Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blogging with discipline

There are times when my mind is filled with more blog posts than there are days in the week, when everything in my life can be easily put into a witty and/or meaningful bit of writing.

And there are other times when I sit, look at the computer, and think, "I know these people don't want to hear about the four loads of laundry I did today, and they certainly don't need a recipe from what I made today. I think most of them can handle Kraft Macaroni & Cheese without a photo tutorial."

When a horrendous case of blogger's block strikes, I've got a couple of options. I can take a day (or more) off blogging. This can be a freeing option. There is even a movement called "blogging without obligation," and you can get cool BWO buttons for your blog by clicking the link.

Or I can try to continue blogging on a regular schedule, hoping that if I sit down and write, I'll dig up some inspiration. I'll call this "blogging with discipline."

Blogging with discipline works for me. There seems to be a creative part of my brain that is turned on by daily writing. I certainly don't turn out brilliant posts on a daily basis. But often I surprise myself with a post I really like--one that started out with a seemingly so-so idea. One I wouldn't have written if I'd waited until I thought I had a really good idea.

When it comes down to it, I write more good stuff by writing daily than I would by writing less frequently. I also write more mediocre stuff this way. But to me, it's a worthwhile tradeoff.

Blogging with discipline is not the opposite of blogging without obligation. The concepts work together. Blogging should be a hobby, and if it becomes pure obligation, something needs to change. I blog with discipline not because I have to, but because I like the ultimate results.

Blogging with discipline doesn't mean you have to blog every day or that you can't ever take a break. It means blogging regularly--whatever that means for you. It means sitting down and trying to develop a blog post idea instead of waiting until a perfectly-written post is already floating around in your brain.

Blogging with discipline isn't the only "right" way to blog. Some bloggers find that a less-structured schedule works well for them. But if the concept appeals to you, I invite you to join me. Blog with discipline...and be available for the inspiration, when it comes.



47 comments:

addhumorandfaith said...

Very well said, Beth. I am always surprised when a blogger says they have used up all their ideas for posts and are quitting! I guess it isn't for everyone, but I love it, and you're right that there have been some surprising posts that have come out of just sitting down at the computer and ... writing!

Call Me Cate said...

I'm having a light day here in bloggyland but I love this post. I've been through some ruts but I think I work like you - I need to at least sit down and try to write. Maybe every post won't be a winner but it's too easy for me to just take a day off. And another day. And then another day...

I'm going to add your button to my blog tomorrow so I can join your blogging with discipline club - will there be cookies at the meetings?

Sue said...

Those are very wise words, I fully agree with everything you have said.

I too shall be adding that link, what a great way to reassure people about leisurely blogging.

Great post. Have a great day whatever you are doing :-)

Monica said...

That is so funny after what I JUST posted not two minutes ago.

considering??? hmm, lemme think

cw2smom said...

Beth, I love this idea! I am the worst when it comes to discipline and I write when inspired, although it doesn't have to be what I consider "worthy" of an entry. It's kind of like when the moment hits me...I am off and running. Lately, I've been busy with a new relationship...and since the subject of my last relationship reads this blog..I've been reluctant to post much about it. But....I am getting closer to once again "wearin' my heart on my sleeve!" LOL! I'll add your very nice graphic to my page and try to stay on top of it with regular blogging. Blessings, Lisa

Dani said...

Thank you- lately I've been experiencing a little blogging block. :) It does seem to do me good to try anyway, though. Thanks for the encouragement!

Heather said...

Thanks! I love both those ideas. I posted a bit about some of my feelings of obligations and why I wasn't going to let that stop me recently, so I decided to add both! Now lets see how I do with it.

Janell said...

I like this Beth. It's what I intend to do with my new blog. At least every other day is what I have in mind. One thing that I do sometimes is when I think of an idea for a future post, I start a quick draft, just a few words or a sentence to trigger my memory, then save it and come back to it when I need an idea.

C. Beth said...

Sandra--I love to hear how much you LOVE blogging. It is so enriching, isn't it?

Call Me Cate--Thank you for adding the button! And, you bet. I am all for cookies at the meetings (homemade, of course.) As long as you'll do the dishes after I make the cookies--is it a deal?

Sue--Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Monica--Okay, I'll definitely be checking out your blog--my interest is piqued!

Lisa--Oh, I can definitely see the awkwardness in that situation! I've always wanted to make sure that I don't blog anything about someone, that I wouldn't mind them reading. It can make it tough! I hope you'll be able to keep up with blogging. Thank you for adding the graphic to your page!

Dani--You're welcome! I hope you'll be able to get past the blogging block soon--I was feeling it recently (and even today), and it's frustrating!

Heather--I think it's great to add both--if you can find that balance, you'll be at such a great place!

Janell--Every other day sounds like a great frequency. And I think it's great that you start drafts when you have ideas, so you don't forget the inspiration.

Scriptor Senex said...

Sounds good to me - I like the whole idea of being disciplined without feeling it has to become a chore.
Happy to do the dishes - I'll bring some cornflake crunch.

Deanna said...

Well said! There is a definite reward to just writing, and seeing what turns out of it. I like hearing your perspective on it.

ElleBee said...

Lovelovelove this post! :)

Dan Felstead said...

Beth,
I told myself back in early November of 2008 that I would post a photo daily except for weekends until I run out of photo's...I just checked my Lightroom program and I have 39,435 photos right now with more being added weekly. Looks like I am in it for the long haul!

Dan

Mike Fan said...

I wish I could blog with discipline!

But...voglio tempo! I want time!

I have great respect for those who are able to sit down and blog - kudos for the effort and time!

Michelle said...

Needed this! Thank you for posting:)

Andi said...

Came over from Call me Cate, love this approach, you neatly expressed thoughts that have been tumbling around in my head! Love the post and going to put the badge up!

Kay said...

I tend to say that I'll blog "without obligation" because I don't want writing to BE an obligation. But skipping one day leads to two, then to a few, then a week... and I lose my drive. Once I write something, it's hard to stop. So, I'm swiping the button and adopting your slogan of regular writing, occasional brilliance.

AVR said...

Great post! I totally agree with your approach. I believe it is the quality not quantity of your posts that matter. I find that writing everyday, not necessarily posting everyday, helps keep my mind creative and it is something I had to discipline myself to do. Like I have told you before, this discipline started with your One Minute Writer blog. I love the button, I will post it on both my blogs. Thank you!

Kristi said...

You wrote this for me, didn't you? :)

Lara said...

How right you are! If I don't blog for ages, I get lazy, and all my thoughts are lost.

I try to blog every day, and sometimes I talk complete nonsense, sometimes I talk about a random thought, and sometimes I talk about something truly meaningful to me.

You just can't beat spontaneous blog posts, and I love reading them

Sass said...

Coming over from Cate's place.

So well said!

I've gotta go check out your other stuff now!!!

Helen H David said...

Found you on septembermom's blog. I really needed to hear that. My daughter just commented on her blog today that I don't post regularly, and even though that really smarted it was so true. That's going to change.
Great post! I'd like to link to your blog if that's okay!

C. Beth said...

Helen--Of course you can link! I'm glad this was helpful to you!

Siobhán said...

Hi Beth,
Just saw this link at One Minute Writer. Very interesting post and I have to agree. I have only managed to blog regularly since signing up to 100Words.com. I'm into month 3 of writing exactly 100 words each and every day. I post them at 100words.com and then repost on my blog.

Although it can be limiting it is an interesting brief discipline that results in mostly mundane posts, but occasionally a short, brilliant sparkling piece.
Siobhán

Kris said...

Wonderful idea, I'm going to grab your button!!

Andy Glasser said...

I post once a week (Fridays), and work on the post all week (as much as I can, but every day, usually). A friend of mine says, "why put yourself through that?" Because if I don't have the deadline, I'll write forever on one post that will never be good enough. Or I'll quit and wait for inspiration. And you are absolutely right - the posts I work hardest on and care most deeply about and get the most excited about when I'm starting aren't always the best ones, nor the most popular (which isn't the same thing either).

PamperingBeki said...

Ohh you're GOOD!!

Brenda Leyland said...

Hi, Thanks for the great posting.

This is my first time visit and I'm enjoying what you have to share with us. Lots to explore.

Happy Writing!

Guttermouth said...

Really nice post. The blogosphere is new to me, but I'm enjoying it and have only missed one day so far.

I'm sure there will be more challenging days ahead... and I'll definitely keep this post in mind!

Tia said...

i love this!! i'm joining your club, and bringing coffee :)

Warren Baldwin said...

I linked this on my blog. wb

Arby said...

The secret to writing is writing. I like your blog button. Now, if I can only get the code to work...

Darcie said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea. I love to blog because it does allow my creative juices to flow, and every now and then I sit down and I look at a post...and I think...wow I just wrote that! I am grabbing you button to remember this daily...thank you!!

I saw this on your one-minute writer blog. Thanks again.

Laurie said...

Hey Beth, I'm new to blogging ...less than a week ...and am in throes of figuring out my "style" and my "discipline" for this new "hobby"! But I'm determined. I came across your link on a very hip, little blog Misadventures With Andi. Mind if I link "Blogging With Discipline" to my blog? It will inspire me!

Laurie said...

Thanks C. Beth! Yep I think "blogging with discipline" is a great blog to stumble upon when you're a new blogger like me! It'll be my daily reminder that it doesn't have to be perfect every day; just has to be and that's what matters. Thank-you so much for visiting my blog!!!!

Taylorvillegirl said...

Thanks for this. I agree that writing should never feel like an obligation. Writing has always been such a release for me and I love the idea of 'blogging with discipline'. Since I've started doing this, I already feel like I'm opening up a little in other aspects of my life. I had no idea the blog could be such an outlet!
Thanks for your inspiration and motivation. I'm posting your link on my site so others may stumble upon it.

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Oh yes! Totally agree! Btw, I have added your button into my blog! I hope this will also inspire other people as much as it inspire me! :D

Amy in Peru said...

I set a goal for myself to post every day for a year and though some days there is NO time or NO inspiration I've only missed two days because of losing my computer while traveling. SO, thanks for this post, and recognition of the importance of disciplined writing!

amy in peru

myletterstoemily said...

i think it is so fun to see what methods
different writers use. yours is such a
great one to just make yourself get it
out there.

i've only tried that once. i sat down with
no idea in my head. got a glimmer,
hammered it out with little sense of "oh
yeah, this is pretty good." never really
connected with it.

it got the exact response all my other
deeply felt pieces received, which i feel
is sort of like tricking people. BUT it did
show me that i don't have to feel some-
thing to write about it.

blessings,
lea

Leslie Limon said...

You took the words right out of my mouth! I was one of those BWO bloggers. I wrote whenever I felt I had the time or something interesting to say. I averaged about 6 posts a month, because I couldn't think of anything to write. But all that changed last month.

I challenged myself to do something I had always dreamed of doing...posting daily. It was a great learning experience, and after the first week, I had dozens of ideas on a daily basis what to write about.

Blogging with Discipline...I like that! :)

Jenn said...

Tardy to the party, as usual. I found your Blogging with Discipline badge on another blog and clicked over. I have considered (SO many times) setting a consistent schedule on my blog now that it is no longer centered on our adoption and I am just kind of flapping in the wind...and bouncing from thing to thing to thing. I am not quite ready to declare myself BLOGGING WITH DISCIPLINE, but I am bookmarking this post so that when I commit I can grab your button. :)

The Brown Recluse said...

Ever since I read Cate's (Show My Face) post on blogging with discipline, I've been thinking about giving it a shot. What you say in this post just clicks with me!
By the way, could Chickie or Zoodles get any cuter?? lol
~Margaret

Marie said...

Hey there

First of all love your page, really. I love the daisy kind of pretty laid back feel to it. I do. I agree with regular blogging. I have been a faithful journaler and I felt the need to expand and express my point of view to a wider audience. It's a great thing blogging and this is a great page.

Lifedancer said...

I've been going through this very same thought process. I hate when my posts are mediocre--but I'm so afraid to take a break because I think I will stop entirely. I had so many ideas and then all of a sudden they stopped like a faucet was turned off.

injaynesworld said...

I completely agree and have found your daily prompts soooooo helpful! When is the next one? I'm addicted!

Pastor Dave said...

Hi...I'm new to the site. Giving your fans a day off from prompts today? Good idea. I love this site.

Dawn Paoletta said...

I am re adding this to my blog! I forgot - it was one of my first buttons! But then I clean sweep and remove stuff...You are still one of my faves. Have a wonderful Easter week.