Wednesday, 24 August 2011

How do you blog?

Last week, a friend of mine on Google + asked me
I'm curious where do you find inspiration to blog? I've wanted to blog, but I find I'm rather dull and boring with nothing of interest to say.
Good question. Hard question.

Writing on this blog used to be pretty easy for me and any of you who have been reading here since the beginning would have noticed a huge change in the tone of my posts over the last six months in particular. I started this blog as a venting tool. All the things in the world that were pissing me off would end up here where I would curse and moan and make hilarious jokes. Writing those posts were easy because I was just funnelling all my thoughts out of my head through my fingertips and onto the computer screen. They were also pretty fun to read as long as you didn't mind the constant swearing. Eep!

Then I changed. Just a little. I decided that I didn't want to be that girl spewing vitriol all over my blog. Being negative and angry was exhausting and my posts - as much as they were pointing out things that were often true - weren't offering any suggestions as to how to fix the things that made me so angry. Complaining about things is just stupid if you aren't actively trying to change the things that bother you. So I decided to be more positive and helpful.

The hard thing is though, for me, writing positively seemed boring and dull and uninteresting. Sound familiar? My first step was to stop swearing. Reading my old posts is so embarrassing. So full of cussing and not much else. I sound like the biggest bogan on Earth and even though my sister told me one million times (seriously, go check her comments) that I needed to stop swearing, I ignored her because it was just "my way of expressing myself man". Well big sister was right and I fully expect the first comment on this post to be from her saying "I told you so" :) So here we go , yes Lee you did tell me so and I should have listened but...well, I didn't.

I wrote a few great posts that I am proud of in the last six months but I also threw in quite a few filler ones like the whole 30 Day Song Challenge posts. Which have fallen on the wayside a little but for me the point of doing those posts wasn't because I think it is a fascinating insight into my life, it was just to get me on here writing SOMETHING. To get me into the habit of writing. It actually helped a lot because it made me want to keep up the regular posting but it wasn't exactly amazing content.

The posts I liked the most were inspired by real life events and current affairs. Neverender was things I had learned over a tumultuous, stressful and incredibly emotional period of my life that I just needed to share. Having a boyfriend/girlfriend is not the most important thing on Earth was inspired by a whole bunch of status updates on Twitter by MALE friends complaining that "girls suck, I want a girlfriend, why are girls so stupid". Dear Someone More Informed Than Me was obviously inspired by the hundreds of stories and opinions all over the tv, radio and internet that didn't really help me to understand both sides of the issue. I found topics that I was interested in and inserted my opinion, or asked for clarification or told a story. When I go back and read over my blog, it is those type of posts that I enjoy reading the most.

Of course what you write about also comes down to why you have a blog. If you intend to turn it into a business that will make money for you then you need to have a market in mind and write content to suit that market. This blog would never make it because the topic range is far too large and posts are irregular in both length and timing. My other blog is one that I intend to market better and eventually hope to generate a second income from. For now I have other things I am focusing on but soon I will start putting some real time and effort into making that one work. Which for one, means I have to work out what direction I want the content to go in. Blogging for money is a lot more than just putting some adverts on your blog! Content can make or break you.

Practice makes progress. I have always enjoyed writing and I have found it to be an invaluable tool to release pent up frustrations and to talk about topics that are sometimes too heavy for general daily conversation. Writing helps me to sort out my thoughts. If getting the words out to an audience is something you struggle with then I highly recommend signing up to 750 Words. 750 Words is like an online scribble pad or venting board. Everyday you log in, write 750 Words about anything in the world that you want then you hit save and it disappears. Nobody can read it. You get a little stats page about what you wrote and that's it. It is the perfect way to clear your head of the millions of thoughts that race through it on any day, or to practice your writing, or to write about your secret love for The Backstreet Boys without anyone ever being able to find out. It is a tool that really helps me get me into the writing zone.

Recently I have also started asking a friend to proofread my blogs before I publish them. In fact this post here has already been proofread by a friend once and will probably be read again before I finally publish it. This is something I never used to do but I feel it is a great way to pick up mistakes that I don't notice. Sometimes I take a long time to write a post, I am very easily distracted, and after a long time working on the same post my beer goggles come on and I feel like I am writing and reading gibberish! Having a fresh, second pair of eyes, is very helpful in getting a coherent post published.

In a nutshell, start by working out why you want to blog, then work out how you want to come across to your readers and then look for inspiration that relates to those two conditions! Practice your writing and think about getting a friend to proof read your posts before you hit the publish button. Most importantly, have fun with it! If you are hating life writing your posts, it will come through to your readers.

Now it is your turn. How do you find inspiration? Why did you start blogging? Do you have a tool such as 750 Words that helps you?

Leave it in the comments folks

Much Love Carrie xoxo xxxx

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Still waiting...

Our finance is taking so long to come through!

We put in an offer on the house that we wanted subject to finance and the current owners fixing up a few things. Our Mortgage Broker told us we should know within a week or so and it's been a week and a half so I am getting nervous! Especially now with the stock market going crazy I am concerned that they won't give us the money we need and if we can't get finance I.will.cry.


Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Love Carrie xoxo xxxx