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Bloggers Block

July 22, 2009

baby_shoeShoe: Baby Shoe

First I should say that I’m using a baby shoe as the theme of this post because I think that the overall theme is timid, similar to a baby’s first steps.

I’ve been blogging over at my industry blog and my company blog for a couple of months now, and I find that I get writers block (bloggers block?).

I literally have a list of about 25 topics that I want to write about, but I just can’t get the inspiration to start. Perhaps This is because I’m a perfectionist. It’s a handicap, I assure you.

That’s why I find it relatively easy to write on this blog in particular. I can make my own comparisons, be pretty optimistic, or insert whatever tone I wish here. It’s not that this blog is separate from my life, I actually agree that there will be an increase in the cross-hatch between personal and professional life, especially on the social media forefront. People can expect to see a greater blur between their personal and professional life. And it’s awesome because at the moment, I think that my personal life is my professional life. Everywhere I go, I’m finding that social media happens to be a topic of conversation, and a lot of my potential clients have come from random conversations at my physical therapist appointments or other random places. I’d have to say that discussing social media is probably one of my interests. Think I’m a nerd? So do I.

But getting back on track, some of the things that run through my mind while I’m debating writing a blog post:

  • Do I know the topic better than my audience?
  • Do I have enough information to substantiate my claims?
  • What if I’m wrong?
  • Will I be able to answer questions if a commenter asks them of me?
  • Is this topic even interesting to anyone but myself?
  • Has this topic already been discussed?

The list goes on. But I’ve decided to take the advice that I’ve been giving to clients. Just do it. I think that it’s important to acknowledge that we’re not experts. I also think it’s important to add value to your readers. And, I think it’s important to publish something than just let 25 potential posts sit in the queue.

My posts typically take a lot of work, but I’m willing to re-evaluate and try to get some of them up on my blog as opposed to letting them sit, half finished.

And I recognize that it’s difficult to join the blogosphere–there are more passive readers to blogs than those who comment or have started their own blog. But I think that those who read blogs actually re-act to the material but never tell us what they are thinking in comments and in their own posts. And it’s a nerve-wracking experience for some. But, it doesn’t have to be.

Thus, here’s how you begin a blog post.

  • Ignore all of your doubts. This means that: It’s alright if you don’t know more about your audience. It’s alright if you’re wrong–no one is perfect. It’s alright if you doubt that anyone else is interested–if they aren’t, who cares? At least you’ve added your own opinion on the matter. And, even if someone has already written a post on the exact same subject, maybe you will have thought about it in a different way.
  • Pick a topic that you know a lot about, or that you want to know more about.
  • Write.

There are times when I’m going through my RSS feeds that I’ll find a particular post interesting, and reflect on that post itself. Or, I’ll comment on that post and subscribe to the RSS feed for the next comments on that post.

Here are some other things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Link to posts to which you refer in your blog post.
  • Encourage readers to reflect on your post–especially if you didn’t arrive at a conclusion.
  • If your commenters ask questions, and you don’t know the answers, let them know. That’s fine.
  • If you make a mistake, and your commenters point it out, all you have to do is correct the information on your post and re-publish it with the corrected information at the top of the post. See an example here.
  • Oh, and spell check. Do a lot of spell-checking.

And I think you’ll learn things as you go–but you won’t learn unless you try, right? I’d like to hear what things you’ve learned along the way while you’re blogging or commenting on blogs. Maybe this will be your first blog comment–I have to tell you, there’s a thrill when you press that “publish” button. Kind of like when you buy a scratch-off lotto ticket and you’re rubbing the penny from the “leave a penny” jar to see if you’ve won.

To comment: All you have to do is put your name (or “Anonymous”), write your comment (example: “You’re awesome, Megan!”), and your email address (which only comes to me, and isn’t published).Then click “post.” Yep. That easy. (Insert Easy Button here).

Oh! And, if all else fails: Just do it.

image via Plum Party

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2009 10:00 am

    Hi Meg! I love your posts on shoegirls. I totally agree with you – it seems like you’ve developed a nice personal voice here, and it is so readable and relatable. Keep up the good work. 🙂

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  1. This Week in Writing « Megan McQ’s Musings

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