Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

A kick in the ass means a good night’s sleep

I found WordPress and I said I wanted to blog every day.  Yes, this was a lofty goal but I was committed.  I had ideas. I was inspired.  I had opinions to share and a need to rant about my pet peeves.  So much positive energy and yet I have blogged with no regularity.  I have only disappointed myself, someone who claims they want to be a writer.

 Drastic steps had to be taken.

 I called upon Lulu, my alter ego whom also happens to be perfect.  Some have good angels who sit on their shoulders.  I have Lulu living in my head, prompting me to do the things I know I should do but seem to avoid.  Lulu is who tells me the justifiable excuses I am using in my defense are nothing but manure for the gardens in the backyard.  She is the reflection in the mirror when I am being completely honest with myself.

I grabbed a bottle a wine, (red, dry) and two glasses.  I’m not crazy but the second glass makes me feel like I’m not drinking alone.  I grabbed a cake pan, a lighter and sat at the table with a notebook and my favourite pen, affectionately named Herb. I was not leaving the table until I had listed the reasons excuses I was not committing one hour a day to a blog.

With Lulu at the helm and a pleasant glow from the wine, I had a fabulous, honest productive evening.  I faced the fact I didn’t know what to write.  I knew this when I first started the blog but I was trying to believe writing everyday was going to help me answer this question.  I didn’t blog – I found no answers.  I was also forced to admit I am scared to share with the world.  Another attribute not desirable in a want to be writer.  Like every self-help program tells you, the first step is admitting the problem.

In a symbolic gesture to the writing gods (Is there one?) I placed my pages of reasons, excuses, doodles and summary points into the cake pan and set them ablaze.  While I watched the challenges I faced burn, and pieces of ash dance about the dining room (an unexpected benefit) I listened to Lulu telling me that I needed to make a plan, map out the path to success.  I agreed but heard my bed calling me. The bottle of wine made me susceptible to the beckoning.  After a large glass of water and a couple of Tylenol, even Lulu felt a good night’s sleep was in order.

In the morning, the cake pan and its contents served to remind me of the honesty of the previous evening and inspired me to move on to phase two.  Plan your work, work your plan.  I did this, Lulu encouraging me all the way.  While she can annoy me and flip on the inner guilt switch at any time, she can also be my biggest supporter.  She reminds me I am a writer, a technical writer.  I am learning a new genre rather than a new craft.  I hear her telling me of all my accomplishments, some expected of me while others were surprises.  Lulu tells me she believes in me.  Having decided a weekly blog was a better goal and designing my outline and listing upcoming topics, I put my notebook next to the laptop and Herb in his case.  Then I bitch slapped Lulu and sent her back into the depths of my mind.  One can handle only so much honesty at a time.

Kharma is a bitch. I got rid of Lulu and nine days later I still have not posted a blog.  I had a plan! I did all the hard work.  I left my notes next to the computer.  All I had to do was spend a couple of hours in the upcoming week writing a one thousand word blog.  Let me be clear.  I have the abilities to do this.  I have the time to do this.  I offer no excuses.  I simply did not do it.

Lulu wouldn’t let me off this hook this time.  I called on her, again, and the first thing she did was give me a swift kick in the ass.  This time, no planning, just doing.  “Write anything!” echoes through my head.  She promised me she would not let me have a good night’s sleep until I posted something.  Lulu’s threats are not to be taken lightly and quality sleep is important to me.

So here I sit, confessing my insanity.  More importantly I am posting a blog.  Most importantly, I will sleep well tonight.


A week of learning

  • No matter how creative or motivated I feel, I cannot write with the television turned on.  Even if it is only the news or Sportcentre, turned low, in the other room.  I am easily distracted.  For the record, this is not new news to me.
  • Blogging means something different to everyone.  Some use the forum as a personal confessional.  Funny how it seems so easy for people to share their deepest secrets with the world, while writing how they will die if their husband/wife/friend/mother/father/sister/brother should ever find out.  I’ve read other blogs that seem to be elegant advertising in disguise.  There are an amazing number of bloggers who appear as professional as daily columnists of the big papers.  I blog as a daily commitment to improve my writing.  If you read blogs, you understand.
  • I like WordPress.  I admit I haven’t used any other blogging host.  However, I haven’t quit yet, this is a good thing. Some of the simple things elude me.  I still can’t set the correct date and time.  Those who know me, know there ain’t no way I was up at 6:18 am posting anyting on the internet.  I also know that I did blog Thursday and not Friday.  But I do love a challenge.  I am continually playing with the themes.  I know sooner or later the page will become what I want but until then I will click and cancel and see what happens.
  • I still have issues with sharing my posts. I allow myself an hour to blog and I am finding it easier than I expected to keep this commitment.  My inner, anal editor has not given her approval to anything I have posted.  I find my blogs are great brainstorming sessions. They are not reflections of what I want my “reputation” of a writer to be.  Sharing things I feel are incomplete is difficult.  Getting easier but still scarey.
  • I continue to prefer paper and pen over a keyboard and mind numbing screen.  I find the flashing cursor intimidating and the blank screen stifles my creative process.  I like to doodle between thoughts and scratch out and highlight.  I like to write in a spiral bound notebook, several of them on the go at once. 
  • In the back of my head, I find myself always trying to find a unique spin on a routine situation.  I think others call this humour.  I don’t recall ever being so aware of possible writing topics.
  • When I write, I prefer to be outside or near a window.  I find greater inspiration in the outdoors than I do in any set of painted walls.

I’ve been saying I want to be a writer.  Writing on a daily basis has only reaffirmed this desire.  A week into this experiment and I am only feeling better about my decision!

Two down, a lifetime to go

When I made the decision to start a blog, I thought it would be easy.  I am competent, not afraid of computers and I have never been responsible for any great technological catastrophe.  The internet makes everything simple, right?

Sometimes more is too much.  Have you ever Googled “free blog hosting”?  Over 86 million results were returned.  Yikes!!  I knew there would be some work sifting through all the “ideal” sites but I was not prepared to spend a year of my life clicking links leading nowhere.  It was time for Plan B.

Using the old-fashioned land line, I reached out to those friends and coworkers whom I know blog.  Yes, it was some help but not as much as I had hoped.  I did discover one friend is leaving his current job for another.  A girlfriend gave me the fabulous news that she and her hubby are expecting; she’ll be blogging about it.  A technogeek pal of mine jumped right over the topic of where to blog and directly into how a blog can make you extra money.  An afternoon well spent but not productive.  Time for eeny-meeny-miney-moe.  For no other reason, I landed here.

Of course, the first thing WordPress wanted to do was tax the creative side of my brain.  Sign in names and user names are not easy to think up.  I thought I had several great names and titles, all of them taken.  I’m guessing the rest of the world has not been as reluctant to blog as myself.  Once I set up Sweet’s Ideas, I had to deal with widgets and calendars and RSS feeds.  These are the things that attract others to a blog, not the writing.  Pity.

After picking a theme and pushing my frustration level to the max, trying to figure out all the technical stuff, I moved ahead to Plan H.  The most important part of this new habit is to write.  Stephen King has a wonderful mantra, “read a lot, write a lot”.  I say these words to myself over and over and over again.  My mission is to write every day.  All the small details will work themselves out over time.  I could easily spend hours tweaking my new site, making it visitor friendly.  The truth is it would be an act of procrastination, something to keep me from practicing my craft.  I am here to write.

So here sits my blog with a simple theme and nothing but a calendar.  It will grow and change as I do.  I will learn how to use links and to how to attract readers.  Most importantly, I will write every day.