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Blogging 101 – The What to do

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Ok, so here we are.  You know why you need to blog and then what . . . ?  What on earth are you going to write about?  Let’s just face it, many of us have no clue how to write effectively, let alone what to write about.  I know that when I started out, I would often just sit in front of a blank screen and wait – wait for an idea, wait for inspiration – just wait.  It took a while for me to ‘get it’, but with practice it happens a lot faster now and it is a lot easier.

I’ve collected stacks of material over the last few years and still diligently do.  I read an article that perhaps will spark something in me or light a fire under my rear end – that’s usually what happens.  I have an opinion or it sparks an entirely different idea.  I usually sit with the article in front of me, read it through, think about what the impact that that particular article has/might have/ should have on my life and then a thread starts to form in my mind.  In the beginning the only way that I could describe what happens in my mind is that it starts off as a little leaf blowing around in the breeze.  The breeze becomes a twister and the little leaf becomes a vast quantity of leaves all going round and round in my mind until I have to ‘get it out’ (by writing it down) and so quell the storm.  In the beginning this could take days – with a lot of practice, nowadays once I have read through the article it takes me about 15 minutes to write the article – amazing thing that – practice.

Don’t commit yourself to more than you can manage in the beginning.  Even if it means that you write only one article a month or one every two weeks, don’t stress it.  I started off with my Networking Tips on a Wednesday, months later I increased that to include the HR tip on a Friday.  Again, months later I started my Monday Motivation (although it’s usually presented in the form of a challenge) and then the Thursdays (or perhaps it was the Tuesday’s – I forget which now) articles and opportunities presented themselves and it has been just over a year now that I am submitting 5 new articles a week.  Don’t get me wrong, there are days when it is incredibly hard to write and to get what I am trying to say in some sort of articulate way.  Other days my fingers fly across the keyboard, barely able to keep up with my thoughts.

I do try and write the articles in advance, so that if there is some sort of problem or if I have an early morning meeting that I do have an article ready for posting.  It’s not always possible though and then I find myself under pressure – not pleasant at all.  So try and not get yourself into a situation where you are running against a clock.  Apart from my commitment to my own blog of an article a day, I also have other writing commitments – I have a monthly article in the Business Report (the topic is usually chosen for me) and a bi-monthly column in the Business Women’s magazine and this month (the magazine is at the printers as this is being written) it features a behind the scenes look at our local Celebrity Survivor (Santa Carolina) as well as an exclusive article on GiGi who was one of the participants.  These articles obviously take a lot more time as they involve a lot more research and also have me ‘interviewing’ people – but they are great fun to do.

What I have come to realize though is that I do love to write, it has become a passion and my only regret is that I discovered it very late in my 40’s.  Can you imagine the number of articles that I could have written had I started in my 20’s or even 30’s?  I love the ‘finding’ out about things that I write.  I love that I am making a difference, not only in my life but also in the lives of others.  I love how the words on the pages transform themselves into pictures in my mind.