Sunday, February 21, 2016

Writer's Block? #315

My more astute readers with notice that since January 1st I have been adding a hashtag with a number to each blog post - a few have even asked WTF is that for? The number for this post is #315 - it is a step in a countdown from 366 days from January 1st to December 31st 2016. One of my ideas for blog posts this year is to spend at least 15-20 minutes everyday and write a blog post on any topic. Most of my posts are about education, but I also throw in some personal stuff like family and reviews about places I've been or books I read. So far this year I have managed a post every day, though I am the first to admit that many of them are very, very trivial. This post will be the 52nd one this year, which is equivalent to the combined total for January, February, March, April, and May last year. There's no doubt that keeping this up will be difficult, especially if I want to avoid trivial posts!

What do I do when I run out of ideas to blog about? Jeff Goins, writing in his own blog, suggests "5 Ideas for Writing Blog Posts When You Feel Stuck". So my comment on this is the subject of today's post - only 314 more posts to go! Here are Goins' suggestions:
  1. Confess a dark secret
  2. Call someone out
  3. Ask a question
  4. Teach something
  5. Pick a fight. 
My favourite one is (not surprisingly) #4 where Goins suggests sharing "something that you’re a natural at and generously share your knowledge with the world". I like to think that I do this with my YouTube channel, and of course it gives me plenty of topics to write about (my next post on this subject will be about a new landmark in my channel occurring in the next few weeks). For #3 above, Goins tells us that the "world doesn’t need you to have all the answers; it just needs you to speak up, to lead the conversation". I know I have more questions than answers. Very few of my posts fall into the "Call someone out" or "Pick a fight" category above - one such was during the 2011 General Election when I openly stated my intention to vote for Mary Hanafin of Fianna Fáil. I got quite a response to this (see here) - "Larry" and "Richard" took me to task, and I nervously responded.

Goins has a blog challenge where he has 2,578 people signed up to write at least 500 words a day. I have signed up just to see what his daily emails to me for 31 days will state - I'm not committing to taking up his challenge, though it is a very interesting one. Goins finishes his article with some sound advice: "What you must remember about blogging, about all writing actually, is that people don’t remember vanilla content. They don’t tweet links to mediocre articles and don’t tell their friends about someone who is average".

This post is 522 words long.

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