For the purpose of getting people “up to speed” with my blog, the project is going pretty well. I’ve had a lot of fun with some of the posts, and I’ve also learned a lot about myself and my world in the process.
This blog was originally dedicated to weird and random, and while this is the category I am still working through, I’ve also picked up “funny” a long the way.
The entire month of March has been dedicated to finding things that are funny and sharing them.
I am having no trouble finding things to write about, the only trouble I run in to is narrowing my findings and only posting the findings that I feel could be valuable to another reader.
Freelance publisher Shawn Blanc has an encouraging post about motivation for all writers: Doubt is Torture
He draws on Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg, from 1986, and shows how her advice to poets applies to writing web posts and constructing wikis. Shawn’s connection: The weblog gives you that extra push needed to overcome doubt.
I am amazed at how many people consider themselves a writer, or who hope to become one, and weblogs have done something that journals never did. They’ve given an extra push of motivation to those people who always wanted to write, but never did.
Unfortunately, it seems the same motivation which encourages us to publish, also feeds those voice of self-doubt that Natalie talks about. I don’t know how many posts I’ve started and deleted because I thought they weren’t relevant or exciting or interesting enough. Which is why I love this sentence so much: “Instead, have a tenderness and determination toward your writing, a sense of humor and a deep patience that you are doing the right thing. Avoid getting caught by that small gnawing mouse of doubt.”
Nice connection. The kind of writing is not relevant here. Tech writers, article writers, journalists, grant writers, freelancers suffer the same self-doubt as poets and essayists, and the weblog gives them all a space to practice patience, to chase out the mouse.
Both the book and Shawn’s blog are worth a read.
Filed under News, Weblogs
I’ve been reading your blogs this morning.
Rettberg’s blogging book is not a how to text, so she doesn’t use lists of tips and suggestions to address the particulars about posting that bloggers might run into.
(She touches on some on her own blog, jill/txt.net.)
(And some of her current posts develop further what we’ve been discussing in class: heading out of the gutenberg parentheses, for instance, is worth a read – not only for class but to see how scholars blogs and how they connect and interact on blogs.)
There are other sources for tips and how to’s and blogging prompts. Google “blogging tips” or “writing prompts” to find them.
Here’s a list I drew up while I read your blogs this morning, with links to other blogging sites. (The list is not as linked as it might should be. I may add more links later, and you can add them using comments.)
- Don’t diss yourself. Your interests, the things you’ve done, and people you know are not boring to the web. They are points of contact with others. For that matter, those interests are things you blog about; they become tags.
- Rather than just assert, complain, or praise, link. Boring professor? Make the critique work for you. Find images, other references to boring professors – and interesting ones. Interesting professor? Find others and link to them. Comparisons on the web are dramatized rather than simply asserted – a point that challenges traditional writing practice. [need link]
- Comment with links. Professor or textbook made an assertion you agree with or want to challenge? Comment, and goggle for material to inform your commentary. Try it with some of Rettberg’s takes on blogging and social media. That idea of “focused reading”: There is certainly evidence around that orchestrates other ways of understanding.
- Even the more personal stuff opens itself to links, images, and development beyond a stream of words. [needs links]
- Post regularly. short, long, whatever. More than once a day is ok too. This seems to be a matter of getting yourself involved in the project of blogging.
- Add a link to your blog from your wiki page. Add a link to your wiki page from your blog. Add a link to The Daybook to your blog roll. linked in = readers.
- Cruise your colleague’s blogs, read, and comment. There are topics out there to comment on. Commenting on those of others in the class is a good start.
- Weblogs take maintenance. They are gardens. Rake, seed, water, fertilize.
- Use blogging to master Google and Wikipedia, as well as more specialized sites in your areas of interest. Creative writing? Where are the links to others in the game, to other sites that address writing, other commenters and bloggers – pro and student?
- Use variation to experiment. Short posts, long posts, some filter posts, some topical, some on your local ideas and life.
- Use the blog for class notes, in and out of class
- Lists: to do lists. shopping lists. wish lists. lists of 100 to do before you graduate … the list is a lively online genre. Work with them.
More suggestions here, at ProBlogger.com.
And have a look at
Twitter at MLA II: Panel notes | HASTAC
Anyone considering a hybrid project should have a look at these notes from a panel at the latest MLA. Jill Walker Retteberg was there.
Things move quickly on this side of the literacy street. But it pays to keep up.
Information Architects » Blog Archive » The Age of Digital Baroque
Twitter, Flickr, Facebook make blogs look so 2004
It ain’t over, but blogs have grown up, and writing for multi-site mashup is a newish trend. Pull together Twitter with Flickr and Britekite, linked to Facebook, and the blog.
Have a good summer everyone! I thoroughly enjoyed this class and I will continue to check in with your blogs and wikis. I’m sure nobody will read this thing but Dr. Morgan anyway, but there it is if you’ve got nothing better to do…. 🙂