Everything is Grist for the Writing Mill

When you first start a blog, you are full of ideas. Coming up with the next one is not difficult at all. For at least the first three days!

Somewhere between 3 and 15 days, you start to wonder how you are going to keep it up. You usually struggle for a while – learning how to brainstorm for ideas of things to write. Then a slow change takes place. You begin to think about blogging throughout the day – topics occur to you at the most unusual times. You find yourself thinking, “I should blog about this!”.

When you become a true blogger, you realize that everything is grist for the mill. You don’t have to produce something profound every time. It just needs to be something of interest, worth writing down. I can blog about watching the tree bud from the livingroom window near my office chair. I can blog about how in between business projects I am thinking about the garden we’ll grow this summer. I can blog about how nice it is to be able to weave the necessities of life into my daily employment. I don’t have to produce Pulitzer Prize quality editorials every time!

I used to blog once a week. When I did that, I could mull over what I said, really think out a conclusion, consider what the most important thing was. It was a column, more than a blog. Useful, and appreciated, but different.

Since stepping up the pace, I’ve noticed a change in how I write. I’m less concerned with the huge concept, more able to explore the trivial. Sometimes there is value in trivia – not that it should ALL be trivia, but, like the old parenting argument of “quality versus quantity”, sometimes we actually define the profound better in detailing the small things than we do in trying to consolidate it into a large conclusion.

The essence of blogging changes when we blog more frequently. I don’t think it changes in a bad way, because I think those profound editorials still find their way in. But we find the opportunity to explore more things in a more detailed way, as well as just dash of peripheral or surface observations in a way that we miss when we are focusing on one thing a week.

Give yourself the freedom to explore things in a new way. When that happens, you find a voice you did not know you had.

This article is a companion to an article on Keeping Track of Blogging Ideas on our MicroWeb Blog Community blog.

The Best Ideas Come on Saturday Night…

I’ve noticed that my week usually really gets interesting about 9:00pm Saturday night. I take Sundays off. So that is just NOT a good time to have a great idea, or to really get into working on something.

I’ve learned something about that though. A lot of times, the things I think of Saturday night, are really just distractions. Other times, when I’m finishing something, I’m very productive during that time, so I finish up the week with a burst of accomplishment. I think it all depends on whether I’m getting excited about a new idea, or whether I’m finally getting the motivation to finish an old one!

Having ADD makes me have new ideas all the time. Once in a while, one of them is brilliant. Of course, ALL of them feel brilliant in the first blush of inspiration. The good ones though… They can last until Monday, even if I ignore them on Sunday.

I’ve had to learn the trick of taking notes, so I’ll finish the stuff I need to finish, and put the new ideas aside for a while. The good ones stick, I come back to them, and they STILL seem like a good idea, and they grow into something grand. The less impressive ones don’t seem to take on a life of their own.

Saves me a lot of wasted time, actually. Saturday night, when those ideas strike, if I just write them down, and then go back to finishing what I need to finish, they have time to sort of ferment. The good ones develop in my mind, and I add more notes. The less impressive ones never get started. I used to follow up on all those Saturday night ideas – I’d just be so excited to jump in, I’d forget to let it have the test of time to see whether it was a keeper. I got distracted a lot. I get distracted less now, I finish more, and I keep working the business that I have, rather than trying to branch out before the line I’m working fully roots.

Sunday morning I battle too – getting my mind in gear for Sunday. I need that day – that one day – without business. Time to turn my mind off of business and worries, and get it into a higher mode. I’ve found that Sunday mornings are the hardest few hours of the whole week. If things are hard financially, that is when it falls on me. I have time to think about it, for one. And I can’t do anything about it! Usually takes till the middle of church for my mind to really settle, but I come home feeling much better.

I think that life is like that. Hurdles to get over just to get a day of rest. Ideas and work intruding when we really ought to be shutting down. If success is to happen though, order has to prevail. Little by little, I think it is in our life.

Grow a Garden!

Gardening doesn't have to be that hard! No matter where you live, no matter how difficult your circumstances, you CAN grow a successful garden.

Life from the Garden: Grow Your Own Food Anywhere Practical and low cost options for container gardening, sprouting, small yards, edible landscaping, winter gardening, shady yards, and help for people who are getting started too late. Plenty of tips to simplify, save on work and expense.