Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blogging - How Do You Do Yours?

A while ago Java told me that he writes a post whenever something comes to him. He has an idea, sits at his PC, writes a post and publishes it. Simple as that. He's a laid back chap with a sense of confidence about him and I think that's why it works for him. He knows that ideas and posts will come and can relax with that knowledge.

Me? I worry about the possibility of "drying up". So if I have an idea I write something down. It may be a handwritten scrawl in a pad or it might be the start of a post that I save in my drafts, perhaps just writing the title of a post that I can come back to at another time to finish. I save them as drafts and they lurk in the vaults of London, Lanka and drums like little creatures waiting to be fed. Every now and again I look at one or two and add a sentence, delete a whole draft post or think that I really should publish that one.

I often use mindmaps. They're a powerful way of putting down random ideas on paper, of getting your thoughts out without having to worry about the logical progression involved in making a list or a nice organised diagram. So I can have an idea and get it out, then add to it, edit it or scrap it whenever I want to.

But it's of vital importance that I get these seedlings of ideas down somewhere, whether it's a full scale mindmap, a scrawl in one of my journals or a draft post, I have to make a record of it or I wake up the next day with a vague recollection of an idea I had the previous night.

Indyana wrote an interesting post a few days ago on the same subject. The comments are worth checking out, to see how different bloggers take differing approaches.

As Chaar-max mentioned in this post many of us bloggers go through life with half an eye or ear open to the possibility of blogging about things. Does your blog revolve around you or do you revolve around your blog our soon to be married author asks. Do you go through life wondering whether something that has happened to you is good blog material?

I must admit that sometimes I do, but I'm determined to live and enjoy life in its own right, not to see it as an training exercise to give me good blogging material. There are many, many things that happen in my life, or to people in my life, that I don't blog about, usually for one or both of two reasons; that I don't think the person would want me to share that thing with my small readership or that I think it's just not interesting.

All bloggers must have that thing that goes on in our head during a conversation. The thing where we think, or perhaps say to the other person

"In fact I wrote a blog post about it a while ago"

And then wonder if the other person thinks of you as a saddo blogger type. Should I have kept that thought in my head, that kind of thing.

But, as time has ticked on, I've found that the thick black line that used to exist, the one that split the things and people I blog about from the things and people I interract with every day has become a fuzzy grey area. I've met many people via this blog and via their blogs, I've made some good friends through this pimped up diary and I'm quite sure I'll meet more people and make more friends from it.

Isn't it a fascinating and exciting thought that, in time to come, our future generations will be able to read our blogs and find out so much detail and information about their ancestors. While we put together pieces of the puzzle of our grandparents' generation to look at the way they lived, through old black and white pictures, diaries and word of mouth, our grandchildren will almost definitely have full access to our blogs.

In the meantime I'll keep writing my draft posts, scribbles on scraps of paper and mindmaps everywhere I turn.


Meese said...

I started the blog to put up whatever I wrote. I have an inclination to be poetic :)

Then after sometime I kinda ventured out to expressing some opinions and finally now it is whatever I want to write.

Sometimes a lyric/poem, an opinion or just something thats happened to me during that day.

However I do put stuff in draft when I dont have time and those are entries i would like to write more about.

I guess the main reason for blogging is because I don't really converse with very many people anymore and this has become my outlet and my voice. The comments are a form of dialog and well I alwaysed enjoied a good conversation.

Java Jones said...

Hey RD - I wrote one on what I sometimes do to get the juices flowing. Maybe you saw it before?

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Meese - thanks for that input. I'm not sure if you're aware but I check into your blog frequently and like it a lot.

Java - I had forgotten about that post but will check it out pronto.

Indyana said...

It's seems like a good idea to keep 'posts in waiting'.I often think of things to write about during the day but tend to forget about them soon enough!I'm not afraid of "drying up" as you put it, but yes I do have days when i have nothing o say! This might help I think!Thanks!

Gallicissa said...

Thanks for sharing your technique, which is interesting.

ViceUnVersa said...

At the risk of sounding rather boring and pedantic I usually make a note on the Blackberry and then follow it up afterwards with the post. My misfortune has been however that sometimes it just flows through my head on to paper. As you very well know therefore the untimely death of thinkfreed ☺

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Indyana - I suppose a big factor is what your aims are for your blog. If you are intent on publishing regularly then it makes sense to have some drafts to fall back on in case of drying up. On the other hand, if you're happy to publish every now and again, whenever the inspiration is there, then there may not be a need to have posts in stock.

Gallicissa - My pleasure.

D - I think that's a very interesting snapshot about your mind! The fact that you ultimately chose to publish the posts and that you chose to delete thinkfreed as a result of the comments that came your way ( I assume). Sorry for the amateur psychology but I find it interesting how we react to events in our life.

Sam said...

Blogging is always a fun. But it is more fun when you do that in the office. So I normally wait till my boss takes a day off. And then next thing I need is something to piss me off. That is not difficult to find. All you need to do is, open any Sri Lankan news paper or click on any news web site. So there you are. Free time on your hand and quite disturbed state of mind to do anything else. And that is call Blogging.

But the most fascinating part of blogging is not writing a one, but reading a one.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big fan of the Drafts bin. Many of my posts have perished in there due to lack of interest, once they fall into the black hole. It's just me, sometimes what I think is pertinent today, doesn't seem such a big deal tmrw.

Therefore I try to, express my self in one go. Makes me feel my posts are more pure and raw, and have not been modified to sound better etc. Hence most of the printers devils, you see in my posts. :)

meese said...

well I didn't know you read the blog, it is not more than a few months since I really got down to posting stuff on it on a regular basis. So thanks for taking the time to check in.

Next time leave a mark say " Rd was here " :)


Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Sam - That's interesting. I think many people (I count myself as one of them) prefer not to use their blog as a rant or a moan. It's not necessarily something that pisses me off that motivates me to write a post, often it's something that makes me happy, usually it's something that makes me laugh.

It's another related and fascinating topic; what motivates people to blog.

Chaarmax - Every once in a while I go through my drafts and delete the crap ones too. It does make me feel bad to know that they're gone. Whatever works for you really does work for you.

Meese - will do.

ViceUnVersa said...

RD, Good Morning! Honestly the comments never bothered me as I expected this. Sticks...
As much as I hate to say this, the deteriorating situation in Paradise and the simple fact that people were walking around with hard copies of my posts were good enough reasons to quit. For the record I still support the war, but rapidly dismayed with the behaviour of our government.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

D - Good Morning too!

I understand your view. Paradise is becoming scarier all the time isn't it?