The best way to keep readers from enjoying your awesome posts is to write a poor title.
Your title should engage the reader, build value and provide them with a possible answer to a question they’ve always wanted to know. For instance, you’re reading this post (most likely) simply because of the title “How to (not) Write a Blog: Biggest Blogging Mistakes.”
You asked two questions: Can we create in a comfort zone? Aren’t there ways we MUST be comfortable to create?
For me, as a writer and indie clothing designer, the creation happens twice, first in my head, then in real life. I get images or phrases in my head as I awaken or shower—definitely comfortable states. I am still in non-judgmental mode.
My wife, ever the cheerleader (thanks babies!), bought me a wonderful gift that I didn’t bother to even open. How rude. Yes, but the time had to be right. Tonight’s the night!The gift, The Writer’s Toolbox, by Jamie Cat Callan, is both a book(let) and several simple inspiring exercises to get the brain jogging into the land of twists, turns, conflicts, descriptions, and plots.
Today’s exercise: using the sticks!
1. Draw a “First Sentence” stick.” Write for a few minutes.
2. Draw a “Non-Sequitur” stick. Write a bit longer.
3. Draw a “Last Straw” stick.
Here’s what came out… my ‘sticks’ sentences are underlined.
On Tuesday, Margaret told me she liked the little oranges with the seeds better than the ones I bought.I hated her for that.
Her distaste for anything ‘unnatural’ drove me to commit mind murder, the likes of which I’d not experienced since grade school. Kenny Malich, not Margaret, was the object of my half-rage then, but it felt the same now as is did back at Glen Heights Elementary in Canton.
We were celebrating Thanksgiving. My parents made me a pilgrim-like collar out of four sheets of thick black construction paper cut to form a circle around my neck. Sticking out awkwardly from my shoulders, the collar looked like a umbrella missing a few strands in it’s DNA. I pulled my socks over my pant cuffs and half way up my calf to further compliment my colonial-ness. There’s a shadowy memory of a hat and an odd belt buckle, but I can’t be certain at present. My costume, though complete, was anything but authentic, real, and natural.
Kenny was an indian. Oh yes, he got it all. He had the moccasins, the war paint, and even a hatchet. So cool. They were all the read deal too. Even the hatchet.
So why did I hate him and why did Margaret’s comment about the seeded clementines set me reeling back to childhood?
“You could make a living doing that kind of thing.” I suppose I could, but I had never thought about it, until then.
Produce aisle. Frozen for who knows how long. Holding oranges. I didn’t even know if I was blinking. It could’ve been five seconds or ten minutes. From the looks of my meager audience, my journey to elementary school and back to my seeded clementine selection had transformed me into a stick-figured mime.
I should’ve passed a hat and collected a few bucks.
“Yeah, well, woulda coulda shoulda ya know.” It was the first thing that came to mind. I would’ve felt more comfortable walking out of the grocery store half naked.
Maybe she felt that way because of the oranges, maybe she just didn’t like me because I forgot to pay her back for one too many lattes. Perhaps she even felt the same way I did about Kenny.
The past seems to be sinking down on all of us Margaret.
Sarah told me about his story tonight. How thyroid cancer had ruined his voice. Consequently, for some time during his recovery, he wasn’t able to eat food properly. One of his requests: to have his friends/family describe food to him–the bubbles of soda, the heat of the spices etc.
Vicarious descriptive sensory image extravaganza.
To write, or not to write? Just do it. Write.
Ok–now I’m done. Hmmm. I guess I had something to say.