Don’t Force Your Writing

Once you figure out what you are going to write about, then look inside of yourself and stop wasting time.  Go with your gut instincts, leave your mind alone and jot your thoughts down.  You can always go back and edit it later, but while your ideas are fresh in your head, it is time to start writing.  Time rolls by like hurricanes, runnin’ after the subway train and don’t forget the pourin’ rain, because all of these things can end up being distractions.  Take the bull by the horns, buckle down and get it done, cross the Rubicon, face the music, and run the gauntlet.  Your article is not going to write itself and the only way for you to get anything done is by getting started.

Written for Blogging Insights new format #43 by Dr. Tanya, where we are being asked to consider the following Ray Bradbury quote, “Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way”.

Turnabout is Fair Play

Sometimes I work Fandango into my stories, and I think that we have become really good friends, so there is no malicious intent on either part between us, as he even referred to me as his blogging buddy today.  I have indicated many times that I write for my own enjoyment, and I don’t consider the feelings of my prospective readers when I write a post.  Why should I?  If I lose a follower, or for heaven’s sake, I could lose all of my followers, is that going to keep me from writing?  I write and people are able to read what I write, and if they chose not to that is no skin off of my back.  I never know how a post is going to turn out, and I have written some stinkers, but I pick myself up and start all over again the next day.  Just like the Grateful Dead motto, “Takes time, you pick a place to go, just keep truckin’ on.”  I have no clue what my readers want, so I try hard to write as good as I can, putting my best foot forward and not looking back.  I think that everything that I write is beautiful in its own way.

Written for Blogging Insights by Dr. Tanya where Fandango has stepped in as the guest host and he has asked us to consider the following quote “You must write for yourself, above all.  That is your only hope of creating something beautiful.”

Vibrations Create Sound

Julia Child felt that the only way to learn how to cook was to start cooking and writing works the same way.  When Julia Child made a mistake, she always knew how to fix it and it is much easier to fix something that you write than it is to fix food.  You can’t expect your writing to be perfect, as it may never be, so you shouldn’t wait for perfection.  Get your thoughts written out, look them over and revise where you see it is necessary.  If you can get another set of eyes on your work, that would even be better.  If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, would the sound exist, if nobody was able to perceive it?  The same goes for your writing, and if it remains unpublished and nobody ever reads it, then you probably just wasted your time writing.  I have 3 unpublished books and I am not waiting for perfection, as I know that I will never achieve that.  My problem is that I don’t think the world is ready for me yet.

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #37 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote by Margaret Atwood, which is “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”

Not An Online Journal

I see so many bloggers that like to write about every event in their day like as if other people actually care and want to hear about this.  They might write something like, “I walked my dog today and she made a really big poop, and I was so happy for her”, wtf that is totally boring and way too much information.  Some bloggers are compelled to write six or more posts every day and nobody’s life is that interesting, so keep this stuff to yourselves, as we all have our own problems.  I am not a very popular blogger and that doesn’t bother me at all, as I am happy to reside in the shadows.  I don’t think that a blog should be an online journal, but many bloggers do this, and they are way more successful than I am.  There seems to be an audience for everything, so people should continue doing whatever makes them happy.

A blog can be about your own experiences, observations, and it should include your own opinions, and if you want it to be a personal reflection of how you spent your time, that should be fine.  You can talk about having to go to the dentist because your tooth is hurting you, or that they have to take their car to the repair shop because their check engine idiot light lit up on your dashboard, but it can be so much more.  The best thing for me is the prompt challenges and although I only participate in a few of them, they do make blogging much more interesting.  If you allow likes and comments at the end of your blog, this is a great way to start conversations and get to meet other bloggers that you have things in common with.  I blog because I enjoy writing and I read other blogs to see what people have to say.  I have no idea why blogging became so popular, but I read a lot of other blogs, and that takes up as much of my time as writing my own posts does.  What you consume out of the blog that you read is dependent entirely on how interesting it was to you.  Let’s face it, some blogs are completely boring!

Written for Blogging Insights by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote which is “I believe the term ‘blog’ means more than an online journal. I believe a blog is a conversation. People go to blogs to read AND write, not just consume.” – Michael Arrington, TechCrunch.

Original Ideas

Bloggers are people that decide to share their thoughts with the world through writing, but like in all things, some are more talented than others.  Mark Twain once said, “There is no such thing as a new idea.  It is impossible.  We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.”  I don’t believe this, but if this is true, then writers need to be creative with recycled ideas and present them in ways that are interesting.  I try to be unique by writing things that make my stories stand out and I hope that my readers will be able to find some personal meaning in them.  The philosopher John Locke stated that “all of our knowledge and ideas arise from experience”, so in order to be a good writer, you have to get a life.

Locke popularized the notion of “tabula rasa” which is Latin for blank slate and that the human mind receives knowledge and is formed because of experience alone, as infants are born without any pre-existing innate ideas that would serve them as a starting point.  Aristotle originated this idea saying, “The mind is in a sense potentially whatever is thinkable though actually it is nothing until it has thought.  What it thinks must be in it just as characters may be said to be on a writing tablet on which, as yet nothing stands written: this is exactly what happens with the mind.”  Aristotle’s ideas went against what Plato thought to be true about the human mind and the soul existing before a person was born, so his ideas went unnoticed for years.

Let’s say that all people start out the same and we all have access to the same information, so it is our environment and genetics that make us unique from each other.  Creative use of language is a cognitive skill, necessarily rooted in the physical structures of the brain.  Given the extent to which our brains are hardwired for language, and the need that a writer has for storytelling, genetics must play a part, but not every writer will become Shakespeare.  Whether writing is genetic, environmental, or both, writers need to create their own style to set them apart from others and give them their own voice.  Writing is as much about what you say, as it is about the way that you say it.

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #33 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote by Matt Wolfe which is There’s a lot of information out there for free, so you’ve got to figure out what makes your information different.”

What Good Is It

If you publish a book and nobody reads it, it is like the sound that nobody heard from the tree that fell in the forest.  Since sound is defined as our ability to perceive air vibrations, sound does not exist if we do not hear it.  Anyone who has the ability to write a book can self-publish it, but a new author will spend around $2,000 for the publishing fees.  These fees cover editing, cover design, formatting, marketing services and proofreading.  Picture books and graphic novels will be much more expensive, because this requires the publisher to do more work.  Almost no costs are applicable for blogging and people publish blogs every day, but the printed word will still be costly.

Reading is a preferred leisure activity for many individuals, so books are important if they become successful.  Over 3 million books are published each year, but very few become popular and less than 500 make it to the New York Times bestseller lists.  The average American reads 12 to 13 books per year, and book publishing is a huge industry in the U.S. because of this.  Books are sold in hardcovers and the cheaper paperbacks, and even less costly are the digital e-books and now we have audiobooks.  Printed books remain the preferred format for 65% of book readers in the U.S and most people prefer reading mystery, thriller or crime genres.  If your book is not successful, you can still call yourself an author, but it could be an expensive title to purchase.

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #32 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote by Dick Costolo which is “The Internet destroyed most of the barriers to publication.  The cost of being a publisher dropped to almost zero with two interesting immediate results: anybody can publish, and more importantly, you can publish whatever you want.

My Focus

I try to focus on producing good content, which means that I do my research, before writing about anything.  I don’t give a flying fig about my readers, because I write for my own enjoyment and they can either read what I write, or not, as I consider ensuring reader satisfaction to be out of my control, so that is the last thing that I am going to worry about.  I only have 1,565 Followers and I don’t want or need any more and most of my Views come from my Song Lyric Sunday posts.  I do my thing and I get an average of 14 comments per post and an average of 16 likes per post and I realize that this is as popular as I am ever going to be.  I enjoy writing and I like being challenged, so I will continue blogging, but my readers have nothing to do with the content that I produce.

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #31 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote by Brian Clark which is “Don’t focus on having a great blog.  Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.”

Being Unique

If everyone writes about the same thing, then the posts that are different are going to be the ones that are interesting to others.  I am not a marketing strategist, and I don’t know what other people want, but I do know what I want.  Unlike most other people, I thought that the Super Bowl halftime show yesterday featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, and Eminem was the worst one ever, as I found it to be unwatchable.  Admittedly, I am not a fan of Hip-Hop music, which is a big thing in Hollywood, as I feel that this is what people do when they can’t really sing, or are able to play an instrument properly.  I don’t have my hand on the pulse of what every other person finds to be interesting, so I am out of touch with what is going on.  I try to avoid blogs that that don’t share my interests and I am sure that many people find my writing to be uninteresting to them, and that is why I am not a very popular blogger.  The thing is, I am not an attention seeker looking for popularity and I just want to be who I am.

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #30 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote by Lee Odden which is “A blog is only as interesting as the interest shown in others.”

Sending Junk

Creative writers don’t spam.  If you resourceful enough to come up with your own imaginative, original content, then there is no need to spam.  In this case, I am considering spam to be the same thing as unwanted junk, or trash comments, that have nothing to do with the post that you have written.  I am not talking about the spam that is sent in bulk by a botnet with malicious intent, or other unsolicited communications sent in bulk over the internet, as this type of spam doesn’t have anything to do with blogging.  These spam comments would place a link in your post to the Best Dating Site, or that ask you stupid questions about where they could go to purchase E-Cig & Vapor.  They might be talking about a pharmaceutical drug for erectile dysfunction, or they could be representing some Nutritional Products that they are trying to catch your attention with.

I haven’t quite figured this one out yet, but I am going to classify it as the over complimentary spam comment, and it would go something like this.  “Wow, wonderful weblog format!  How long have you ever been blogging for?  you made running a blog look easy.  The whole look of your website is magnificent, as neatly as the content!”  They usually embed a link below this type of statement probably thinking that since they gave you such a flattering comment, that you will want to check them out.  My favorite spam comments to see in my spam folder go like this.  “Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.  Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.  Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!”  I don’t know why I find these funny, but I guess it is good to see the spammers get frustrated.

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #29 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote by Adrienne Smith which is “Successful people don’t spam.”

Quote Does Not Apply

I have heard this before that, “The first thing you need to decide when you build your blog is what you want to accomplish with it, and what it can do if successful”, and it seems to make a lot of sense, except for the fact that most people who start blogging have no clue what they are doing.  The more posts that you write and read, the more you will learn and since everything changes over time, I have to disagree with this quote.  It is nice to have ambition, but as the saying goes, “Man plans and God laughs”, so the only way to survive anything is to be adaptable.  Since everything doesn’t always work out for everyone all of the time, oy is probably a good idea to have a backup plan for your master plan, or you can just go with the flow.  It is hard to plan when you don’t know what obstacles you will encounter, and the only way to learn is to get started, so I would tell anyone who decides that they want to start a blog, to go ahead, but don’t plan on being successful, unless you are willing to put in a lot of hard work.  I think that a better quote would have been what the Beatles said, “You say you got a real solution.  Well you know.  We’d all love to see the plan.”

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #28 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote.