Thursday, April 06, 2006

Write What You Want

I was thinking about my old paper journals the other day and remembered how they had helped me when times were tough. They "listened" when no one else would and writing them helped me say what needed to be said. I also found it useful to look back at what had happened. I was able to see my progress through problems and remember things better.

I have seen many blogs come and go. People start blogs for many reasons and end them for just as many. Common reasons for ending blogs are: the blogger feels that no one is reading; the blogger runs out of ideas or gets bored; family or friends find the blog and don't like what is being written.

When I started Firemind I had no readers. I wanted to be read but it was more important to write. I finally got some readers and that felt good. I remembered to keep writing for my most important 'reader' though. Me.

Some of us blog for a while and quit because we run out of ideas or get bored. Lack of ideas can be easy to deal with by filling your blog with whatever junk (quizzes for example) you want. Eventually you will start finding your voice and write.

Boredom can be a real blog killer. We don't like to do things that aren't fun or have become chores. We can organize our blogging to fit what we need. We can blog when something interesting happens or at a set time once a week. If that doesn't help then find something more interesting to do.

One of my friends was only blogging once a week and then decided to delete his blog. We talked about it and it seemed like a good idea. He does participate in other blogs occasionally but having his own blog right now isn't important to him.

Another friend got some negative feedback about his blog. It may have seemed a harmless comment by someone but it bothered my friend. Several of us said write what you want not what we want. This friend loves to write and he writes well. He said in a post that he was going to keep writing because it helped him wind down at the end of the day. I think that was the right decision.

For many of us writing in blogs helps us express ourselves in a way that is both private and public. We privately review our thoughts and form them into a coherent idea or story. We then edit them to sort out what we are willing to talk about online. Finally, we publish the post where the general public or a select group can read it and give us feedback.

Writing has always been a personal process. It can help us deal with big ideas or just let us "talk out" our day. Blogging brings writing online and allows us to share our thoughts with others. The key to writing in blogs and other journals is to write what YOU want.


LJ said...

You are so right, and I completely echo your sentiment here. For me, I find it a struggle to keep the balance in my playing field. I often forget to write for myself - as if no one else is watching (so-to-speak). It is in those moments that I have to stop and give my head a shake, and refocus on my reasons. This was a very thoughtful post. Thanks for a Friday think-tank.

Leon said...

Thanks LJ.