Tag Archives: blogging

Focus

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“You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” Mark Twain

When researching blogging the overwhelming advice was to have a focus. Plenty of people out there are posting on anything and everything that crosses their minds, but blogs that have a specific focus have a target audience and get followers. Well, that’s the theory.

However, a theme can be restrictive. Imagine, if you will, a blog on chickens, there is eventually a limit to how much one can write about chickens. Even the author may get bored, although as I write this my head is filling up with ideas for chicken related posts.

With this advice in mind my focus is my journey as a creative writer. Yet I find my inspiration lacking from time to time, of course there are topics and I do my best to honour them, but not enough to keep the posts flowing with the regularity I would prefer.

Whereas there are so many things coming into my field of vision every day that I would love to post about, not least the topics I’m coming across as a result of my time with Women’s Views on News (WVoN). For example shouldn’t I be talking about the story of the man who cut off the fingers of his 21-year-old wife when he found out she was studying for a degree without his permission (WVoN story here)? Or the fact that the National Women’s Council of Ireland have just had their budget cut by a massive 35%, just days after finally pushing through a bill to ensure women are represented in government through a quota system. Or how about the incredibly uncomfortable but powerful website Unbreakable?

How do I keep my focus and keep a lively and interesting blog? What is the true value in a blog, the true nature and reason for it?

Is the issue here that my theme is simply not focussed enough? Perhaps chickens provide you with such a focussed subject that you really can drill into each area, whereas ‘creativity’ ‘writing’ are such subjective matters that one will always struggle to stand out from the crowd?

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Writers write, right?

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I’m setting myself a task. I will update my blog (at least) twice a week. There! I’ve said it. Now all I need to do is stick to it.

It’s getting beyond a joke. My writing needs, well, writing. The ideas are there but rarely make it past that. I now have some significant background notes on a few short story ideas, a couple of articles, a potential novel, a few ideas for non-fiction. Yet nothing is moving forward. I’ve a list of competitions as long as my arm that I hope will provide some structure/encouragement to my writing, setting some deadlines that can’t be shifted.

I started writing this blog to improve my confidence, to give me focus and, above all, to encourage me to write. Writers write, right?….that’s what they say anyway.

It’s astonishing how easily distracted I am from the task at hand.  I sit down to write a blog entry and an idea takes me, so I do a little research, and find my way through a number of interesting sites. Then my time’s up, and my blog is still not updated. I decide I need to post more to Twitter, but find myself caught up reading other people’s tweets and an informing hour later, I’ve not even peeped, let-alone tweeted! You’d be amazed at how long I can spend trawling through the latest WordPress themes!  Even when I’m reasonably focussed another idea pops into my head and I’m off down another path before I know it.

The worst of it is that if you try to do more than one thing at once you might succeed but you’ll not do any of it to the best of your ability. So whilst I’m reading other tweets I’ve half a mind guiltily thinking I should be writing my own. I skim through the ‘research’ knowing I should be writing. I make sudden decisions on blog themes aware of the time I’m ‘wasting’ on the look of a site when content is king! New ideas get cursory glances, perhaps not even noted down, I shouldn’t be thinking of them right now after all!

So what now?

Well to start with, I’ll dedicate my free time twice a week to writing my blog. Ideas that occur will go into an ‘ideas’ book. I will make time to research and follow twitter that is separate from the time I am writing and updating.Time to bring some structure into my creative tendencies!

Eeek! Infomania?

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Arrgghhhhh! I’m chirruping on Twitter at the moment and I’m feeling it a little more, perhaps I could get into it. But it’s having an unexpected side effect…information overload!

There is so much to read out there and there was more than enough before.

Lets start with the news. Obviously I have to read a few different sites, just to make sure I’m getting a rounded view. Then to catch up on my Facebook friends, follow some of their shares…a music video, a feature, a comic strip. Then there’ emails and personal messages to action or reply to. Don’t forget those little chores; looking up recipes, researching a future purchase, job opportunities?

A few minutes to spare? I should do some background reading for a blog post I had an idea about. Which reminds me, I have a mountain of blogs to catch up on, just reading them isn’t enough, I should be commenting…I claim to be a writer right? Oh and I really really must look into some stuff for that story idea.

Add Twitter into the mix and suddenly I’m bombarded by a whole new set of features to read, people to look up, stuff to see and do….

I feel I’m in danger of disappearing under a mountain of information, and yet I’m hungry….no starving for more, more, more!

Infomania is the debilitating state of information overload, caused by the combination of a backlog of information to process (usually in e-mail), and continuous interruptions from technologies like phones, instant messaging, and e-mail. It is also understood as distraction caused by the urge to check e-mail, text messaging and other sources of information, which causes the person to show symptoms to neglect other, often more important things—duties, family, etc. (For instance, a typical symptom of infomania is that of checking e-mail frequently during vacation.)” According to the great info source in the web…wikipedia