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Friday, January 08, 2010

 

Friday Speak Out: "From Block to Blog (in 0-60 minutes)," Guest Post by Lisa Ricard Claro

From Block to Blog (in 0-60 minutes)

by Lisa Ricard Claro

“Sabbatical from Writing” is the lofty label I plastered on any period of time during which the most imaginative thing I wrote was a grocery list.

I was delusional, of course.

Writer’s block is more akin to a death-hungry dragon that must be slain using words as a fiery sword!

Or. . .you could start a blog. Blogging is a great way to overcome that dragon beast and turns the compulsion to write into a reason to write.

Consider:

• Most blogs have a theme. Choose something about which you are passionate (child rearing, embroidery, Johnny Depp). Writing about something that matters to you makes it easier to banish the block.

• Loyal readers. It doesn’t matter if your first blog followers are your mom and Aunt Gladys. The more you blog the wider your circle of readers will become. Readers = motivation. Really.

• No pressure. You are the boss of your blog. There are no rejection letters. Just write.

Blogging is fun, but it will help you with other important aspects of writing as well. Some things to keep in mind:

• Brevity is a virtue. Keep your posts to 500 words or less. Short posts are, by necessity, sharp and focused.

• Post as if submitting to an editor. Pay attention to grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Treating your posts as professional pieces encourages solid editing.

• Commit to frequent posts. This requires discipline, creativity, attention to deadline, and increased readership. And if readers = motivation, then motivation = banished block!

• Internet presence. In this electronic age, an internet presence is not a suggestion but a necessary tool in every writer’s kit. A blog is an easy way to get started.

There are a number of websites that offer easy, free blogging. MSN and Google are two with high visibility. In less than an hour your blog can be up and running. It is this simple: Choose a theme about which you love to write and get started; then send the link to everyone on your email list.

Some contend that blogging is detrimental because it leeches creativity away from other, more important writing pursuits. But if you’re already being burned alive by the block dragon’s fire, you aren’t writing anyway. Blogging may be the jump start you need.

In 1295 Dante Alighieri wrote: “It seemed to me that I had undertaken too lofty a theme for my powers, so much so that I was afraid to enter upon it; and so I remained for several days desiring to write and afraid to begin.”

Seven hundred years later not much has changed. Too bad Dante didn’t have a blog option. But you do. Start now and be ready to write in less than an hour. You will zoom from block to blog in 0 to 60 minutes.

Now go slay that beast.

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Lisa Ricard Claro is a freelance writer whose humor columns and stories have been published on-line, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and in anthologies Chicken Soup for Beach Lovers and Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers. (Watch for her story, “Angels Afoot”, in Cup of Comfort for a Better World, due on shelves March 2010.)

For more of Lisa’s writing, please visit her blog, Writing in the Buff: www.writinginthebuff.net.


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Do you want to reach WOW’s audience? We welcome short posts (500 words or less) from writers just like you! You can include your bio, pic, and links to your website/blog for promotion. Our only requirement is that your post be about women and writing. Send your Friday “Speak Out!” post to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Flory said...

I started my blog last year for this same reason. It did help me finish my first draft. Now I have to edit and revise, and I find that the blog is taking me away from ths daunting task. I have to try to find a compromise because I am now dedicated to my blog.

Flory,
http://www.awomanslifestages.com

8:44 AM  
Blogger Jayne Martin said...

I couldn't agree with you more. After being "aged out" of a successful career writing TV-movies I went nearly five years without writing anything. Then I was encouraged to start a blog and now I've not only found my mojo again, I'm enjoying the writing process more than ever -- although it would be nice to have those fat paychecks back again.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Cathy C. Hall said...

Well, there you are, showing up at The Muffin! Well done, Lisa. So wonderful to see you soar (writing-wise)!

4:25 PM  
Blogger The Gourmez said...

Excellent points, indeed. Blogging got me in the habit of regular writing a few years back, which was a great thing to have happen. Now, though, I'm with Flory -- occasionally, the blog is now an excuse not to focus on my fiction writing!

12:51 PM  

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