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Friday, January 21, 2011

 

Friday Speak Out!: How to Break a Blog Fever, Guest Post by Joanne DeMaio

How to Break a Blog Fever

by Joanne DeMaio

During these cold winter months, you might experience the virtual version of Cabin Fever. Symptoms include staring at a blank computer screen, fiddling with a pen and looking longingly at Blogger Scheduler. Are Blog post ideas as fleeting as a warm, sunny day? You’ve got a case of Blog Fever, friends.

But for writers, our blogs should consistently shine. Day after day, week after week, no matter what the blog theme, new posts must be written regularly, all while maintaining major writing projects. This is when writer angst raises its head. The cry “What can I blog about?” often rings across the blogosphere.

The answer lies in your camera. That’s right. A picture’s worth a thousand words, or a blog post at the very least. So grab that handy point-and-shoot and step outside. Take a walk through the winter wonderland of your neighborhood, or down Main Street, or along the windswept beach. Snap any images that catch your eye. A colorful window display. Waves crashing on the rocks. Ice skaters at a local pond. Look for whimsy, and charm, and nature.

As easy, and fun, as that, you’ve got several new posts in those images ready to keep your blog chugging along. Here’s how. Take your blog’s theme, whether it’s sharing a writing journey, finding happiness, or learning to cook, and project it onto the pictures. Then ask yourself how some aspect of writing, or happiness, or cooking, is paralleled in the images. When you look at a photograph closely, you’ll be amazed at the connections you can make.

My blog, Whole Latte Life, focuses on keeping our passions, or crafts, a central part of our own perfect blend of life. With that theme in mind, I have built an inventory of photographs to inspire relevant posts. Any subject is game. An overturned rowboat on a sandy beach becomes a post asking if my readers’ passions have ever been beached, and how they handled it. An ancient stone wall bordering a farm suggests that readers build their book, or song, or garden, one stone at a time in small, diligent efforts. A sunflower growing from a hollowed-out tree trunk reminds readers to give their creations a fresh spin.

So the next time you’re blogging and feeling the pressure to post, grab your camera and hit the road. A world of blog posts is poised and ready to be framed in your lens!

* * *

 Joanne DeMaio is a Connecticut writer and founder of the inspirational blog Whole Latte Life. Grab a coffee and stop by for a visit at http://www.joannedemaio.blogspot.com/.

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Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!

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55 Comments:

Blogger Valerie said...

This is great advice-and not only do you end up with some great blog post material-but you clear your head too just by getting outside-and that in itself can get the creativity flowing again!

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Angie Mizzell said...

Such an inspiring post. I'm saving for my Canon Rebel now, and I can't wait. Joanne's blog is a daily treat. I appreciate the way she encourages the writer within.

6:04 AM  
Blogger Holly Ruggiero said...

Great advice on how to link imagery to your post.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Teresa aka JW said...

Great advice and so true. The camera lets you see things so differently and (YES)good blog material.

6:24 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Valerie - Great point! It really can be a combination of both, photos and an outdoor diversion, that gets the muse going.

Angie - I often see bloggers mentioning the Canon Rebel ... I'll have to look at it for a camera upgrade.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Holly - I love the combination of a visual with our words, it adds another layer to the post.

Teresa - Definitely! That's what I like most about looking through the lens, that unique perspective it lets me bring to the page.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Carol Kilgore said...

Great idea. I'm going to look through my camera now and see if I can find some usable summer shots. I have posts to write for next week!

6:33 AM  
Blogger Janet Johnson said...

Great suggestion! And you do that so well on your blog. :)

6:51 AM  
Blogger Becky Wallace said...

Great post! And so true. A scene from one of my books came from a shadow in one of my pictures. It was one of the best scenes I've written! Thanks for the reminder!

7:03 AM  
Blogger Helen Ginger said...

Excellent advice. Especially for me. I never carry my camera and I should. For the sunflower picture I might have angled it toward, don't pull every weed out of your book since you never know when it might turn out to be a beautiful sunflower.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Good idea, I am going to try that more often. I post about writing on Wednesdays and on my post a week and a half ago I posted a picture of a favorite barn I pass by on a weekly basis. I wrote a poem about it and I asked my readers to do the same with one of their favorite pictures. I love taking pictures and they can make great writing prompts.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Karen Walker said...

I've thought about it, but never actually do it. It's a wonderful, inspiring idea, Joanne. Thanks.
Karen

7:20 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

This is great advice, and your blog is the perfect example of it. The ideas you grab from your images amaze me, and I always take away a heavy dose of inspiration and encouragement from them.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Lindsay N. Currie said...

Fantastic advice. I suffer from this sometimes as well and usually find that picking up a new book, finding a new author, a fresh new voice will usually pull me out of my blogging funk and inspire me with new ideas:)

7:31 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Carol - That's a great idea too ... to look through your photo files, there's sure to be inspiration in those images. And a hint of summer right now sounds really good, we got 6 inches of fresh snow this morning.

Janet - Thanks, I hope you give it a try :)

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

Awesome advice! It is a great way to showcase your art!

7:32 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Becky - Excellent!

Helen - I never leave home without my camera, just in case. And I LOVE your weed interpretation ... See what I mean, photos really move the muse.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Janet - Like Carol said, you can even just scan through your memory card, or photo file, and find great post opportunities.

Karen - Glad you liked it, hope you'll give it a try.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Linda - Thanks. I'm sure you have plenty of "Beautiful" photo ops for amazing inspiration.

Lindsay - I guess it's all about finding a new perspective, a new vision, either through the lens, an author, a song. Anything goes :)

7:37 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Jen - Great point. And somehow, the photos and words both shine a light on each other.

7:38 AM  
Blogger P-A-McGoldrick said...

On this snowy Friday, I am ready for a road trip, for sure! This is great, Joanne.
I, too, am really into using words & pictures together.
The photos that I have taken on walks in our neighbourhood keep me in tune with the seasons & the environment as I go. Thankfully, our cock-a-poo pup who is with me most times, sits patiently as I take a photo.:)
Just wanted to share for readers that one does not have to buy an expensive camera for this activity.
My little Nikon Coolpix L2 digital camera works well, is very medium priced & has warranted a lot of positive comments for the pictures taken by this amateur.
Finally, these photos that I take as I walk about our neighborhood foster an awareness & gratitude in me for all the blessings around me. For me, when I share these photos in my blog it adds that dimension to that part of my writing, as well.
So glad to take the tour today!

7:44 AM  
Blogger Sioux Roslawski said...

This is a great reminder. Photographic images can take our imagination and our pen in so many different directions.

7:53 AM  
Blogger -teri said...

I don't think I could post with out an image- I could try it some time but I think I would be feel exposed- (pun intended) -

8:33 AM  
Blogger N. R. Williams said...

Great post, I need to buy a camera now.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

8:51 AM  
Blogger harmony said...

This is a wonderful reminder. I feel that I have been stuck, somewhat, and unable to blog. I guess I am waiting for the words.
However, I am on a road trip, surrounded by beauty, possibility and gratitude for the opportunity to be doing it and my friends. I love the western sunsets and openness of the terrain. I feel that I will be finding my words soon.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Sheila Siler said...

Having just gotten a new camera for Christmas - great idea! My recent trip to Aruba is providing fodder for the moment, but this will inspire me for the future. Thanks!

8:55 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Patricia - You make some great points. One, we really don't have to travel further than our own neighborhoods for inspiring images. It's just a matter of applying our vision. And yes, a simple point and shoot camera is sufficient. It's what I use, but I'd love to upgrade though and see where that takes my work. And lastly, I couldn't agree more about the visual dimension this gives to our words. It just opens them up somehow.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Sioux - Agreed! It's a visual way to feed the muse.

Teri - I feel the same exact way about my blog writing. I must have that image to expand upon.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Nancy - Have fun! You'll love it ...

Harmony - Sunsets, open terrain and friendship ... What wonderful subjects to capture with a lens, and a pen. Happy trails to you ...

9:01 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

You do this so well on your blog, Joanne. Thank you for sharing your process with us.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Mare said...

Isn't it funny how we can always get writer's block, but never really photographer's block? Thank goodness for pictures :)

11:25 AM  
Blogger T. Anne said...

Fantastic advice! I think I'll do just that this weekend! Lovely post Joanne, I'm enjoying a cup of coffee on your behalf right now.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Sheila - I hope some of those Aruba pictures will hold a life parallel for you to blog about too.

Sharon - Thanks, I do enjoy looking at life through the lens before I write about it.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Mare - What an interesting thought, that I hadn't really considered before. And it's true. There is always a subject for the lens, which we can then bring to the page.

T.Anne - Have a good time, and here's a coffee toast to you, too ... Cheers :)

12:25 PM  
Blogger Mary Aalgaard said...

Joanne, this is great advice. I love to use my own photos on my blog. Now, I'll use the camera with more intentional purpose. I would love to see some summer or flower pictures today as we're stuck in a deep freeze. Cabin fever is my middle name.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Mary Aalgaard said...

Joanne, this is great advice. I love to use my own photos on my blog. Now, I'll use the camera with more intentional purpose. I would love to see some summer or flower pictures today as we're stuck in a deep freeze. Cabin fever is my middle name.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Excellent advice! Thanks, Joanne!

Now I just have to make sure my camera's batteries are charged. =p

6:12 PM  
Blogger Petrea said...

What a wonderful post, Joanne. The camera is certainly my inspiration! I wouldn't blog without it.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Maria Zannini said...

You are oh-so-right! Even if I don't take my own pictures, I find imagery a catalyst when I'm standing still.

4:45 AM  
Blogger jdcoughlin said...

That is a great idea! I have so many pictures like that. Things that I saw on vacation, around the neighborhood, in my house, things I just couldn't pass up without capturing. I'm definitely going to take a look-see. The exercise itself will probably help focus my thoughts on things I really enjoy.
Perfect advice!!

5:54 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Mary - I like that, to use your camera with a more intentional purpose ... Focus your focus :)

Shannon - Excellent advice, either that, or have spares on hand.

6:05 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Petrea - I hadn't thought so when I first began blogging, but now? Me neither!

Maria - Beautifully said.

6:06 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

jd - Really, those photos can be a wonderful resource. You just have to look at them through the writing lens.

6:07 AM  
Blogger Shirley Wells said...

Wonderful advice, Joanne. I take lots of photos but rarely do they end up on the blog. I'm often stuck for a blog post so I'll bear it in mind.

8:13 AM  
Blogger JGH said...

I need a new camera so badly! I've been almost embarrassed to show my photos lately. But when I get a good ones, I do like sharing them on my blog. I always enjoy your photos, too.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Cheryl Wright said...

Thanks for reminding me of this Joanne. Because I am somewhat home-bound babysitting my granddaughter, I tend to forget that I have a lovely camera my husband gave me.

I need to use it more.

Thanks again and have a great weekend.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joanne .. you're certainly right about building your ideas from a photo shot .. and love the thoughts presented here.

One could do the same with Wiki's photo of the day .. I've used them occasionally .. then my mind wanders off to other things ..

Love the sunflower in the tree trunk .. Nature is amazing .. even if we help the odd seed along with an appropriate planting occasionally ..

Nature wins out .. cheers Hilary

11:51 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Shirley - Sounds like you've got a wonderful resource waiting to be tapped for your blog.

JGH - I could stand to upgrade my camera too. Which would inspire even more photos!

12:25 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Cheryl - I hope we see some of those images, maybe a view from the porch, on your blog :)

Hilary - Exactly, you look at the photos and they inspire your thoughts to go off on a tangent ... But it starts with that photo.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Mason Canyon said...

Great post and a very helpful reminder. A photo can stir one's mind to thinking.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

8:27 PM  
Blogger Susan Fields said...

Great idea, Joanne - I'll definitely try that. Not right now, since we still have nine inches of snow on the ground from last week's storm and are expecting more today, but maybe I can take some photos from the front porch. Seriously, thanks for the suggestion, I've been rather short on blog post ideas just lately!

4:58 AM  
Blogger yonca said...

Great advice, Joanne! Can't agree more.Even though freezing cold outside, I grab my camera and take a little walk sometimes. Always works:)Taking a few shots around refreshes my mind and I come up with an idea for my new post.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Cindy La Ferle said...

Your advice is always spot on, Joanne! I find that it also helps to borrow from Julia Cameron's "Artist Dates" when I need to break out of a rut. Just getting out helps. I love the idea of using the visual approach with the camera, too!

1:48 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Mason - Exactly, and once those thoughts stir, the muse takes over.

Susan - Well this is just the Rx for blog posts. I'm sure you can capture some great snowscapes ...

3:12 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Yonca - I know I've seen your photo/blog posts recently. They worked great!

Cindy - I agree, getting out, expanding our vision, always helps us to find the words we need.

3:14 PM  

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