Darren Rowse of ProBlogger had a group writing project going recently. He challenged the readers of his regular newsletter on Blogging to submit their top habits of highly effective bloggers. The resulting posts show some common threads amongst his readers, but also an amazing variety of approaches and perspectives. If you are at all serious about blogging, to the point of committing to becoming a “ProBlogger” (professional blogger), then you need to read Darren’s article at the very least. There are now dozens of other bloggers who have contributed their lists and comments on effective blogging (read their articles here).
I came to the challenge feeling that I did not have much to contribute. This blog about books, writing and the writer’s life has only been going for about three months. Despite that, it is generating pleasing traffic on a daily basis. In comparison, my other blogs, Trevor’s Birding and Trevor’s Travels are generating a wide readership with many hits every day – and growing rapidly.
Effective Blogging Habits
On that basis, and because my birding blog has been up and running now for about nine months, I decided to contribute. On reflection, the article I have written is applicable to many writing situations. I hope that the habits I have highlighted will help other writers in developing highly effective writing habits.
To read my article called “Some Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers” click here.
I’ve done quite a bit of puppeteering over the years. I began by helping out our puppet troupe at church by being a puppeteer. I thoroughly let myself go and loved putting on different voices and really acting out the part. I ended up taking over the leadership of the group. This involved writing most of the scripts, directing and producing as well as being a puppeteer.
One of the joys of being in puppeteering is the laughter and happiness one hears in the audience response. The children have always been my target audience and their delight is obvious. The best laughter, however, often comes from the adults – those who let themselves be children at heart again.
An interesting article on the joys and art of puppeteering can be found here.
Inspiration comes to writers – and people in many other spheres of life – in many, varied and sometimes strange ways. For example, a few years ago I had a sudden insight during a sermon at church. Something that was said – I don’t remember what it was – gave me an idea for a children’s novel. Over the next few months I actually wrote that novel. It is now in the final stages of editing and will be soon ready to send off to a publisher.
During today’s sermon, Daryll, our pastor, used a string of metaphors to introduce his topic. Immediately I was inspired to write a series pieces using metaphors. It’s only an idea at this stage. Not sure if these pieces of writing will be articles, stories (true or fictional), poems, devotionals, whatever.
Some Metaphors for Life
- Life is a three-ring circus.
- Life is a minefield.
- Life is a roller coaster.
- Life is a puzzle.
- Life is a symphony.
- Life is a journey.
- Life is a dance.
- Life is a carousel (sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down, and sometimes you just go round and round).
- Life is a game of cards (you have to play the hand you are dealt).
- Life is a race.
- Life is a marathon.
- Life is a battle.
Of course, both the author and Daryll forgot to mention my alltime favourite from none other than that great philosopher, Forrest Gump:
- (Insert southern drawl) “My Mama always said:’Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you are going to get.”
Actually – that last one is in fact a simile – not a metaphor. Oh well, never mind.
The point is this; inspiration for writing is all around us, in the commonplace, in those we meet everyday, in ordinary situations. We just have to open our eyes, our ears – all our senses – to the possibilities.
And that idea is far removed from the main thrust of Daryll’s sermon this morning.
Life is like a maze: just when you think you have found the way out, another interesting path opens up before you.