writers block and better blogging

Lately I have been trying to kick this blog up a notch

And yes, I know, I should probably start with a real layout rather than the generic blogger one…or that I should move to wordpress…or buy my own domain…or add more pictures…or ask more questions….or talk about controversial things…or comment more…

But I thought maybe I should just start writing better.

And more frequently.

And worry about those other things later.

But here is the catch.

Lately I haven’t had much to say.

I’ve been cleaning up old posts that never got published.

I’ve been reading an old journal (thank goodness I didn’t have a blog back then or I’d be mortified!)

Thinking and pondering and remembering and pulling at straws.

This was almost a post about chili cheese fritos.

Lately I have been indulgent.

Finishing off the fritos.

Spending without thinking.

Speaking without thinking.

Having too much.

Breaking the rules.

Not lenting.

And other things that I won’t bother to post for the world to see.

Or the dozen or so of you that read this blog.

But it has left me feeling bloated and empty

And wordless.

Because I only write good things when I live them.

So I know there are lots of posts and books and seminars on what makes good writing and maybe you don’t want to listen to a girl with a blog denouncing grammar….

But here are my tips for good writing:

(and yes, I am well aware that it sounds suspiciously like Donald Miller’s last book)

  1. Seek out people’s stories. Especially people who are not like you. And really listen. Because eventually you will run out of stories of your own and might end up writing about fritos.
  2. Try new stuff. It makes for good material even if you suck at it ( don’t believe me, read my Zumba post.)
  3. Do hard stuff or things that you are afraid of. Like giving away half or going to a writing conference.
  4. Be present. Notice your kids or your friends or your students or your co-workers or the flowers. Soak it all in. Roll around in it. And remember it later. Every single adjective.
  5. Read good stuff. Nothing inspires me to write better than reading good writing.
  6. Write anyways. Even if it is about fritos.

And please notice that everything except the last line wasn’t so much about writing but about living.

So I am going to try and put down the fritos. Ignore my TiVo. Start over.

In other words, I am going to live better.

And maybe the writing will follow suit.

2 comments:

spaghettipie said...

I have found a similar effect - when I'm not really living and/or thinking, my blog tends to dry up...

PS - Did you get my msg last night?

Corinne said...

Have you seen this post? http://www.karenmaezenmiller.com/10-tips-for-mindful-writing

She's got it. Living, writing, being present. Good stuff.