Writing Blog Posts With a Goal

A few weeks back I discussed writing blog posts in 300 words or less. For me, keeping posts to that length suits my writing style. Not to mention, in my household, time is of the essence with a one-year-old.

Once you get the length, and by no means does a blogger need to always stick to a specific number of words. Unless of course that’s part of your blog’s character. If you need a few more words, go ahead. A few less, why not? Remember, it’s all about the content.

With content as king, that is where setting a goal for your posts (that sounds funny) is important. What’s the point of your post? What are trying to convey? What and how do you want to say it? The who, what, where, why, and when mantra holds true for blogging.

I’ve found, my original goal can change as I’m actually writing, and that’s fine. But for a busy blogger, setting a goal helps to streamline your writing process. Not to mention, it can alleviate some of the self-imposed stress of producing good content.

I’ll insert my blogging and fatherhood connection here, after all this is a blog about being a dad. Setting a goal saves me time. The more time I save, the more I get to spend with my little one. I’m a believer that parents need to maintain some of their personal interests to maintain their own health. For me, blogging is one such interest.

So before who type, think about your point and what you want to achieve. Let your fingers do the rest. Good luck.

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Poetry: Monday

Monday.

Life begins again on Monday.

Work, school, family, all starts anew.

Monday comes first, and follows the last.

On Monday, we wake up and prepare.

Some are excited, others filled with dread.

For some, Monday let’s them forget the past.

The weekend that was, now a memory.

The weekend to come, full of anticipation.

Monday the cycle resumes.

We start anew on Monday.

I’ll write this poem on Sunday in preparation for Monday.

Oh, Monday.

 

Blogging: Keeping It Short, My Posts That Is

Full-time job, house, and of course being a dad, time is of the essence in everything I do. So how do I keep blogging away? Simple, keep my posts short and sweet.

Keeping a post short doesn’t mean skimping on detail or argument. In fact, quite the opposite. I try to keep my posts to 300 words or less. Let’s face it, attention spans on the internet are not what they used to be. Especially with the advent of social media like Twitter. Being concise in my posts is a goal. I’ll talk about goals and writing posts in a later post.

But for now, I’ve found keeping it short is the way for me to go. Now of course, some stories require longer posts, but I believe the audience that wants to read longer posts will ultimately find what they are looking for. But for purposes of time and telling my point, short is best.

My son doesn’t allow me to complete a post in one sitting all the time. Especially as he becomes more mobile, and I believe he is developing his throwing arm already. There is still hope of his future career as a relief pitcher, I digress.

Writing posts isn’t about length, but about content. Bloggers of all experience levels will tell you content is king. This is a founding “law” of blogging if you will, and is one that will hold true until the Sun goes supernova. Just because a blogger doesn’t have time to write like Charles Dickens, doesn’t mean they can’t produce good, well-written, concise blog posts. Not to mention, honing such skills will help said blogger in many other forms of writing.

So be concise, write well, and enjoy your blog.

 

Suffer From Blogging Block? Need Blogging Inspiration? Read Other Blogs!

Have you ever experienced blogging block? I have. I’ve been at this blogging thing for a few years with different blogs. There are weeks where the ideas and posts just flow out of me. Then there are the weeks where I struggle even for a title.

Then it dawned on me, just read my reader. This sounds like a no-brainer, but sometimes we get caught up in everything but the simplest blogging concepts. If one just reads other blogs, what better inspiration than the blogosphere itself?

I find its easy to run out of post ideas or to forget good post ideas. I can’t count the number of times I thought of a post, never wrote it down, and poof….gone forever. So reading other blogs is truly a good way to find inspiration.

If you haven’t added blogs to your reader, I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s easy and there are many quality blogs out there. I’m always amazed at the thoughts and quality writing others express daily. Sometimes reading other blogs is almost as good, if not better than a good book.

As a dad with an almost one-year-old, time is truly of the essence. While Little A gives me much material, browsing my reader helps to develop thoughts. I also find excellent tips on blogging and writing which are both crafts in their own right.

So before you frustrate yourself and curse at the screen in front of you, help yourself to end blogging block. Read your reader. Your computer, your kids, and your blood pressure will thank you. And maybe a few readers too!

Poetry Tuesday

I came across a poetry prompt a few weeks ago that talked about making a poem out of a saying. Simple enough, write a poem using  a saying you say a lot. But it was challenging. I’ve been accused of saying “it is what it is,” more than I should. So this is what I came up with:

It is what it is.

I always say.

What it is it?

It is what it is.

It is what it is.

It was what it was,

because it is what it is.

Is it? What?

What is it?

It is what it is.

What was, is,

what is, was.

It is what is,

because it is what it is.

Sunday Morning Musing: Writing, Parenting, and Why I Shouldn’t Try So Hard

I love to write. I really do. I especially enjoy writing blog posts. But sometimes when I think I’ve written the best post I’ve ever written, turns out to be, well mediocre. Rather disappointing actually. So when I realized I could take a lesson I learned from being a dad and apply it to writing, I was rather surprised.

The other day it dawned on me that maybe I was trying to hard. Maybe I shouldn’t concern myself so much with trying to impress readers as much as just write from the heart. Some of my most successful posts have been the ones that I’ve written somewhat “off the cuff.”

It’s very easy to get bogged down with worrying about SEO, tagging the post correctly, finding appropriate links, and so on. But really, the essence of blogging is sharing stories, ideas, and for me the random experiences of being a dad.

The ironic part is I taught my son how to high-five with mommy and daddy. I didn’t try very hard to do it. I thought, well he’s only ten months, may not work. It wouldn’t be a big deal if it didn’t. So I took a relaxed approach to it. I sat him on my lap, placed my hand a few inches a way, and said “Ok bud, high-five!” The look on my face probably made me appear to be a used car saleman trying to convince someone to ignore the Carfax information. But, within minutes…. his little hand came up and gently slapped mine. He had a look of surprise when I was so happy. But the point was I didn’t try very hard. Of course he looked at me like I was nuts, but hopefully one day he’ll understand my joy.

So as I write this Sunday morning, I find myself just letting my thoughts “flow.” The writer in me fears this post is simply mediocre, and if readers think so, that’s fine. Maybe my theory isn’t entirely correct. The only way to truly find out, is to try. At least I know I’ll get support from my little guy as he high-fives me.

Writing Is Craft: A Poem

Protagonist.
Antagonist.
Conflict.
Anti-climatic
climax.

Characters fight.
Love, hope, despair.
Authors evoke emotion,
Stories stoke the mind.

Plots, story lines.
Readers pull imagery from words.
Writing is craft.
Writing is art.
The author is the artist.
Readers are the audience.

Write to create.
Create to share.
Characters exist as variations of the creator.
Personalities create art.
Art creates personalities.

Writing is craft.

Writer’s Block: A Poem

The blank page stares back.

Speaking to the writer.

Give me words to say.

I can’t.

I have none to give.

You must, for you are the writer.

My mind is as blank as your lines.

Ideas, surely you must possess.

My thoughts, jump and dance.

But nothing?

Nothing.

I hope you write again.

I hope so too.

Do not despair.

I won’t.

My lines will stay bare, only for you.

Wednesday Poetry

Geese overhead flew south.
Escaping the cold of winter coming.
She walked out the door.
Never to return.
Heartbroken.

Wind blown prairie.
Silent day.
The quiet broken by childish laughter.
Her painful journey stopped.
Thoughts.
Warmth.
Forgiveness.
Joy of children’s innocence wipes away the pain.

She returns.
Family.
Love, companionship.
Home.