Focusing Your Writing

August 20, 2011

Hello, Blogger World. It’s been awhile. I hope you’ll forgive me. I needed time to think about some things, like: What is it that I want my blog to accomplish? What things am I really passionate about? Do I want to be a writer?

Imagine me sitting with a rose, peeling off petals.

  • I write
  • I write not
  • I write
  • I write not
  • I write

During my time off, I have set new personal goals for me and the hubs. I’ve been on vacation in the lovely Orange Beach, AL. I’ve been busy with my professional commitments. I’ve been happy go lucky. I’ve been down in the dumps. I’ve lost family on my husband’s side. I’ve met new people and joined a local book club.

I think I’ve done just about everything except clean my house…

And this is what I think that means: I am a writer!

But I’ve also decided that maybe I’m not the writer that people expect. I don’t really want to write fiction – at least not at this point in my life. I can look at someone on the train and make up a story about them in a heartbeat (it’s the Southern in me), but I don’t feel passionate about writing those stories down.

Instead, I feel like I am a non-fiction writer through and through. I want to serve others. I want to offer something that will improve someone’s life. When I look back on my life, I realize every job I’ve had – whether I realized it or not – was providing a service in some way. It was meant to improve someone else’s life.

One minor exception: retail. But who hasn’t done a stint in retail?

So, I’m going to focus my writing. I have some ideas up my sleeve; literally, they’re written on my arm (just kidding, Mom). So stay tuned. This writer’s life is just beginning.

How do you focus your writing?

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I had just woken up to the rolling thunder and the snap of a tree branch outside when the phone rang. I rolled over and glanced at the clock beside my bed. It was 3 minutes after midnight.

I know where this prompt is going because it is part of what I’m writing, but where would you take it?

  • Who is the “I” in this prompt?
  • Who was calling?
  • Why was someone calling at midnight?
  • What happened next?

The Overactive Blog

May 12, 2011

In my last post, I told you how I ended up with an overactive blog. Now, let me explain why that could be problematic.

The overactive blog is much like the overactive bladder. It hits at the most inopportune times. Out to dinner with a friend? Oh, gotta go. Dancing the night away? Not again. In the middle of church, on a train or bus, at a neighbor’s house?

It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing. When you gotta go, you gotta go.

It’s the same with blogging. When you gotta blog, you gotta blog.

Eventually, it can take over your life…if you let it.

Have you ever felt like your blog was taking over? How did you take control of the situation?

When I started this blog, it was to fill a void. You see, I was doing very interesting but very serious work at the time, and my creative brain was starved. This blog was the perfect solution for that situation.

As I started this blogging endeavor, I began spending numerous  hours reading blogs and blogs about blogs. I read that to be a successful blog (generally speaking) I needed to study up and read other blogs, write for a larger audience (not just my loyal followers, ahem) about a specific topic, and write frequently. I think these tips are excellent, but they began to take over.

During this time, things changed. I no longer had a creative void that needed to be filled, and I was left with an overactive blog.

So, I began thinking about re-doing the blog, spicing things up a bit. This is when I realized I needed to write my own rules for blogging, some ground rules, if you will. So, here goes.

Rule #1:  I will not blog stalk. I love following other blogs. I even have a few favorites. But, if I start to feel envious of someone else’s fun life, his or her number of followers, or his or her captivating writing, I will not let that feeling take over. I will not blog stalk.

Rule #2: I will not feel obligated to blog. Here’s the thing. I don’t get paid to do this. I would love to…but I don’t. So, I will blog when I want to blog – no more, no less. (my exception is the Sunday post, which started it all. the Sunday post will continue.)

Rule #3: I will not keep track of my followers or the number of site visits. I did. I even set a goal for myself once. I exceeded it a few weeks after my intended time period. It was exciting.  …it was fleeting. I will blog because I want to blog, not because I want people to read it. If you read it, thank you. If you don’t read it, that’s okay too (unless of course you are my friend or family…then, it is unacceptable).

Rule #4: I will blog about whatever I want.

Rule #5: Rules are sometimes meant for breaking.

Word of the Week: Rules

Word to the Wise:  “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”  Romans 10:4

Disclaimer:  I make no claims that my “new rules of blogging” will bring you a successful blog. I only instituted these rules to relieve some of the stress in my own life. Follow them at your own risk. Blog responsibly.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by something? What rules have you set for yourself to stay focused on your priorities?