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March 24, 2006

Blogging When You're Writing

Heather Green

Sigh. I don't know about you, but the point where I have the hardest time blogging is when I am in the middle of writing something that has nothing to do with the topic I usually write about on this blog. Like right now, I am writing a story about alternative energy. When I was doing the reporting I was fine. Not distracted at all. But when it comes to unwrapping my mind from the story structure I'm putting together so that I can blog, I find it really really tough...Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

09:43 AM

BusinessWeek

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I have experienced that problems as well. I think it stems from the fact that most bloggers are focused on dealing with, and disseminating information as quickly as possible. When you are writing a longer story about a different topic, I would guess that it forces your mind to "switch speeds" and process information in a way that is just not conducive to blogging. I find that when I am too focused on larger projects my blogging slows right down.

Posted by: Scott Lake at March 24, 2006 11:03 AM

It sounds like you are being too hard on yourself Heather. Try taking a power nap for about 15-20 minutes and then going back at it. Sometimes this helps. It can't hurt. You might just be tired or have blog fatigue.

Posted by: Jim Dermitt at March 24, 2006 11:09 AM

Hey Scott, thanks for the input. That makes sense to me, because it does feel difficult to shift gears right now.

Jim, power nap is a great idea! Had a hard time sleeping last night.

Posted by: Heather Green at March 24, 2006 11:41 AM

Like a lot of activities, if we take a break from it for awhile, we come back refreshed. So, for what it's worth, continue your story on alt energy and don't worry about blogging for a bit.

Or, if you get writer's block on the story, look to blogging for a change of pace.

It's an easy trap to fall into where you feel you have to "feed the blog" (though, if it's your job, then I guess you HAVE to). If you are force-feeding it, it won't do as well.

Besides, you and Stephen have enough credibility built up that, if you are absent for a day or so, we'll still be here.

Mike

Posted by: Mike Driehorst at March 24, 2006 02:22 PM

This is a problem I'm going to be wrestling with for the next year. Often my solution is to blog irrelevantly. Incidentally Heather, I see that our Friendster post has now gathered 218 comments that are of no interest to our traditional readers. When it gets to 500, we'll pop open a bottle of something bubbly and lift a toast to irrelevance.

Posted by: steve baker at March 24, 2006 02:28 PM

I start with an idea. Then it expands. Then I have too many ideas and a journal entry that's three pages when my target is less than one. As it edit down, I cut the unnecessary paragraphs and save them as potential new blog entries. So, for each entry I post, there are two or four or five additional ideas that will eventually become separate posts. Each of them will probably spawn more ideas. Maybe that's why I'm now supporting 3 different blogs, all on different, but related topics: innovation, creativity, leadership and collaboration.

Posted by: Chas Martin at March 24, 2006 05:07 PM

Mike, thanks, great advice. I hate feeling like blogging is something nagging at me. Your advice is good, to give it a little space, treat it like the short spell it probably is.

Thanks!

Posted by: Heather Green at March 24, 2006 07:37 PM

Basically I know how you feel Heather,

Currently, I am writing an academic project and somehow I have the feeling, like you apparently, that blogging has become more difficult.

I think that Scott has some important points in his initial comment. When you are writing a story, a project etc you are forced to think ahead in a way you are not when you blog. For example academic writing and I suppose also story writing for BW entail some frames and boundaries you need to obey and once you get tuned in to those it is difficult to "break free" sort to speak and blog.

What to do then?'

I guess unblogging for a while might do trick for you or as Mr. Baker suggests you can pursue irrelevance, at least that will (hopefully) yield champagne ;).

Posted by: claus vistesen at March 25, 2006 02:32 PM

Bloggers who write about blogging are a waste of space and an insult to their readers. I was about to delete my subscription to this one, along with many others, because I simply could not remember seeing anything of lasting interest.

Write about renewable energy, not your problems with blogging. Then you will stand out from the 99 per cent who have just one subject that interest them, themselves.

The suggestions that "most bloggers are focused on dealing with, and disseminating information as quickly as possible" is tosh. When did you rtead a blog that beat the world with a genuine scoop?

Think "reader". Not "writer". And the world is you oyster.

Posted by: Michael Kenward at March 26, 2006 04:02 PM

As a journalist who also blogs, I've found that blogging can be a huge invasion into the normal writing rhythm. In contrast to writing for dead-tree pubs, which pays my rent, the blogging world is a blackhole with no limits. The beast wants more copy, always more copy. For some reason that bothers me, since I know I can never really satisfy it. That realization manages to intrude on my "day job" writing and has become an annoying monkey on my back.

Posted by: James Picerno at March 27, 2006 09:01 PM


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