Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Writers rut

Good Tuesday evening to you all, hope that your week is going well so far.  I've seen other bloggers, some very good ones I must say, create terms that are very applicable to both blogging and collecting.  Adding to the vernacular you could say.  Well, being one with too much time to think on cards and blogging, I've come up with my own term to describe what I hit many times when trying to write a post.

"writers rut"--noun:  A condition where a so-called "writer" really has no idea what to write.
Writers rut definitely has applied to me a lot lately for two reasons:

  1. Writers block refers to a real writer, which I do not, nor will I ever profess to be.  Writers rut refers to a lower class of writer, which I profess to be.
  2. I've spent many an hour staring at a computer like an artist stares at an empty canvas, looking for inspiration.
This evening was one of those times.  I sat in front of my computer screen, with my tunes playing in the background, and nothing.  Nada, zip, zilch, squat.   I took a look at other blogs for inspiration.  Still drew a blank.  Makes me wonder sometimes if I should be writing a blog, especially with my goal of posting on a daily basis (something has to keep me off the streets you know).

Then I started reading posts closer.  What is it that the majority of them have in common?  Personal experience.  Bloggers relating their experiences of card collecting, the sets they like to collect, or the cards that have special meaning to them.  The trades, the pack pulls, the in-person autographs.  The expressions of emotions when that 4 color relic was pulled.  Even more so, the personal triumphs and tragedies that remind us of the human element that permeates our hobby. 

I tend sometimes to try and "keep up with the Jones-es".  Try and collect too much, or collect the "in" set.  Trying too hard to fit in.  Look at all the blogs out there I have to remind myself.  Bloggers posting about stuff they like, not because it's what Tom, Dick or Harry like, it's because they like it.  Damn the masses.  I tend to forget that from time to time.  This is going to be the post I look back on the next time I can't think of something to post about and remember "post about something you like, no matter what the others may think". 

Chances are, somebody else might relate to what I post as well.  If nobody does, I've still done something that I wanted to do. 

I also must remember that this is a 2-way street.  Other bloggers are going to do the same, meaning they'll post stuff that they want to talk about.  I have to remember not to mentally tune them out if it's something that doesn't interest me terribly, because it's what I owe them.  In order to be successful, not just as a blogger but as a person, I have to read and listen to what others are saying on their blogs.  I don't have to agree with what they are saying, just listen to what they're saying. 

If I've struck a chord with a 2nd person out there with this post, then I've accomplished more than I expected.  Because really, I only expect to influence one person....


Thank you for reading, Robert

(words in this post, 569:  total for the month, 4721)



    (Hey, it worked for me...)

  2. Two things I tell my creative writing students in order to get around writer's block/rut:
    1. Make yourself write every day. Even if it's crap, if you keep at it, you'll push through, get something good.
    2. Read, read, read. That's at least half of being a writer. Maybe two-thirds. Reading is the fuel for our own writing, to be inspired by others we admire.
    Anyway, you already know these two techniques, and I think that makes you as much of a real writer as anyone. Great post, man.

  3. I think dayf has the key. Ponies fix everything!

    Actually, Dhoff has a point - I feel better about my blog when I write every day. Not everything has to be perfect, which I remind myself when I write stuff like what I churned out today. I keep a file of scans to give me inspiration many days when nothing else is going on, and I just build my story around it. As you say, blogging is very personal, so I look for that personal attachment to get me going. Some days, I have a hard time coming up with ideas, while other days I'll write a whole series of posts at once. In fact, I've thought of writing a post about this same topic from a different angle. I believe you have inspired me to do that tonight!

  4. Thanks to all for the comments here.

    I wish I knew more about ponies, I don't get the whole betting thing though... ;)