Encouraging people to blog/write

(Marc Jenkins) #1

Hey all.

Something I’ve been passionate about for a while is blogging - sharing what you’ve learnt and your experiences.

I’ve been encouraging lots of friends to write recently as I’ve found it hugely beneficial in my own life, both personally and commercially. But writing is difficult, as I’m sure most of you agree :slight_smile:

So I’ve created something called the 30 Day Writing Challenge. The idea is that we all set ourselves writing goals for April. There’s a Slack community where others who are participating will hold each other accountable and give feedback on what you’ve written. I’ll also be sending an email every other day during April about writing, such as how to come up with ideas, how to overcome the blank page, and how to finish what you write.

There’s currently just over 80 of us taking part. If it sounds like your thing, you’re more than welcome to join :slight_smile:

(Daniel Hollands) #2

This is something which sounds appealing to me, as I’d love to blog more - tumbleweed - but I don’t really enjoy writing.

It always takes a long time to do, I’m unable to produce anything of any significant length, I tend to rush towards the end, and while I’m often proud of what I’m able to produce (and have had other people tell me they’ve enjoyed my writing), the amount of effort it requires isn’t worth the end result.

(Marc Jenkins) #3

That’s a fair comment. I get that writing isn’t for everyone. Some people are better in front of a camera or on audio.

Have you tried dictating a post and having it transcribed?

(Daniel Hollands) #4

I’m not sure if that would fix the problem, not a direct transcribing in any case as I’d have the same issues, and would end up with a rambling mess of what I’m trying to say, rather than anything cohesive.

A ghost writer, however, someone that can take the aforementioned rambling mess, and turn it into something of beauty could be an option.

(Andy Wootton) #5

I saw a couple of quotations from writers:

One said that real writers hate writing. I think the logic is that they find it painful because they want it to be right.

Another was a letter to a friend in which he apologised for writing such a long letter but said he didn’t have time to make it shorter.

I try to regard my blog entries as a draft for something I’ll write properly later. I never have but I like to get ideas down before I forget them. Sometimes, I discover I know more than I thought and the post is much longer than I expected but the act of writing has helped me know what I think. It probably needs a good edit that it never gets. It’s a weird process but it works for me. I also find that the more I write, the more new ideas I have, as though getting stuff out of your head makes room.

@marcjenkins You must tell me about this commercial benefit idea :slight_smile:

(Marc Jenkins) #6

Yep, that replicates my experience too.

Nothing fancy. I write about WordPress and front-end development and then people assume I know what I’m talking about and pay me to help them. I’ve got a few consulting gigs and clients from people who first started reading my blog. Builds trust, authority, etc.

(Daniel Hollands) #7

To be honest, that’s what I use this forum for a lot of the time. I throw ideas out here, to get them down somewhere (such as my Raspberry Pi posts), then once I feel like I’ve actually achieved something worthy of celebration, I’ll write a blog post about it.

At some point I’m going to do something cool with the Pi that I’ll want to share with the world, and that will probably be my second post - but until then, you’ll have to put up with my post about the origin of birmingham.io :wink:

(Andy Wootton) #8

Thanks @marcjenkins. One mistake I may have made was to throw everything into a single blog. I like to see my life holistically and allow everything to merge and collide but I have a very odd collection of interests and I think readers who like some of my posts may be alienated or simply befuddled by others. I’ve wondered about using tags to divide posts into a number of blogs but that could break continuing threads when I cross one of the imaginary boundaries within ‘a story’.

(Andy Wootton) #9

@LimeBlast I’ve become a big fan of ‘thinking in the open’ in recent years, so you get immediate feedback before your ideas are fully formed so I don’t wait until I’m sure what I’m talking about before I write. It’s surprising how often someone else knows something that would be useful to you.

Because of this, I found working in a German business culture for the last few years very hard work. They like to hide away in locked rooms for a year and emerge with a finished product. The idea becomes associated with their self-worth so new ideas at a late stage are seen as an insult to professional integrity but there was no chance to make an input earlier unless you were invited into the team responsible. I think you can see it reflected in EU negotiations, “these are the rules that have been decided by [the representatives of] everyone”.