By Vita Forest
As a teacher, I spend quite a bit of time reflecting on how lessons went, how successful programs were, how effective certain strategies are with my students. I thought I would apply the same logic to this blog.
I started this blog in July for a number of reasons:
- to have a place to do some writing.
- to make myself write regularly.
- to explore and experiment.
- to connect with other people.
This is what I have learned so far…
- some discipline. I committed to writing at least one post a week and have done that. Instead of writing being something I did when everything else was finished, and if I had any energy left, I have prioritized my writing and built a kind of routine.
- it doesn’t have to be perfect. James Clear has written some very good articles about creativity and the fact that you need to do a body of work. Sometimes it won’t be amazing, but producing something regularly is much more effective than waiting for inspiration to hit. I have become more fearless and open and hit that Publish button with relish.
- sometimes it’s good to have constraints. (Actually make that all the time). Whether it’s word limits, time constraints, or a very particular designated topic in a blogging event, limitations of some kind seem to bring focus, and paradoxically, they free up the mind from the paralysis of the open-ended. (So far I have participated in two blogging events, producing An unfortunate meeting with a fairy and He loves me, he loves me not… )
- unexpected topics have a way of cropping up. I thought I had to have everything mapped out, but sometimes I start writing about one thing and it turns into something else. And that is OK.
- how to make visuals I get to create my own images (mainly photos doctored in Diptic). This is another way to be creative that I hadn’t expected.
- feedback and community are fantastic. I have now completed two novels. I send them out (occasionally) and wait indefinitely to get any response from agents or publishers. Sometimes it has been positive, but more often its impersonal, months later and in the form of standard rejection letters. Blogging is a way to instantly connect with people from all around the world, and I really appreciate people taking the time to read, Like and respond to my work. It’s so helpful (and I have to say I get a buzz out of it!) Maybe one day, someone will publish my novels, but until then, I’m loving the blogging.
Now I’m going to try and transfer some of my newfound discipline to the rather tedious and often soul-destroying task of sending out my second novel to agents and publishers. Because nothing will happen if I don’t DO something.
So that is what this newbie blogger has learned so far. How about you? What have you learned from blogging?