Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

I don’t know waht to say. I don’t know what to say I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to say maybe I can write about freewriting and about blogging and how the two work together and about how when you write sometimes you find what to say I onow I can cv write about the age regression and journalling and how when you write the words come.

I bet you think I’m losing my mind. Actually, I’ve been struggling with Blogger’s Block. You know–you start out blogging and it seems like subjects are everywhere and options are infinite, and then one day you wake up and you want to write a blog post and you have no idea–no idea at all–about what to say.

It’s not just blogger’s who suffer from this, of course. Writers everywhere know about Writer’s Block. You have a pencil. You have paper (or alternatively, you have a keyboard, and a monitor with a blinking cursor). And all you can do is sit and tap your fingers on the table.

Actually, that’s not quite true. There’s one surefire way of finding something to write about. It’s called Freewriting. It’s the simplest thing in the world, and it sounds the goofiest. Here’s how it works. You stop waiting for the ideas to hit. You just pick up the pencil (or put your fingers on the keyboard) and get them moving. And don’t stop. Maybe you draw loops. Maybe you just write “I don’t know what to say” over and over again. Don’t stop to edit. Don’t stop to correct spelling. Don’t stop to censor yourself. Don’t stop to discard anything because it’s dumb, or embarrassing, or trite. Don’t stop. Period. Make marks. Write.

If you do this, something amazing will happen. An idea will come. I guarantee it. That first paragraph up top? That’s freewriting. I started this post with no idea what I wanted to write about. And now I have an idea not only for this post, but for a whole series of posts. I’m going to talk about writing when you don’t know what to write about.

Freewriting is a leap of faith. It is setting a pencil on the paper when you have no idea what that pencil is going to do. It is the act of showing up, when you’re not sure what you’re doing here.

Freewriting is also something else. It’s a way of getting the ideas moving. True story: I earned college money by working in a dairy. My job was driving the cows from the sheds down a narrow alley to the cleaning shed, where I had to scrub udders and send the girls, clean and dripping, into the milking parlor. I was very good at this because I learned early on that the best way to get the cows moving was not to beat on the last cow in the cowjam, but to get the cow who was standing crosswise out of the way. I figured out which cows had decided to stop for a think, and then I urged them gently along.

Freewriting is like that. Sometimes writer’s block happens not because you have no ideas, but because one idea is standing crosswise halfway down the alley, chewing its cud. Before you can write about anything else, you have to get that idea out of the way. Freewriting gets that idea moving out of your brain, down through your fingers, and onto the paper, where you can wash its udder and usher it into the milking parlor, so to speak. Once that big, stupid, cud-chewing black and white spotted idea is out of the way, all the other ideas can flow out.

Back to my little freewriting exercise. Did you notice that what I actually wrote about had nothing to do with age regression exercises? I loved the idea of blogging about that–and I’ll do it–but first I had to get this freewriting cow out of the way. And there she goes…


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…and the Magic Dog is hot on its trail. He grabs it, slides his back end in a one-eighty on our hardwood floor, and runs back to me, flat out, star in his mouth. When he reaches me he slows, drops the star at my feet, and then shoots off after it as it bounces away. He grabs it again and trots back, head high, tail wagging.

“Give it to me, boy,” I say, holding my hand down for the now-slobber-covered star. He sets it into my hand, shakes his head, and curves wagging and smiling around my legs, begging me to throw it again. I do, just to watch him pound after it. We could do this all day, but after the next throw I call a halt.

“Sorry, boy, it’s time to send this on.” I take the star, confine it in a box,set it on a high shelf, and throw him a rawhide treat instead.

And now, folks, it’s time. This little star has given us a lot of pleasure. Now it’s time to share the wealth. So where will it go?

That was a rhetorical question, in case you didn’t catch it. I already have four great blogs in mind. I take the star out of the box, cut it into four even pieces, put them back in the box, and sit down to write address labels.

The first star will go to Barbara Ardinger. Barbara, who blogs over at Women’s Radio, (and if you don’t know about Women’s Radio you should) gets this star for a several reasons. First, she gets it because she’s a great writer. She’s written several books, among them Finding New Goddesses, which I’ll be sampling here in the next few weeks. Just wait until you meet these new divinities.

The second reason that I’m giving Barbara this star is because I’m buttering her up. She’s also writing a series of reinterpreted fairy tales I keep beggin her to let me publish; one’s up on her blog at Women’s Radio now.

The third reason she get’s the star is because she’s my editor and, in her words, “keeps me from embarrassing myself in print.” Anyone who has read my unedited stuff knows what a hard and thankless task this can be.

The fourth reason she gets it is because she has Maine Coon cats, who I know will have as much fun with the star as the Magic Dog has.

The second recipient of the Star award is The Mighty Viking, who blogs not regularly, but well. These are the kinds of posts that you save and read again–they’re about being a dad, being a son, dying cars–no subject is too esoteric. So, one star bounces that direction, possibly to be impaled on a horned helmet, or possibly a monkey wrench.

The third star goes to the Dragon Lady who inhabits the Dragon’s Den. She’s a brand new baby blogger–so small she still can’t see over the grass in which the den is apparently located. Her blog is new, but I’ve been enjoying following her as she quits one job and begins a new one. So–a star goes here way. Let’s hope she doesn’t incinerate it by mistake.

The fourth star goes to a blog that isn’t really a blog; it’s a Facebook group page: The Voice (A Human Journey), run by Joe Brown. Sorry there’s no link, but go to Facebook and type the page name into the search bar, and Bob’s Your Uncle. I’m including this page because Joe is doing something amazing over there. He’s set out to create an international group of friends all committed to the idea that fundamentally, we are more alike than we are different. Every day he posts a reflection in the status bar, or an excerpt from his upcoming book in the “discussion” section, and his readers weigh in. Comments come from everywhere; a visit is like a visit to the United Nations, or the World’s Fair.

So that’s it–all the paperwork’s done. When the Magic Dog takes his nap I’ll slap labels onto the stars and send them bouncing down the road. Enjoy them, people! If one of them comes to your door, you really, really might want to spray it good with the garden hose before you bring it into the house. The Magic Dog has had his shots, but still…

(If you got a star, just click on the award image in this post, drag it to your desktop, and then insert it into your blog. But remember the rules–say “thank you” nicely, send it on to four people, and share ten things you do to jump start your writing. And no, I haven’t forgotten to do that–it’s the next post. Sheesh.)

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