Last Wednesday was the first anniversary of blogging every day here at The Sound of One Hand Typing, AM and FM. If people are interested in blogging and want to know what it’s like, or why I do it, these are the things I’m likely to tell them.
- You learn to wing it. There are nights I’m sitting there at 9:00 and I haven’t produced that day’s entry. That’s when I start pounding my head against the table saying, “what the **** am I gonna write about?” Finally, I’ll just start writing, and a post emerges from that.
- A good way to start is by doing other challenges. Blogging every day for me started with last year’s July Ultimate Blog Challenge. There are challenges going on all over the place during the week, and most of them are more than happy to have you play along. The A to Z Challenge, which I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about by now, is a fantastic way to start. ROW80, although I haven’t participated the last couple of rounds, is another.
- You have to motivate yourself. And sometimes it’s not easy. I use the Jerry Seinfeld method, which I discussed here. It’s a trip seeing the days mark themselves off on the calendar.
- Reading other blogs and leaving comments is a good way to get people to visit your blog. As Yogi Berra once said, you should go to other people’s funerals or they won’t go to yours. It’s the old tree-in-the-forest thing: you can write great blog posts, but if no one knows about you, no one will visit. This is something I need to improve at, by the way.
- Daily features help a lot. Two for Tuesday, the Thursday Ten, and The Week That Was mean I know what I’m going to write on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Add Stream of Consciousness Saturday, the Battles of the Bands, and Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, and most of my week is planned. In fact, I could probably get a lot more done ahead of time than I do, and probably should. Okay, I’m still learning.
- It’s a real boost to creativity. Last year, I had the grandiose notion that I would become an idea machine. And it didn’t go anywhere until I started writing every day. I noticed then that the ideas were biting me in the backside constantly.
- The amount of work you put into a post is sometimes inversely proportional to the number of comments you get. I can really bust my butt writing a post and get maybe one or two comments, or I can post a video or an image quote and get more posts than I can handle. It’s like the Pareto principle in action (20% of the effort yields 80% of the results).
- It’s okay to reuse material, yours and other people’s. I make certain to check with another blogger before I repost one of their posts on my blog, of course; if they say no, I’ll write a post that links to their original, and add my own comments. As for my own stuff, I have no problem with posting something that I wrote in the Dark Ages (i.e. before I actually had readers). Sometimes I get more conversation than I did the first time.
- Social media is a great source of ideas. Sometimes when I’m stuck I’ll head out to Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and look for something that strikes my fancy. If I want to comment on it, I’ll stop and ask, “might this make a good blog post?” Sometimes it does.
- It’s worth the effort. I love doing this. I wouldn’t still be doing it if I didn’t.
Again, thank you for reading and for keeping me going. Now I should probably figure out what I’m going to do tomorrow…
from The Sound of One Hand Typing