Something To Say

There were awards handed out in California last night. I knew it was this weekend, but had forgotten about it. Shortly after I awoke this morning, opening Instagram… suddenly… I remembered…

From England, the time difference with Los Angeles is eight hours. So the Academy Awards are presented in the middle of the night here. Most of us normal people cannot sit up to watch.

Over the weekend, I’d also had other issues closer to home to think about too: vital to my own personal life. Top of the list? My eldest nephew – the once little kid who used to sit on the lounge floor with us and eat pizza as we watched Star Wars films “15 years ago” – on Saturday officially graduated from Oxford University:

[Photo by me, 2018.]

Only my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law could attend the ceremony in person. (Three tickets max per student.) We watched the hour and a half event, which was conducted mostly in Latin, via the internet mirrored to our television; Oxford graduations are held mostly in Latin to honor the 800 year history of the institution in which Latin was once the cornerstone. (I don’t suppose they’ll be holding the Academy Awards in Latin anytime soon.) We’re getting together with him this weekend to celebrate in person.

I happened also this morning to see this tweet. Unlike so much else on Twitter, this article is a surprisingly worthwhile read:

I have hosted this blog since December 2013. It is an important part of my professional writing life. I could not imagine trying to be an author nowadays without a web site.

As this post also shows, I attempt to vary what I write here. Much of it stems from my life in some form or other – especially how it affects my writing. I like to call this my “online journal.” By now if you visit regularly, you probably know generally what you are likely to see when you open a new post.

Blogging regularly is also good “practice” for an author. I have always tried to post here at least twice a week, which I think is reasonable. I aim for that based on my own online following experiences: I have learned over the years that my favorite sites suddenly become “less favorite” if a blogger begins posting irregularly or seems not to know what he or she is trying to do, and my visits tend to diminish.

If you blog, one piece of advice I would offer regardless of what you blog about: never blog merely for the sake of blogging, blog because you have something to say.

[Photo by me, 2018.]

And, honestly, you should have something to say at least once a week. If you feel you have nothing to say, you are not thinking hard enough. Or you are simply not doing enough.

Even if on a given day I am “stumped” briefly for a post topic, invariably one eventually does come to mind – as this one occurred to me this morning. I do think carefully about what I post as well. Of course not every impulsive idea , or draft, is published. (Lots gets deleted, and rightly so!)

Writing in all its forms is rooted in our lives and in our memories. If you do not fully open your ears and eyes to the world around you, you will have nothing distinctly yours to blog about, much less to write books about – or songs, or poetry, or a basis upon which to create any other art.

[Excerpt from Distances. On Kindle for iPad. Click to expand.]

Over time, you will build up a “backlog” of friendships, loves, and experiences, some of which may provide subjects about which to write, including fictionally. Aim every day to pay attention to whom and to what is going on around you. Even on what we may believe is yet another “ho-hum” day, we may be surprised by what we notice around us that is far from actually “ho-hum.”

If, despite all of that, you are sure you still have “blogging block” or “writer’s block” and “nothing to say,” the best move is to get away from the keyboard for a few days. Do something that you have not done before that does NOT involve writing. Afterwards, you’ll probably have something new to blog about or to write about, trust me.

It’s Monday. We all hate Mondays, but they can also be a perfect day to commit ourselves to starting afresh. Have a good one, wherever you are. 🙂

2 replies »

  1. Great great Oscar speech, dear Robert! The same idea we must address the film makers: shot the movies only when you have something worthy to show!

    Have a nice day & nice tea time!

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