it was more important for me to do what I needed to do because I far less grumpy and dickish when I am being creative. I never received any notifications that I had been charged for anything so I think I got away lightly.
I think November will be better.
24 posts in 24 hours. I know I know – I have no idea why either…
I do apologise terribly for filling your reader the last 24 hours. I simply decided to do 24 posts in 24 hours because Ive never done it before. Ive been struggling to write of late and feeling weary and just rather lethargic so I thought maybe a challenge might be good for me. I wanted to do more but I was quite busy so didnt get to do some of the stuff I planned but such is life. Well I think it was 24. I think maybe I missed one but the intention was there.
My thoughts on keeping up momentum with your blog.
You might wonder why the dickens I am posting so much today, and if so all will become clear eventually. For now though I will continue and post a little more about my experience of blogging this last year. I wrote a bit here, and another bit here already.
In the last year I have posted almost everyday. I did a count and in total I think I missed 30 days which isn’t bad. That is not to say I haven’t written a lot – I have written about 1100 pieces – it’s just that I actually just like to get them posted once I have written them instead of scheduling them in some organised schedule. I will schedule perhaps to the next day if I have a lot to post but I found that scheduling posts for say the next week took some of my focus away and made me a little complacent.
Now I don’t write for any reason other than to write and to hopefully leave something my kids will read one day and perhaps their children too. I don’t dream of publishing a novel or changing lives or anything so noble. I write because I love doing it and I should have been doing it for the last 30 years.
I realise this can be somewhat boom or bust at times and this week is a great example. I have been pretty busy at work and at home and low on energy as I get used to my new diet and this ungodly warm weather so I managed maybe a post or two a day at best. I made notes in my notebook and scribbled down ideas but that was the extent of my creativity. By the time Friday came around I felt this surge of creativity and energy and so decided that I would do a post an hour for the next 24 hours. Monday might be lean when it eventually comes around but for me writing is all about writing in the moment and following the urges I feel.
Now I should say that I would also advocate writing every day even if it is something small. Keep the brain going and maintain a degree of routine and you wont find yourself slipping too far behind. I have occasionally taken some time away and to be honest it was a bad idea. I found it really difficult to get back to my writing as other things took up the time I put aside and I am unlikely to do anything like that again.
If you can’t be arsed with all that here are a few bullet points for you on my experience that you might find useful:
- Keep a notebook to hand you never know when inspiration will strike. Or text yourself. Or write it on your hand. I know Ive forgotten some great ideas.
- Write something every day and you wont drift too far from your blog
- When inspiration strikes follow the urge. If that means ten posts in a day then sod it – do it.
- Make time to write and ask those around you to help you stick to the schedule because creativity matters
My thoughts on keeping up momentum with your blog.
I wrote here a couple of weeks ago about the one year anniversary and threatened to impart a few thoughts on my year of blogging, so here you go.
My thoughts on keeping up momentum.
A lot of people seem to start out with much gusto and quite quickly falter when they realise that you wont actually get many readers at all when you first press submit. Hitting the first year was important for me as I read that 90% of bloggers throw the towel in before they reach that point and I was determined to not be one of those. Apparently 80% of people who hit the first year don’t make it through the second so yes, the chances of success are slim, but then again what do you regard as success?
Whether you write for pleasure or for profit I think it goes without saying, though I am going to say it, that you have to have a degree of tenacity. You need to love what you are doing and if you do and work on your craft and engage with others then over time you will build up a following. Perhaps that is the best you can hope for? You can only control yourself and not others so as brilliant as you may be and as fabulous as your writing is you might just struggle at first. I think some of my first posts had four or five views at best – and even now when I have 650 or so followers I might still only get 40 or 50 views for a piece if I’m lucky – so you have to be patient and work for the reward.
For me I have always avoided the idea of a follow for a follow. I will check out most people who follow me in the hope that their work or they themselves are interesting – and if they are I follow – otherwise I move on. It is not at all personal – I just like my reader feed to be full of things that I can engage in. I know of bloggers who work damned hard at flitting around from blogger to blogger liking and commenting (often with the same comments) to try and get them to follow them in return. From what I can tell this does not necessarily create an engaged and interested following. You reap what you sow and I think that type of insincere approach gets the same in return. You can tell because the blogger will have a complete lack of engagement with their work despite a number of likes. Comments aren’t everything, and people can comment without reading, but when a piece has 40 likes and no comments at all on a subject that cannot go without comment that makes me wonder.
I might be wrong but I don’t think I am.
So where was I heading with this? Not absolutely certain but here’s a few bullet points on my thinking if you can’t be arsed to read all of the rest of my thoughts up there:
- Write regulary. If I follow you I want to read your stuff. It will make you a better writer too.
- Engage and be engaging – people can be more interesting than their work
- Consider the length of your post. I’m surprised you got this far. People have a short attention span.
- Don’t be afraid to repost earlier posts. They are probably fab and worth another look.
- Take joy in what you do. It shows and it is infectious.
- Don’t take it personally if no one likes your stuff. It might be shit, it might be that people don’t get you. Who cares – you’re creating stuff and that’s awesome
- Share someone else’s work now and then. I should do it more and will. You should too.
- When you think you can do it anymore or don’t want to then that is precisely when you sit your backside down and do something, There isn’t enough creativity in the world.
I think that will do for now. Until next time.
Photo courtesy of pixabay