A WordPress Plugin to Share with Kindle

This is a great plugin to have added in, smarter than social media I think. Getting your blog post forwarded to hardware (like a printer) is better than the software of Twitter, Facebook and the other social media sites.

The Send to Kindle Button lets readers enjoy your blog anytime, everywhere on their Kindle devices and free reading apps.

via WordPress › Send to Kindle « WordPress Plugins.

Writer’s Block Is More Than The Fear Of White Paper (Or Screen)

Guest post by Deanna Dahlsad.

One of the things I now find myself doing in my consulting work is providing clients with a Writing Prompt Service. It was born, like any good service, from client needs. In working with my clients, it quickly became clear that whatever their reason for having a website or blog, writers, bloggers, marketers, etc. all struggle with coming up with fresh ideas to write about.

I shouldn’t have been surprised; I’ve been stuck there myself with my own writing for my own sites. *wink* Some days, you just feel like you’ve said everything you can, you have no spark of inspiration. But when someone else hands you the task — a task that is suited for your own goals, it is much easier.

As a freelance writer, I do provide custom written content; but this Writing Prompt Service is a less expensive, DIY option. My Writing Prompt Service is pretty simple really: I provide my clients with an idea to write about.

What makes this service something worth paying for is the fresh set of eyes. I see what their site or business is all about, what they are trying to do, and what is missing for readers and/or potential clients and customers. I take all that information and provide them with a prompt for writing. It may be a question, an inspirational photograph, a news story — anything to get them talking (writing) about an idea or issue their website should be covering.

Because I approach this the same way I do with my freelance writing — from the point of view of the client’s goals and the needs of their site visitors, the prompted posts provide engaging organic SEO.

For those who feel stuck with their writing, but do not wish to pay for writing prompts, here’s a quick little list of ways to get ideas for writing:

1) Get out of the office or house. Often, part of feeling stuck is largely due to feeling stuck in the same old place. To rid yourself of that funk, get away from your computer, out of the office, out of the building. The fresh air will do you good and bring you fresh ideas.

2) When out — even just running errands, open your eyes and ears. Notice what people are talking about in the checkout line. Look at the headlines on newspapers and magazines on the sales racks. What are people wearing? What are they doing? What are they not doing? What about the houses, buildings, roads, businesses, etc. Are the flowers in bloom? Is it snowing? What might any of this mean to you, your readers, your business? From larger trends to tiny minutia, there are things you can observe which can spark your writing.

3) Consume media. Listen to the radio, watch TV, read books and magazines.  And read online. Really read. Don’t just scroll past the links on Twitter and Facebook, but read the articles and posts. I know this can seem tricky…

On one hand, we fear disappearing down a rabbit hole of lost or wasted time. You can overcome this easily by setting an alarm for say an hour or so.

On the other hand, we fear reading articles and blogs by those in the same industry. Will you be accused of copying someone’s idea, of not having your own ideas? If you participate in the conversation (by linking to the source of your idea when you write about it), you won’t be lambasted. And you can also bypass this issue completely by simply not reading industry publications.

4) Get fresh (free) eyes. Ask a friend or family member to ask you questions about your business, work, or the “beat” you cover.

We are often too close to our own work. Too often we don’t write about something because we believe that “everyone knows that” or we think that we’ve already addressed something; but they don’t and we haven’t. Too often we mistakenly believe that we aren’t good enough, interesting enough, smart enough, etc. to write about something. Pessimistically we think, “No one wants to hear about this from me.” But that’s nearly always wrong. If a friend or family member is asking you, likely your readers want to hear about it too — and from you.

My Seven Links

MyTripBase started the My 7 Links project. It’s a blog meme but you can just pick your seven links and pass the idea along, or not. On Twitter, search for the #My7Links hashtag.

THE GOAL
To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.

THE RULES
1) Blogger is nominated to take part
2) Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.

This shouldn’t take you long to do – don’t over-think it!
– Your most beautiful post
– Your most popular post
– Your most controversial post
– Your most helpful post
– A post whose success surprised you
– A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
– The post that you are most proud of

I have way too many posts over more than ten years of blogging and writing online. Just the thought of going through and picking out seven is daunting.  I put this aside to get done (sometime last year) and did not get anywhere with it. But, I don’t want to leave it in drafts so here it is for others to take up the project. Good luck!

How to Get Started (and Enjoy) Using Twitter

TwitterNote: Originally published on HubPages, July 2012.

What’s keeping you from using Twitter?

Twitter is easy to use. Basically you type in text and hit send. You can do more, but you can get started with the basics and even skip a lot of the extras and not miss them.

I’ve been using Twitter from the beginning. I like to try new things like Twitter and see how they work. I’m an explorer at heart.

I’m assuming you have already joined and created an account at Twitter. If not, go ahead and do so. You can sign up for an account, free, with your email address and have it link to your Facebook login as a back up login.

You’re going to need a user name on Twitter. Pick something you already use on social media accounts like Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Pick a descriptive user name but don’t let it get long winded. Keep it all one word, this just makes it easier for you to type. Once you get started with social media you will be typing your user name pretty often in order to pass it around and let people know who you are.

Compose New Tweet

newtweet newtweet2

 

Go Ahead – Start Using your Twitter Account

Login to the Twitter site. Click in the box and type something. You don’t need to add anything fancy. You don’t need to add your user name (Twitter adds it automatically once you send the post). Stick to 140 characters, this includes spaces and punctuation as well as each letter or number you type. Twitter lets you know how close you are getting to the 140 limit.

Don’t worry about the limited characters. Type in one sentence, Most sentences will fit into the 140 character limit easily. Twitter is meant to be quick, lively posts so one sentence is all you usually need. If you do need more to make your point clear think of words you can take out, words you can shorten with characters like &, for instance. Pretty simple so far, right?

Now that you have typed in your sentence, send it out there. All you need to do is click “Tweet”. Your post will be sent out to everyone on your Twitter list.

Click Expand to Retweet, Delete, Reply or Favourite a Tweet

retweet

 

So Now You’ve Posted But….

So you posted but noticed a typo/ typing error or spelling mistake. Just go to your tweet, click on “expand” and click on “delete” from the list of options. You just need to confirm that you want to delete that post and then it will be gone.

You can also retweet the post from someone else this way. Or reply to anyone who has sent you a tweet.

If you want to save or savour the tweet from a friend you can mark it as a favourite here. This will save the post on your Twitter account. The tweet is saved in a file on your Twitter account.

I have an extra option on my Twitter account. It shows up in the image I cut and pasted above. It’s called ClassicRT (Classic ReTweet). You can add this option to your web browser if you like. It’s an extra – but not essential.

ClassicRT for Google Chrome

ClassicRT Addon for Firefox

Find Replies to Your Tweets and People who have Mentioned You

connecttwitter connecttwitter1

 

Venture Out a Bit…

Wander off the Home section. Click ‘Connect’ at the top left. Now you can see who has mentioned you. Who has retweeted your posts.

I like to use this side of Twitter to reply to anyone who sent me a note. It is much easier to find replies here. (Especially once your Twitter account gets busy).

Block or Report Twitter Spammers

mentions1 mentions2

 

How to Report Spam Accounts on Twitter

On the Connect section you will eventually get Twitter spam. This is much like comment spam in a blog or on your posts on HubPages. You can (and should) block or report Twitter spam. Blocking the spamming accounts will keep them from posting to you again. So this is enough if you aren’t sure they are spamming. Otherwise, report the account to Twitter staff. Let them deal with it.

Click on the name/ user name on the spam account. This brings up a second window which lets you choose the options to block or report the account. Just click and be done with it.

If this were a friend you could send them a tweet this way as well or go to their Twitter profile. You can also choose to follow or unfollow the user account.

Never send a spam Twitter account a message. NEVER. You may think you are teaching them a lesson, giving them a piece of your mind, or giving them a chance to change their ways. But, all you are actually doing is confirming that you are an active Twitter user. They will put your account on a list which they sell to people looking for active Twitter accounts to send spam to. They will also dig for more information from your Twitter account, like your web address, blog or email address. So, NEVER reply to a spam account on email, your blog, Twitter or anywhere else online. Don’t do them any favours.

View your Profile, Change your Settings or Get Help

profile1 profile2

 

How to Change your Settings and your Profile on Twitter

Click the icon/ image of the person on the top right of the screen. This gives you options which can lead you to Twitter settings and let you edit your Twitter profile.

You can leave the settings as they are until you have an idea of how and why you want to change any of them. The basic settings will be fine for almost every beginner on Twitter. I’ve left mine pretty untouched.

I do like to play with the profile settings. I add my own image as face to the Twitter account. I created a background which has my links and whatever else I care to add. (You do need software for this, some kind of image software like Gimp). You can also write a blurb for your profile and add links.

Fun with #Hashtags

The last thing you need to know are hashtags. You may have heard about them already.

Hashtags are just a quick referral tag. Anything at all can be typed as a hashtag. You just add the # in front of it and keep it all one word.

Add a fun hashtag to your Twitter post to illustrate your point, catch someone’s attention or see if you can turn a clever phrase viral. (Viral being something that catches on in social media and spreads around in a huge way). Seldom will anything grow to viral proportions but it’s kind of fun to try now and then.

Don’t go crazy with a lot of hashtags. Consider how much you would want sent to your account before you go on a hashtag binge.

#ThisisaHashtagExample

A few last things to keep in mind…

This really is enough to get you started on Twitter. There’s a bit more about Twitter etiquette and just being a smart Twitter user (tweeter) in general.

Don’t follow a lot of people you don’t know or care to know. Having a lot of followers does not make you rich and famous. It does make you look like a possible Twitter spammer. Real Twitter users will have a balance of people they follow themselves and those who follow them back. You don’t want to have people following you from some Twitter follower service either. Those are all spammers who want to bloat their numbers so they can spam and look important. They may have you on account but they won’t be reading your posts, following your links or really care about anything you have to say.

Don’t post a lot of links or stale quotations. People want to know they are following a real person. They want to follow people who are using their Twitter account as READERS and WRITERS. They want people who will read their post, follow their links and give them feedback now and then. Isn’t that what you want from people on Twitter too? So make personal posts which don’t include links to be followed and do include some personal chatter. Nothing too dull. Come up with something interesting, something surprising that happened to you, something funny you noticed today… and so on.

Ask questions, send a note to someone using their Twitter name (@thatgrrl is my Twitter user name for instance) try to get a two-way flow of conversation. Don’t be afraid to jump into a conversation if you have something useful to add. Watch Twitter hashtags to find Twitter groups who have scheduled online meetings to talk on Twitter.

If you would like someone to follow you back let them know. Busy Twitter accounts have a hard time keeping up with new followers. Many of them are not sincerely following them but just want to get followed back and will likely remove them from their own list once they get followed back. Lost you there? Don’t worry about it. Just know that people you would like to notice and follow you back on Twitter will respond if you send them a post on Twitter. Let them know you followed them and tell them WHY you chose to follow them. Do they share your interests, do they write on the same site you do, etc.?

Don’t ignore posts on Twitter from other people. Follow an interesting link, leave comments when the links go to blog posts and let people know you followed a link posted to Twitter. Give people feedback on Twitter when they make a witty comment, shared an interesting link, or have a typo in their post. People almost always like a chance to fix a mistake if someone notices and lets them know about it. Not so different from the spinach in your teeth thing. (A friend will always let you know about the spinach stuck in your teeth).

Use your Twitter profile – write something about yourself. Tell people who you are, what you are interested in and what you are doing. Include at least one link they can click on to find you outside of Twitter. If someone thinks about following you, that profile will be a big deciding factor.

Other Places to Find Twitter Help

MicroBlogging: Short Notes to the World

Microblogging is a liberating experience. You narrow down your focus to the essentials and leave out all the extra explanations.

When you post for a microblog you jot down, announce and make note. You don’t have to add a lot of context. You can skip an illustration – unless your post is the illustration, in that case you can skip the worlds.

Microblogging should be short, quick, but frequent posts.

My favourite places to microblog are TwitterTumblr and the sidebar of my own blog where I keep a Sideblog using a WordPress plugin.

Why I Like MicroBlogging

  • It’s a great way to jot down a thought without going into detail or overthinkng it.
  • I dash down a half baked idea and leave it to finish later.
  • I can leave a note for readers of my site.
  • I can post a great quotation and just let it stand on it’s own.
  • I post backlinks to a sites I find but haven’t really reviewed yet.
  • I announce a change to my site, or other sites I write.
  • I stick in a new word that sounded worth looking up.
  • I make note of an inspirational book I found.
  • I can leave a quick tip and turn it into a full post later.

 MicroWriting for MicroBlogging

Writing a short post can take some getting used to. Don’t give up on it or quit. Just get creative, resourceful and take a risk on saying and explaining less leaving your readers to make their own assumptions. If you want clear and concise communication you need few words, no flowery prose.

For example, Twitter limits everyone to 140 characters, including punctuation, spaces and hashtags.

You may get creative with spelling, or run two words together or eliminate some words all together.

Some people will post their thoughts over two or more posts in a row. (I see this now and then withTwitter posts). But multiple posts is not a great option, it’s better to stick with the microblogging concept and keep it short and to the point.

If you can’t find a shorter way to say what you mean, microblogging can be a challenge to your communication skills.

Think of your posts as announcements. That helps to keep them shorter.

More About MicroBlogging

Movable Type: Faded and Beat Up a Bit but not Forgotten

movabletypeMovable Type can run several different blogs from a single domain. It gives you the basic features, just like WordPress. But, Movable Type doesn’t have as much community support for extra plugins, themes and widgets.

There are trade-offs when you want to run alternative software, the underdog. But, Movable Type works, even if it’s not the hugely popular and well known content management software it once was.

I’m making slow progress on re-learning Movable Type for my own site. But, I want a slow start while I decide on my direction and overall plan. One thing I do know – I don’t want to stick to the mainstream and use WordPress or Blogger. So, there’s going to be a learning curve, some adventure, some frustration and I’ll see how it all turns out in the end.

An Alternative to WordPress

movable typeToday the books I ordered for Movable Type arrived. Both are for out dated versions because almost no one is writing books about Movable Type now. But, it used to be the most popular blog software – it was beating out WordPress when WordPress was still new. Then, Movable Type decided to change their marketing plan.

They offered to let people pay for it. It was a bad decision at that time. People were used to the Internet being free. Yes, you paid for your ISP but once you got online it was all free. Sure there were some shareware and software you had to pay for, but there were always free alternatives. There wasn’t anything you really had to pay for.

So, when Movable Type changed their policy, they lost the final battle and WordPress had an easy victory – they didn’t have to lift a finger. In just a few months Movable Type had lost almost all the ground it had gained. A shame, it was still the same software, still a great way to run your blog wtih a lot of features and room to be creative.

I’m glad Movable Type hasn’t disappeared in the years since then. It’s changed owners, Ben and Mena Trott have moved on. But, it’s still a good package and another option for anyone who wants something less mainstream than WordPress but still reliable (and free). Movable Type brought back the free software plan years ago. Give it a look.

Movable Type Links and Resources

Open Melody: The Open Source Version of Movable Type (The Project that Died Out)

melody CMS

Other Alternatives to WordPress

b2evolution is a free open source project.

Text Pattern is also a free and open source CMS.

Could you be a Full-Time Lead Writer?

db

DashBurst – a social media magazine, design agency and technology startup – is looking to add a full-time writer to its staff.

Since launching our blog two months ago, DashBurst is now one of the top 50,000 sites on the web with a rapidly growing community of over 250,000 subscribers. DashBurst is a go-to source online for the latest in social media, business, marketing, technology, web culture, humor, art and design.

We’re looking for an experienced writer knowledgeable in these and similar fields. We feature breaking news as well as exciting videos, photos, guides, infographics, presentations and more. Take a look at our blog and topic categories to get a better idea of what DashBurst is about.

Caution: What you’re about to read is not for the faint of heart, and anyone who can’t handle this need not apply…

  • Do you write for some big time magazine? Good for you. You can stop here… We’re not looking to hire writers away from plush jobs, we’re trying to train new ones.
  • You’re required to work your ass off at this firm. 40+ hours/week writing 2 to 4 articles per day.
  • Working knowledge of English, WordPress, Photoshop, PowerPoint, HTML, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Apple, Android, Microsoft, Skype and other current technology is needed.

What you’ll get:

1) Ok, first three months at the firm are as a trainee. You will make $150 dollars/week.*
2) After that, if you pass the test of successfully running the blog on your own for a day, you will get a full-time offer to join DashBurst, salary commensurate with your experience, including equity in the company where the sky is the limit.
3) Every article you write for DashBurst will get massive exposure, building your portfolio and personal audience.

via DashBurst is Looking to Hire a Full-Time Lead Writer.

Forever Caught in the Machine

caught in the machineI haven’t had obvious spam from another Twitter account in awhile. But, no big deal. I did not click the link. Instead, I always go look at the profile. There she was, her name unknown but her photo forever caught in the machine. Things like this are far spookier to me than ghosts in abandoned houses.

Do you ever think about these photographs of people taken and put up instead of another face. The face covering the anonymous face. Yet, there it is. Bright and fresh looking and unable to ever escape or speak up for her/ itself. Caught in the machine, forever.

If your hand gets caught in a machine you pull it out, get it fixed up. You can’t do that when it’s your face in a photograph, an image. It’s like a part of you.

Native peoples in various cultures were deathly afraid of having their photograph taken. They were sure the camera was stealing their soul. Who are we to say they were wrong, fully and completely? You may scoff but we are far from having all the answers when it comes to things beyond the machines of our own making.

Look at her face, caught like a pretty little bug in a web. Stuck in the tangled threads, being wound up in the machine where there is no escape.

What do you think? The eyes are the window to your soul. What happens when your soul is taken in a photograph and left without you on the big, world-wide web?

One Hundred Things to Help Inspire Creativity

wallflower

This was originally posted to HubPages. When it became mothballed due to their no-index policy I pulled it and brought here to rescue it from content scrapers and give it a second wind.

100 Creative Ideas

This will be my 100th post to HubPages. I actually joined years ago but didn’t start writing here until last year. Still, it took awhile to write 100 posts.

I almost went ahead and just posted one of the ideas I have been working on without thinking to make this post anything special. Then, I stopped. One hundred posts should be some kind of milestone.

So, after considering a few ideas, I decided to post 100 creative ideas to help, inspire and push others to be creative (more creative). Yes, they are slightly slanted to women. But, I’m thinking of ideas out of my own head and that’s who I am.

Enjoy the ideas. Let me know if you try a few and what kind of creative adventures and explorations you have.

  1. Write your own list of 100 things.
  2. Gather up all your pens and some paper. Have a pen testing party. Get rid of pens that don’t still work.
  3. Create a design with coffee cup rings (or tea) on a blank page.
  4. Take paper and pens – find somewhere public where you can spend an hour or longer just writing whatever comes to mind.
  5. Draw a dragon. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw, doodle until it starts to look good.
  6. Interview someone interesting, to you. Ask them what you really want to know.
  7. Write a suggestion and send it to the right people.
  8. Go barefoot (within reason) for at least an hour.
  9. People watch.
  10. Practice calligraphy. Bonus if you can use a fountain pen too.
  11. Pick up a pebble, a leaf, a shell, something small from nature.
  12. Start an account on Twitter and use it.
  13. Try ASCII art. Images created with keyboard text.
  14. Write a haiku poem.
  15. Draw a map of your local area, add all the land features, streets, etc.
  16. Play Scrabble with someone.
  17. Leave your car at home and take the bus for one day.
  18. Read out loud.
  19. Write your favourite word on an index card (recipe card) then decorate it in any way you dream up.
  20. Try a unique flavour of tea. The best I had was caramel.
  21. Make a chain of paperdolls.
  22. Write a postcard to someone, mail it.
  23. Take a unique self-portrait photograph of yourself.
  24. Read the newspaper and clip out one idea you can write about.
  25. Try baking something: pie, cake, cheesecake.
  26. Repurpose an old T-shirt in some useful way.
  27. Try Snip.it – set up a topic you want to research there.
  28. Paint your body. If you seldom paint your nails, try that. Otherwise, face painting, a temporary tattoo…
  29. Photograph water, any kind of water: rain on a window, a puddle, water in the sink…
  30. Make thumbprints and turn them into characters.
  31. Try origami. Follow a pattern and see how it turns out.
  32. Write at least one journal (diary) entry about your day.
  33. Clean out your purse or wallet (or both). Reduce clutter in a small way.
  34. Put an ice cube in a glass of water. Start writing, keep writing until the ice has melted.
  35. Try a graphics software, Gimp is free, create a web banner for your blog, site or just your own name.
  36. Write about your ultimate vacation: where you would go, how you would get there and what you would do.
  37. Rename all the characters in whatever book you are reading now.
  38. Think of something completely unacceptable to write for a woman’s magazine. Write it anyway.
  39. Photograph an abandoned place or thing in your area.
  40. Take one photograph of anyone (not someone you know) in a public place, street photography.
  41. Watch a favourite movie you haven’t seen in a really long time.
  42. Read about night photography and give it a try.
  43. Sew on a button. If you are already a sewing diva create something with a lot of buttons.
  44. Create your own bookmark.
  45. Try freestyle embroidery. Embroider a square of fabric which you can sew on as a patch on jeans, a blanket, etc.
  46. Invite a friend over for an unbirthday party.
  47. Use crayons and draw a big picture – be a kid again.
  48. Become a cartoon artist for a day.
  49. Clip glossy photos from magazines and create a collage.
  50. Write a fictional news story. Use the newspaper writing style and all 5 Ws – who, what, where, when, why and… how.
  51. Try a crossword puzzle.
  52. Crochet a granny square.
  53. Get sticks and yarn to create a God’s Eye pattern from the 1970’s.
  54. Use paperclips or dandelions (in season) to make chains you can wear.
  55. Find out about mail art. Write a letter and use what you have learned about mail art.
  56. Start a scrapbook for something. Not for family photos, but a collection of newspaper clippings and such which you keep together in a traditional scrapbook.
  57. Write your name over and over using different fonts/ lettering each time.
  58. Make your own personal time capsule to be opened more than a year from now.
  59. Recycle newspaper by trying paper mache.
  60. Learn how to tie a sailor’s knot of some kind.
  61. In winter make a snow angel, in summer try a sand angel, or something else you can lie in and make an impression upon.
  62. Make Jello, pick a few colours, add the cubes to a large bowl and squish it all with your toes.
  63. Repurpose all those unmatched socks. Sock puppets are easy, what else can you do with them?
  64. Write out your favourite quote (or find one) and share it with someone else.
  65. Settle in somewhere nice outside and try bird watching.
  66. Turn something you like to cook or bake into an actual recipe, with measured ingredients and instructions for a beginner cook.
  67. See how far back you can go with your family tree, without peeking at anything you have already written/ printed out.
  68. Give yourself a ribbon for ‘World’s Greatest…’make it out of ribbon, paper, whatever you have on hand.
  69. Read one non-fiction book from the dust bunny collection on your bookshelves.
  70. Draw happy faces. Keep drawing them with different expressions until you run out of ideas.
  71. Go without your watch for a day. Ask other people the time or find a clock in stores, on the street, etc.
  72. Watch for little lost things in the street, sidewalk, etc. What can you find when you really look?
  73. String together different sized coloured beads and see what patterns you can make.
  74. Play with the sand, the snow, a pile of leaves, whatever is in season.
  75. Try some of the other mystery settings on your camera. You might like them.
  76. Design your own business card, even if you don’t have a business.
  77. Back up your computer files. See what you forgot you had. Save the important stuff to a DVD.
  78. Write the dedication for a book you haven’t written yet.
  79. How would you sell ice to people living in the Arctic?
  80. Get sidewalk chalk and remember the world of chalk drawings.
  81. How many different kind of shadow animals can you make?
  82. Play with an ink pad and rubber stamps.
  83. Make doll clothes. They can be for paper dolls if you don’t sew.
  84. Try to fold a better paper airplane.
  85. Bake and decorate cookies or cupcakes.
  86. Use a small mirror to write secret messages or draw backwards pictures.
  87. Draw a family of stick people, add pets, the family car and a house too.
  88. Draw or sketch or doodle something you can’t see.
  89. Get big sized paper and take crayons to the cemetery. Make cemetery stone etchings. (Don’t use stones which look fragile).
  90. Create a connect the dots game for kids.
  91. Make a meal based on one colour, try to keep every food/ dish one colour.
  92. Make a list of everything you smell.
  93. Trace your hand and then draw all the lines in your palm.
  94. Try storytelling. Or just write a complete nonsense story for fun.
  95. Collect random words and pull them together into a story.
  96. Write a story using less than 50 words, flash fiction.
  97. Paint something.
  98. Draw a flower.
  99. Cut out paper snowflakes.
  100. Plant something. Use a flower pot or container of some kind if you don’t have garden space outside.

 

Lost My Writing Passion

Refresh your energy for writing your same old blogging project.

I have lost count of my freelance writing years but I know I started writing online in 1998, or 1997 if you count the personal online diary. Over this time I have had many highs and lows. There have been periods where I lost my passion, or the enthusiasm wore thin. It’s normal.

There will always be great energy and passion for a new project. As time goes on and you explore the ideas you wanted to explore the energy slows down and you begin to sink into the project. It’s not that you stop caring but you start using a different energy. You find yourself using a staying power sort of energy.

It’s a great time to refresh your enthusiasm. You might find something new, you might be impulsive and make a change or you might close down the project. If you really want to. But, that’s a shame when there are other options.

Look for inspiration in sites for writers.

Seven Ways to Love Blogging Again

You can find a new side interest, generate new ideas, combine ideas and so on until you have given your self a revamped project to work with. For instance a fashion blogger could write about lingerie instead of trying to fill the niche for all women’s fashion. Or, the same fashion blogger could include pet fashion which matches or compliments their owner’s fashion choices.

Change something of the administration and inner workings of your blog/ site. Try something other than Blogger or WordPress. (Did you even know there are other choices?)

Add a new element. Try building a web directory with your links instead of leaving them in the standard blogroll. Try Link Library, a free plugin which works with WordPress. There are other ways to create a directory of links but this is the best of those I have experimented with. Of course you can use the tags, labels and categories with your blog to create a directory within each post.

A web directory isn’t for everyone. Your strong point may be social networking and being social in general. Start doing more with Twitter, Facebook and look for forums and online groups in your niche or a related topic. Be social, get outside your box and bring new ideas and perspective back when you start writing your blog again.

Try a new blogging/ writing format. Become a content curator – link to great content you find in your niche, write enough to explain why you are linking to it and don’t forget to give credit to the original writer. This could even be a weekly thing, like a round up post. List links and posts you’ve read during the week as a weekend (or which ever day you choose) blog post.

Learn a new skill. Start drawing your own images to add as illustrations for your posts. Or try another art form like your own digital photos, ASCII art and all kinds of alter art such as collage. Anything you can turn into an image file and add to your blog will work.

Take a break, temporarily. Don’t write for a week, not even a list of post ideas. Hold out on yourself. This gives your passion time to rebuild.

My own experience as a lost, blocked and downtrodden writer.

I’ve been writing my current, main blog since 2004. It began as part of another site, now gone. I kept it going on my own. Having a schedule helps me with self-discipline. Though I was making weekly posts at first, I stepped up and went daily a couple of years ago. The schedule is good, the discipline is good too but… having a tighter posting schedule accelerates burnout.

So, in the years I’ve been publishing, editing and writing online I have had writer’s block and burnout more than a handful of times. I pull myself out each time. I will this time too. One or more of the ideas I’ve written about above worked for me. After all, I’m still here, writing, editing and publishing online.