I am so grateful I get to write a blog for a major blog site like ChicagoNow. I'm forever humbled that they chose me to be part of their crazy-talented group of writers.
Over the past several months, some of my friends have said, "Oh, I WISH I could write. I have so much to say!"
I've told them, "Just do it! Just write," but after thinking about it a little bit, I figured I'd share some ideas on how I write consistantly. These hints work for me, maybe they will work for you, too:
- Find the funny in life; find the sad or the profound. Look around you and be observant. Nearly everything is blog fodder.
- Carry a notebook and pen - if you're old school - or find a digital means of writing ideas down WHEN YOU GET THEM. If you're anything like me, 30 seconds from now, that thought or idea will be gone if it's not written down somewhere.
- Find a venue, whether it's MSWord, wordpress, or some other digital writing environment, to consistantly use to write with. If you're truly old school, pen and paper, or paper and a typewriter will work, too. Sitting down in front of Wordpress triggers me to write every single time.
- Write. Just start putting words down on paper (or on a digital screen). Most of what I write is not brilliant, or profound, but it can be humorous, thoughtful, or helpful in some way. I aim for readable. Most of the time, what I write is enjoyable to some. Hopefully, someday it will be enjoyable for many, but that takes time and effort.
- Edit. Fix misspellings. Fix run-on sentences. Delete extra spaces. Make it look good. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it helps to be close. If you aren't good at that, have someone you trust (and has good grammar and spelling skills) read your preview before publishing. Often a second set of eyes will find things your eyes didn't see.
- Find your voice and be true to it. My writing style is unique to me, as is my blog. A few months back, I had the opportunity to put my name in the hat to write for a VERY popular blog as a guest blogger. The writer of that blog does really well (she's a published author, for cry-eye), but her style is very different from mine. It could have been a great audience booster for my blog. However, in order to stay true to the voice and character of my writings, I opted to not even throw my name in the mix. Not sure she'd have chosen me, anyway, because we both have the integrity to stay true to our own unique styles.
- Make time to write. Find the time. Build it into your schedule, somehow, someway. If it's important to you, you'll find the time.
- Have fun with it. If it becomes drudgery, or a "job" you might be missing the point of why you started writing in the first place.
- Be aware that not everyone wants their names or lives "out there" in cyberworld. For example, my extended family - my siblings, parents, etc. - are VERY private people.They don't want their "stuff" put on the internet for the world to have access to. You will rarely to never see me write about them, and I will never mention them by name.That's saying something, too, because the blogging fodder from a family as big as mine abounds. I protect my immediate family - my hubby and kids - by not publishing their names. Just because I want to write, doesn't mean they want to be written about.
- Be respectful. You can disagree with someone without making it personal.You can write about specific people, but that doesn't mean you should. You can be unhappy with a situation without bashing a person or a company. If you want a good example of this, check out a previous blog posting I wrote called My life on hold with AT&T. I was unhappy with AT&T, but I never called them anything worse than "boogers." That's just my style, though.
There is nothing to be afraid of. Try it. Write for yourself. Write what is in your head and what your spirit leads you to say.
Just keep in mind, whatever you put on the internet stays on the internet, so choose your words wisely.
Proverbs 18:21 The Message (MSG)
21 Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
Matthew 15:18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
18 But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.
Have you ever wanted to write? Will you use these tips to give it a try? Comment here, or on Facebook, and sign up to receive an email whenever I publish something new.
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