Wednesday, August 29, 2007

An Informal Survey

I have nothing to say at this time. Like, not a single thing. How I've managed to blog-blather for almost two years now with any consistency (I know I use the term loosely) is a mystery to me. I need some clarity.

For bloggers: How do you come up with things to write about on the days when no inspiration is readily apparent? How do you foster the discipline necessary to put yourself out there on the computer screen day after day? If you are cognizant of issues that often/sometimes/rarely block you, how do you write through them?

For readers: Taking into consideration all the blogs you regularly digest, what topics do you most like to read about? What style(s) of writing do you appreciate? What makes you come back to one blog and what makes you stop coming back to another?

If you'd care to discuss the above in the comment section, I'd be grateful. Your ideas will help keep things lively in my creative absence and just might help get me--and anyone else on the same stalled train of thought--back on track before too long.

18 comments:

slouching mom said...

Really? You always have wonderful and original things to say. Maybe you've hit the two-year wall. I've been blogging for only eight months; a blogger's block may well be in my future...

I guess on days when I really don't have anything to say, I can always report on something funny one of my kids has said. As in today. Heh. But, of course, that assumes you have children who are old enough to be verbal.

That's about all I've got on this subject.

jen said...

it's funny, but this is my therapy. it's so entirely different from the rest of my life that i get to sit and wax about things that i think about and never say in the course of a day. That might not always be meaningful to the reader, but it's a panacea for my soul.

I see blogging in everything now. it's weird how that works.

and you, well, i love coming here and think you are genuine and articulate and true. if that doesn't flow every day or every other, that's ok too.

now tell me about all the beds you've slept in in your life.

Mrs. Chicken said...

If I sit and noodle enough, something comes. Sometimes I try four or five times until I get something that works.

Also, if I think of something, I sit down and write it as soon as I can, sometimes building a "bank" of posts. Or I write down snippets of ideas.

I also look online for writing prompts.

But mostly, I am just a blabbermouth.

Jenifer said...

I know for me, I must think 3 or 4 times a day, "this would make a great blog post" and I don't even write about everything because by the time I get to that idea so much time has gone by that it isn't pertinent anymore...

bubandpie said...

I have no idea what makes it come and go, the inspiration. In July, I posted more often than in any other month since I started blogging, and in August, I've posted the least. Outwardly, my life is exactly the same, but somehow it all just DRIED UP. Until this week. Now it's back - I may even post TWICE today. I can't explain it.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

For me, it is an 'ebb and flow' thing---I was 'ebbing' for most of the summer. Now I'm 'flowing' (sounds so gross). But, for me to post more than 1x/week is a big deal, so one woman's flow is another's trickle.

Wait, what was your question? Oh, inspiration and topics? I love seeing photos of people from when they were young and dorky. I love hearing people offer up an opinion about something. I don't love r-e-a-l-l-y long posts, recipes, photos of kids without something funny under them, or love letters to husbands. But, that's me.

Lawyer Mama said...

When I have no friggin clue what to write, I post some of favorite recent pictures with captions.

Or I think back to a memorable event in my childhood and write about it.

And, of course, I have a notebook of snippets, topics & ideas I write down as soon as I have them. If I'm stuck, I go back to that.

As for what I like to read, I go to different people for different things, but I like it when people mix it up. Serious posts and then frivolous post or pictures. Nostalgic and then funny.

pinks & Blues Girls said...

I usually find that ideas come and go in spurts. Sometimes I have so many post ideas that I have to start a list, and other days I sit at my laptop like I'm catching flies.

I don't have kids, so I have no immediate go-to stories on that front. I usually have some sort of story or exchange from my day to relay.

I think you have really great posts, though, always well-written and interesting.

Jane, P&B Girls

toyfoto said...

This might surprise you, but I never used to tell anybody anything. I suppose I've just been making up for lost time. ...

Seriously, though. I pick a recent (or not so recent) photograph and just try to connect it with what's banging around in my head.

Most folks just comment on the photos, though. The writing doesn't seem to have as much of an impact on folks.

Michele said...

Wow, I love your writing and I am surprised it doesnt always just flow from you.
I have been trying to write more, in hopes that the practice will help me write better. I have a hard time getting beyond the mundane though. I dont have alot of time to compose so I end up doing a quickie kid story or inlaw rant. The posts I compose in my head while commuting are better than what I actually squeeze out most times.
I am grateful for these comments. I will be using some of these ideas myself.
Now, I must go click right.

Boz said...

I read this blog because it is about you guys and keeps me up to speed on what's going on in your lives. We just don't see each other that much, unfortunately.

Otherwise I only tend to read blogs from which I can either laugh or learn something.

Andrea said...

The times I tend to stop reading are when the posts become lists of things the blogger has done in the last few days. I don't mind recounting things that have happened, but the more riveting ones are the ones made into stories instead of "first we did this, then this, and then this..." If it's just a now and then thing, it's no big deal, but consistently reading posts like that bore me no matter what the list contains.

The blogs I tend to gravitate toward are the ones with the ability to write a humorous post one day, a sentimental one the next, a serious one the next, a frivolous one the next, and sometimes an angry one. But really, it's all about making a connection with the writer, and if that connection is missing, it's hard to keep reading. There's no payoff if the blogger doesn't let the reader into their inner psyche just a little bit. There's no reason to become invested in the writing if I don't care about the players/characters.

Jennifer said...

I was just going through this recently - the block and not being able to find my 'voice'. This past week I've been looking closely at things I see on a daily basis and have chosen to mentally block. Today, that just happens to be ugly buildings on Main Street where I live. If an idea is just starting to form into a post, I let it steep a bit, and hopefully will have something soon after.

Mrs. Chicky said...

The news. There's always something going on in the world to write about.

But I hate that writer's block. It hurts, really. Physically.

my minivan is faster than yours said...

I am so glad you posted this. I always wonder if I'm the only person spending sometimes three different sittings (and lots of time) to get through one short post.

I think it definitely comes more naturally to some than to others. Count me amongst "the others."

Although earlier this week I started a theme that I'm continuing and that has helped guide me quite a bit :)

sarah said...

I feel the same as Boz, but thinking upon our recent e-mail exchange I have to say you must have some entertaining stories about your trials in the kitchen!!

binkytown said...

I have long dry spells and I make myself write something, anything, even if it sucks- if nothing else that seems to get the juices flowing. I write more than I publish, some days are better than others. My advice is just keep doing what youre doing :)

lildb said...

even when you have nothing to say, it sounds interesting. your brain is cool like that.