A writer’s holiday from blogging

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“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” 

— Ernest Hemingway

There is a price to be paid for high productivity. The storm passes, the energy – seemingly boundless to begin with – recedes. Ideas continue to haunt, crashing through the plates of one’s skull and demanding to be allowed space on the paper. But fingers have turned sluggish. They wave away all hurried calls for more. Not now. Now is not the time. They are still caught in the half-dream of the morning, in the worlds that had gifted them stories without asking for anything in return. They long for the feel of freshly mowed grass, for the warmth of a steaming bun. They long for a break from the abstract and a return to the pleasures of life, as humble in their everydayness as they might be.

Today we shall have the world at our fingertips and live life so that we might glean something worth writing about.

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A question to my readers

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As some of you may already know: while being a writer, I am also a philosopher-in-training. Currently my philosophy project is on hold, however there are several pieces that I have written that would lend themselves well to this medium.

So here is my question to you: Do you think that philosophy posts would be a welcome addition to my current range of topics, and if so, what subjects would be of most interest to you personally?

Awaiting your replies.

With best regards,

Vic

Who do you think you are?

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Why blog? Why not keep a journal instead: a private escape for one’s thoughts, a keeper of secrets, a chalice to hold one’s innermost fears and desires. A journal will not be subjected to the scrutiny of anonymous readers. It will not open itself to judgement and criticism. Unless… it is discovered.

Like journal-writing, blogging is in many respects a private affair. We pour shards of our existence onto the page. Our words reveal as much as they conceal. A narrative develops over time and new truths are weaved into the old, at times displacing them. As for the elephant in the room? Ah yes. That small issue of it being public.

I was a child tiptoeing into adulthood when I started my first journal. Two weeks or so into the attempt I gave it up as a bad job. “Life is dull” was my swift conclusion. Or at least, this I thought of my life as it squiggled in ink on the page, and there was little fun to be had in chronicling pedestrian trials and tribulations. The following day I invented a story instead. My fictional alter-ego surpassed all expectations. There were adventures to be had, mysteries to be uncovered and unknowables to be explored. And, there was something else that appealed about this alternative: I could take others along on the journey by sharing my stories.

And this is the advantage any blog will always have over a journal: it is created to be shared, an endeavour that connects us with others and in doing so, it enriches our experience of story-telling, be that in the guise of writers, photographers, or artists.

There is a degree of danger associated with blogging: we can never be certain of our audience’s reaction. As a writer I am all too familiar with those negative voices in one’s head, the ones that whisper from the empty page, challenging: “Who do you think you are? What makes you think that you have something to say worthy of being read?” These demons do not discriminate. They haunt the greats and beginners alike.

Defining what constitutes good content will always be an exercise in subjectivity. Each blogger and reader are likely to have their own view of what is “good”. My first steps into the blogosphere were digital footprints of former experiences and creative passions. In time I learnt that good writing is never self-indulgent and always aims to serve the reader rather than yours truly (the writer).

There is one stumbling block that I ought to acknowledge before I say my goodbyes. Of late my blogging and writing commitments have been vying for mastery over the most precious of all resources: Time. There is a catch to being a writer: you have to write. The same goes for blogging. I am searching for a formula that will accommodate both without damaging the quality of either. When I discover it, I will be sure to let you know. Then again, you may be “in the know” already. If so… Care to share?

 

HarsH ReaLiTy | Re-Blog

OM has long been a one-man opinion force in the blogosphere. His great number of followers reflects his commitment to blogging and his determination to make a success of HarsH ReaLiTy.
I had the opportunity to spend some time as a guest writer on his blog, and subsequently had the keys to his lovingly built kingdom. I was amazed by the rapidity with which he was able to amass a large and diverse following, while also providing content and engaging with more bloggers than seemed humanly possible.
The statistics I got a glimpse of were truly astounding, more so because it showed the Gargantuan effort coupled with astuteness and creativity that OM dedicates daily to WordPress and HarsH ReaLiTy.
I hope that in reblogging this post, I can help someone who has dedicated so much time to helping others, to be able to earn the necessary funds that would avail him of the time required to continue this journey.
His model is very straightforward, and while it may not work for everyone, I am certain that there are many tips that would come in handy.
If anyone can make you a blogging success overnight (well… almost overnight – you will still have to do the metaphorical leg work) then I’m certain that OM is your man.

Danger Blogging

Let’s Talk Opinion in conversation with Idiot Writing

“For the most part blog writing is pretty much a great thing to do – yet on occasion – do you find you take it a little far and go over the mark and incur grievous bodily harm in the process (mostly occurring at after midnight sometime)” Is Blogging A Hoot?

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You wake up early in the morning, have your first cup of coffee, and eyes still glued with sleep, you stumble into your study to write up the first post of the day. Or perhaps you are a night owl and it is the evening that you dedicate to your blog. You may feel tired, emptied out and uninspired. And yet you’ve made a commitment to write something new every day, and even though there is so much work to be done elsewhere or children to take to school, a family to feed, this half hour or so is yours alone to impart your musings with the world.

Blogging enables us to be prolific and disciplined when we are having a determinately bad day. It forces us to manage our spare time with greater care. It allows us to give free reign to our imagination. But more importantly, it is a platform where we can share what we create, receive feedback and encouragement – the very opposite of writing in a void.  

There is of course the other side of the coin. Blogging is about sharing knowledge and experience, adding value to others peoples’ lives by giving freely what you might have taken years to learn or perhaps have spent quite a bit of your hard-earned cash to become an expert in. It is about helping others as much as it is about speaking up. When you care and love, educate and entertain, then you know you’ve got a blogger’s mindset.

I was told once that in order to blog you ought to be mentally prepared before you even get into blogging, have a clear vision and a plan for what you’ll be blogging about. Sage advice, but I’ll be the first to admit that I broke all the rules and began with neither. My blog has grown organically and its eclectic posts reflect the diverse and at times incongruous nature of my interests. I am curious about too many things in this world to limit what I write about to only one.

To me, blogging is a learning process, and although I have been lucky enough not to incur any “grievous bodily harm” in the process, I am aware that there are many dangers associated with it too. Here are some of the red flags I’ve discovered:

Infrequent posts: If we only post once a month, chances are the message will be lost in the sea of others’ more frequent media efforts. On the other hand, post too much and too often, and we may be in danger of providing quantity over quality. Flooding the blogosphere with poor content will have the additional drawback of making a bad first impression for first-time visitors, who may very well leave never to return. Finally there is the matter of the antisocial blogger, who does not respond to comments and refuses to engage in discussions on their posts. Although for high-traffic blogs it may be impossible to respond to each individual comment, it is still a good idea to acknowledge those who have taken time to read and respond, even if it is done in the form of a one-off message for all readers in which the key issues that the’ve brought up in the comment box can be addressed.

Consistency in both the frequency with which we post as well as the quality of what we post are key, although admittedly, it will take time and effort to achieve both.

As for the physical dangers associated with blogging… “Acute Blogger’s Elbow” is the worst, as this prolific blogger was ready to testify: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Clm7sehenb8 Just make sure to contact your doctor if you experience any of the enumerated side-effects 😉

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Let’sTalk Opinion posts engage with issues that are important to other bloggers, connecting with others on matters close to their heart. If you like a topic and would like to contribute, please feel free to add to the comment box, reblog, share, email or message me on Twitter @shardsofsilence.

Or if you happen to be a fellow Hogwartsian send me a letter by owl. ;)