I haven’t been writing for the blog a whole lot because I’m always drawing blanks these days when it comes to picking a topic. That, or I’m just too lazy and/or tired.
Or I don’t know, it could be because I’m on a diet.
Though this diet really shouldn’t be an excuse, because I keep breaking it anyway…
Plus I actually like my diet food (when I’m not cheating) so no, as much as I’d like to, I really can’t claim lack of inspiration due to food deprivation.
So yeah, no idea who or what kidnapped my blogging mojo, and who knows if I have the ransom required to get it back…
So I figured I should just write anyway. About nothing. And maybe see if it turns into something.
Because according to my imaginary BFF Neil Gaiman and almost every other writer I admire, if you only write when you’re inspired, then you’re not really much of a writer, are you?
Also, even if you end up writing crap (and just disguising a shameful lack of content with an assortment of cutesy doodles) the exercise of writing still does more good than bad.
Here are a couple of reasons why:
1. Writing begets writing.
Chuck Wendig has a great blog about this, where he says,
Writer means writing. Even if it’s just a moment in the narrative, even if it’s just one thought orchestrated and set gently on the page. An avalanche is snowflakes. An ocean is all droplets. Our life is measured in seconds, our work measured in words, and so you have to put the words down.
The act creates momentum. Writing begets writing begets writing.
Every journey begins with a small step, and all that. To get anywhere, you need to just START. And to get better at anything, you must keep going. This applies to any skill, really. The more you do it, the easier it comes to you.
2. Writing every day forces you think — and it trains you to look for things that you wouldn’t normally notice were there.
I think one of the best things I’ve learned so far this year is that you can actually TRAIN yourself to be happy and more positive — and writing can play a large part in this.
I don’t know if you see all these #100HappyDays or #365Grateful posts on Facebook and Instagram, but they’re all over my feeds. There’s a reason that they work so well (IF you’re able to complete the challenges).
When you make it a habit to record something positive about your day, you train your brain “to retain a pattern of scanning the world, not for the negative, but for the positive first.”
Amazing. And while you write about a happy or positive experience, your brain actually relives it.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT??
And HAH! How awesome is THIS? My blog post about nothing actually ended up having a point. (Two points, in fact!)
What do you know. Chuck Wendig was right. Writing begets writing begets writing.
All you need to do… is start. :)
I got another reader request the other day, so since I’m feeling horribly headachey, I thought I’d answer it instead of attempting the longer post I had planned.
Here’s the question:
And here’s the answer. :)
Hehe. I’m sure other bloggers can probably relate. Social media feedback is addictive, after all. I’m pretty lucky though because this doesn’t really happen very often. I usually get at least a few likes or whatever with every new blog post.. And for as long as I don’t try to compare myself with someone like Chuvaness, I’m cool with that. :)
It used to bum me out a bit in the beginning, but then I realized over time that the number of likes/RTs/comments/shares you get for a post isn’t necessarily a good gauge of how many people actually read it.
I’m always surprised when I’m at a party or something and someone tells me that they read my blog, because I still tend to sometimes assume that the only people who read it are those who react.
Not true, apparently. If you’d like a more accurate picture of your readership, check your blog stats on Google Analytics or something similar. What you find might actually blow your mind. :)
And whenever I’m feeling sorry for myself because no one comments on a post, I always make myself feel better by re-reading this lovely note I once received on my Facebook page:
Awww. I lurve him.
It’s the personal messages like these that I get in my Tumblr inbox, or by email or on Facebook or Twitter or in person, face to face, that I really value, over the quick one-click likes or RTs or reblogs.
Having said all that though, the reactions (or lack thereof) that you do get on social media really shouldn’t be ignored, because they give you a pretty good picture of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to content. If you blog for business, that’s important. (If you blog for fun and for the sheer joy of just blabbing away like me, then maybe not so much. But still helpful.)
At the end of the day I think that regardless of feedback — good or bad, online or offline, plentiful or nonexistent — every blogger should JUST KEEP BLOGGING ANYWAY. Because self-expression — whether anyone’s listening or not — is good for the mind and soul. And writing’s kind of like a muscle. You need to keep exercising it, and the more you do it, the better you get.
The thing I personally find most valuable about blogging is that it forces me to take time out to think and reflect on things, so I end up learning more about myself and the world around me with every post I write. That’s fab.
So yup, while my knee-jerk reaction to a zero-feedback post might be “Aw, bummer..” my longer-term reaction is always the same: Keep right on blogging anyway. Because more than anything else, I blog for me.
When people do read and react, then that just makes an already awesome experience even better. So thanks, whoever’s reading this. I lurve you too. :)
Have a fab weekend, everyone!
Hey, guess what? I have a new email subscription thingy on my blog.
I didn’t really think I needed one, because I personally never subscribe to blog subscription lists myself. I get WAY too much email already as it is. But my friend Shelly posted a blog the other day called Your Tumblr Blog: Why I Hate It — and because I’m apparently pretty paranoid, I immediately assumed she was referring to mine.
Okay, just so you know — she really wasn’t.
Anyway Shelly’s main complaint about Tumblr blogs was that you couldn’t subscribe to them by email. And true enough, when I checked I realized this was true. (Well, for my theme and most others, at least. And I really don’t want to have to go and change.)
Shelly had a point. I kind of assumed that everyone was like me — I use Flipboard or Twitter to keep up with the blogs I like — but different people do have different preferences when it comes to their blog reading. And if you can accommodate them, why not, right?
So HA! A challenge! I couldn’t resist. So that’s where my morning went. DONE. Try hatin’ on my Tumblr now, Shelly. :)
I could go into the whole process of how I set it up and blahblahblah, but I’m sure most of you don’t really need this info. (If you do, just ask me. I used Mailchimp - because it’s all sorts of awesome). And please don’t take this as a request to sign up if you really don’t have to. If you already have access to my posts via another channel ( Twitter, or my Facebook page, or a reader or whatever) - don’t bother.
But if you’re like Shelly and prefer the Inbox route — or if you just want to check out my mad email skillz, go for it. Let’s be email buds. :)
Have a happy weekend, everyone!
Aha! I have another reader question! Yay! Woohoo! So glad I activated that Ask Me Anything thingo on my Tumblr…
…because if that question didn’t come in, then the only other thing to write about would be the new iPhone 5 — which I will never buy because I can never seem to text on those damn things.
I suppose I should blame my own fat fingers, but I prefer to blame Apple. So umm, thanks Trina, for the question.
Anyway, I do get a lot of similar questions from different people about how I come up with my blog posts, what I use to draw, etc, so here’s a quick rundown of the 5-step process behind each Fab After Forty post.
Step 1: Get an idea from real life or the internet.
2. Make a drawing on my iPad so I don’t forget.
3. Laugh at my drawing.
4. Make more drawings later and then upload them to Flickr.
(and laugh again)
5. Write the post when I have time (usually early in the morning)… and laugh some more.
As you can probably tell, I get more of a kick out of this whole blog thing than anyone else, so if other people like it, then that’s just really fabulous frosting on an already fun and flavor-filled cake.
So thanks so much for reading, and laughing along with me. You all rock. :)
Have a great day!