In recent months, I seem to be in a weird loop of starting blog posts but not finishing them which seems to be turning my laptop into a graveyard of incomplete blog posts.
I find myself succumbing to the little voice in my head pitching at rapid fire pace, “Hey!… What about this for a blog topic?” I start outlining the idea, populating the outline and then before you know it, the little voice pitches another one at me. Sad to say that my enthusiastic little inner voice sometimes has attention span issues too.
Where it becomes a bit of a problem is that the idea seems to run out of steam anywhere between the 300 to 600 word range, when my target for a complete post is between 800 to 1000 words.
Would I be content with a shorter blog post? Of course I would, provided that the post succeeded in saying something meaningful or significant in fewer words. But sadly that is not always the case.
Or, on the other hand, when the post hits my targeted word count, it sometimes lacks a certain “oomph”, a certain je ne sais quoi that I think will have people smiling, giggling or nodding through the post as if they can relate.
In some ways, it is a little like dating, with blog post waiting for the right wording to come along to see if they work well together. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, and in some cases we’re still waiting.
It really is an exciting time when the “a-ha” moment arrives and a blog post that was started several weeks or months ago finally marries up to that magic idea, phrasing or common thread to tie the idea together and wrap it up in a nice neat bow.
But in some cases, I have to cut myself some slack because in developing a post, I ride that train of thought as far as it goes but sometimes the train only seems to go so far. I then find myself at the end of the line with not much more to say.
Then there are times when I find myself painted in the corner of a blog post and unable to get out to wrap it up with a half decent conclusion (closure is very important to me in a blog post… and in life!)
And sometimes, an idea that seemed to work in my head, once actually translated to the computer screen or to paper, sometimes just doesn’t work. It’s not for a lack of trying, but when I take a step back, draft after draft and think to myself who’s going to read this? For whom will this resonate? What point am I making with this? What am I saying and will anyone care if even I don’t find this compelling?
Surprisingly, I am OK with that. Each blog post holds its own learning experience. So I park it and wait for inspiration to come along.
I guess that is probably how certain artists must feel when they spent years on a work of art, like when we see a classic painting in a gallery saying it was created from this year to that year. (Oh Lord, does that mean some posts will be lingering on my laptop for years?) I guess in my case, that is the way it goes when you have a day job and writing is the second career.
Even though I have roughly 40 incomplete blog posts waiting in the wings, I hope that inspiration will strike when I least expect it and bring me the right words at the right time to complete them. I fervently believe that creativity works that way and that we cannot always control the exact moment when a piece comes to fruition.
Either way, I try not to worry much about it. As long as I publish one quality post per week, I am very happy because I know I am learning and honing my craft every week. In addition, the note taking never ends and a couple of novels are getting written one or two sentences at a time. (I can just imagine the process of putting the jigsaw pieces together in early retirement and eventually forming a manuscript out of them.)
All I can do in the meantime is just keep capturing the ideas as they flow and commit them to paper or computer. I don’t really need to think too hard about what works, my job is just to write it, try to make it work, and hope the piece reaches maturity. If it doesn’t work, park it and try again another day.
After all, if recording artists can spend months in the recording studio to produce 60 minutes of music, or create 40-50 songs but narrow down the selection to 12 on an album, maybe these partial blog posts are like understudies waiting for their big break too.
Maybe I should not regard the “graveyard of blog posts” as a problem but rather a great repository of ideas in development, waiting for the perfect words to come along. At some point they will, it is just a matter of time.
Fellow bloggers, does this happen to you? Is every blog post a winner right out of the gate or do you sometimes need to work at them over time… a lot of time?
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Have a great day,