I think I have a smart looking blog. Designing the look of my blog was fun and, I believe, successful. During the designed stage I was obsessed with getting that look right. I was added by the fact that I had already been blogging for several years and had previously used the template I had chosen. I had already gone through the trial and error process of learning and knew pretty much what I wanted. So to designing this blog, I had only to do a trial and error process, not of learning, but of trying different looks and functionality. When I finished, I gave myself a big pat on the back, and proceeded to go on to other projects, giving time to this blog only every other week.
Which in practice means I ignored this blog except every other Saturday. I might come up with an idea to write about during the week, but none of the planning and serious thinking would happen until I sat down, on a Saturday morning, and started writing. Much of my writing is off the top of my big head. That in fact is what I am doing now. I did not intend for it to be that way. The way I envisioned the process working as I was creating the look of this blog, was I would come up with a blog idea and spend weeks or months planning it and deliberating it. I planned to have many blog posts in different stages of development. It remains a good plan and I hope to do that this year.
Designing a blog is much easier than writing a blog post. Superficially, writing a blog post is easy. Anyone, can put down words and post it to a blog. But writing a blog that has substance, informs people, influences what people believe and is also fun to read is really, really hard. I’m not even sure how to do that.
There are basic things I can do that will, unquestionable, help:
- Outline the thoughts of each blog posts
- Allow myself time to consider each point and question each point
- Rewrite and update the outline
- Write the post
- Give myself time to reconsider what I have written
- Make changes
- Then post to my blog
In other words, don’t rush the process and always rethink what I write.
I can do this. My focus for the past many months has been elsewhere, but that is over, so I should be able to spend much more time on this blog. I do have a bad problem with rushing to get stuff done. I hate to procrastinate. I want to get it finished so I can watch TV or read a book. So it will take effort for me to learn to slow down my writing process, but I can see clearly that it needs to be done and how to do it.
So much for the easy stuff. I have a much more serious problem. That is the way I write my blog posts. Despite being grammatically challenged, I believe I am an adequate, almost good writer. My style is mostly readable. But I’m not so sure my style is as interesting or thought provoking as I would like. My writing needs to take an evolutionary step upward, but I’m not sure what that step is or how to take it.
I have a hint of what it might be. That hint centers on asking great questions. Here’s my problem though. I am just a regular guy who makes no money from this blog. I blog because it gives me something to do and because it helps me think. I have a regular 40+ hour a week mind numbing job that has nothing to do with writing. I don’t have a lot of time to research and even if I did, there are professional writers out there who can do that much better than I can. Yet, I enjoy thinking about issues and problems and possible solutions. That is what this blog is about. What I can do best is point out that there are problems and questions that need to be answered. I need not have the answers myself.
Hum, the hard work with this blog has just begun. The designing phases is long over and for the rest of this year I want to sharpen my focus on what I am trying to do and come up with a way to write my blog posts so they will be interesting, fun and even influential. Honestly, I do not know to do that.
There is something else I would like to do this year. I want to post my books to this blog so they can be read for free. I feel my books are pretty good. They are not perfect, not great perhaps, but I feel they are a good read. I’m very proud of my novel, The Song of the Coyote. I can’t believe it has not yet been made into a movie. To be honest my books are not best sellers, so why not put them on the web. If people can give them a good looking at maybe they will buy the Kindle version for conveyance. I will probably start doing that soon; it will be much easier than working on my writing presentation.
There is one more thing. I’ve been thinking about and planning for some time to write another novel. It might be interesting to write it online. I could post the chapters as I write it and have a side blog or journal about the writing of it. This might interest those who are also struggling to write. I’m not sure though. A project like this can never be finished until it is finished. How would I handle publishing a chapter, then deciding to make major changes to it? A potential reader might find such changes more annoying than enlightening. Imagine that someone reads a chapter, then have to go and reread it five months later because I had to make additions or changes to it to support a more recently written chapter. Perhaps as long as I’m upfront about possible changes and what I’m doing that would be okay. We’ll see.
Well those are my hopes and thoughts for this blog for 2016. Good luck to you in the coming year.
Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you make the whole trip that way. -E.L. Doctorow, writer (b. 1931)