Daily Blogging Breakup

Have you ever come to a point in your life where you have to break down and admit that you just can’t continue doing something anymore?

When you start a project, you jump right in, all gung-ho about it.  Then, suddenly, after several weeks or several months, it feels like work. Your mind becomes occupied with other things and the thing you were so enthusiastic about in the beginning is not doing it for you anymore.  You find that you are uninspired all the time and do not even want to bother with it.

That is the point I have reached with this blog.  I tried to deny that I was getting burned out with it, but looking at some of my content lately, it is obvious to me.  I have posted because I feel that I have to.  Even when I am uninspired.  The result is mediocre at best content.  Yuck.

I always do this to myself.  When I embark upon a new blog, I feel that I have to blog every day to keep my readers entertained.  Then I burn out within months…if I last that long.  I have to remind myself that daily blogging is not for me.  I cannot do it, especially now that I have a full-time job (when I started this blog I was unemployed) and my time is extremely limited.

I am also not blogging about my passions.  I like motivational/inspirational things, but it isn’t what I am most passionate about.  My passions are old Hollywood/movies in general (especially silent films, film noir, German expressionist films) and art.  That is one fatal mistake many bloggers make—they do not blog about something they are truly passionate about and then they burn out before they know it.

Has that happened to you?

I am most happy when I am lost in a black and white world, watching flickering images of exaggerated gestures from actors in heavy makeup.  And I believe that is why Silent Star Saturday was my most popular post through the week on this blog.  People saw how much I loved what I was talking about every week.  Oh, and do not think that I have given up the idea of starting a whole new blog dedicated to Silent Star Saturday.  I am in the middle of doing research and preparing other things before I launch that blog.  It’s coming, brothers and sisters, but just a little later than I originally thought.

The one thing I got from the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month is that I am better off when I am posting about once or twice (at max three times) a week.  I cannot force myself to do the daily blogging thing anymore, especially now that the time I am able to spend online has been cut in half.

I will keep this blog up, for sure, but I will only post on it from time to time to keep people updated on the launch of other blogs I have in the works.  I hope all my readers understand and appreciate the fact that I have burned out on daily blogging and just cannot do it anymore. 😦

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Don’t Let Writer’s Block Destroy Your Life

#ds139 "Writer's Block"

(Photo credit: Sharon Drummond)

The blinking cursor of death is haunting you again, isn’t it?  You have sat there staring at a blank screen for what seems like hours, but nothing is coming to you.

You have that horrible affliction that every writer experiences at least once in his or her life—writer’s block.

You dread it, yet you think you are full of such good ideas that it will never happen to you.  But then it hits you, and you are devastated.  You begin to wonder if you will ever write again.  Then you begin to wonder if writing is even worth it.  No one ever reads what you write anyway.

Your self-esteem is shot.  Your potential career as the world’s biggest blogger or hottest dime store romance author is doomed all thanks to that damned blinking cursor on your screen.

Do not despair, my friend.  As with anything in life, this too shall pass.   You will get over it and come back better than ever.  This writer’s block is good for you.  It forces you to look for new ways to be creative.  So do not let it destroy your life.  Embrace it…and take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

If you have gone to any of the 5 fantastic places to find inspiration (or any number of websites that were created with the writer in mind) and still cannot think of anything to write about, just step away from the computer and take a deep breath.  Something should come to you eventually.  It’s not the end of the world, my babies.

When all else fails, why don’t you try writing about writer’s block?  Have you ever thought about doing that?

Maybe, or maybe not.  I’ve found that when I have writer’s block and start rummaging through the internet for advice, the people giving it rarely ever mention anything about writing about writer’s block.  I wonder why;  it is an effective way to finally get rid of  the affliction.

When you write about your writer’s block, the ideas start flowing again.  Y0ur hands and eyes are moving along with the cursor on your screen, or the pen on your paper.  And then voilà!  You have nearly 400 words written about something that someone somewhere is going to read, even if it is not all that newsworthy or earth-shattering.

After you have finished putting a period at the end of your last sentence, you sigh contentedly.  You feel accomplished.  And you are ready to start all over again tomorrow.

The Top Five Books That Changed My Life—Have They Had an Influence on You, Too?

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I must confess something before I get started on today’s post.  I am sitting here at four o’clock in the morning and have nothing ready for today or the rest of the week.  Oy.   If  you’ve kept up with me the past couple days, you know that my old computer died by fire in late July and, unfortunately, all my drafts and notes went with it…so I am scrambling around trying to find some interesting things to talk about and get some posts out there for you darlings to gawk at.

Books

Books (Photo credit: henry…)

Thankfully today should be relatively easy for me because it’s Writing Prompt Wednesday, one of the new themes here on the Daily Hottentots.  Each Wednesday I am going to pick one writing prompt from websites like Creativity Portal, Plinky, Language is a Virus, etc. and use the first prompt that I get.  This should get very interesting because at some point I will explore short stories, poetry, opinion pieces, and whatever else these prompts spark in my imagination. (more…)

Readers Get Ready, There’s a Change a Coming….

I’m in an exceptionally good mood today, my babies.  The weekend is almost here, the Ultimate Blog Challenge ends in less than a week (and I have posted EVERY day since July 1…go me!), and a lot of changes are coming to The Daily Hottentots starting this Sunday!  I hope you like everything I have planned because I do write with you, the reader, in mind.  Your input is important to me.

So what sort of changes can you expect here?  Well, for one thing, I am getting rid of the weekly themes that I haven’t paid much attention to.  Since it’s not working for me anymore, I have decided to switch to daily themes.  Here is what the week is going to look like from now on—let me know what you think! (more…)

Are You Guilty of Using the Copy/Paste Headline?

Hi everybody, headline goes here please

(Photo credit: reinvented)

I’m not the best when it comes to writing headlines.  In fact, I think I really suck at it. Out of over 30 posts on The Daily Hottentots, I’ve only found three that really capture my attention.  I know that’s better than a big fat zero, but still, that’s less than 10 percent.  Not good.  And I am working to improve that.

Even though I am not pleased with the headlines on my blog posts, I can at least say they are original thoughts.  I’m not going to name names here (frankly, I don’t remember names), but there are a few people floating around the blogosphere who use what I like to refer to as the copy/paste headline. (more…)

Feeling Uninspired? You’re Not Alone

Blank page

Is the blank page of death staring you down? (Photo credit: Freidwall)

I want to begin this post by saying “thank you” to fellow blogger Kelly St. Claire for inspiring this post.  She wrote a post about feeling uninspired that I could really relate to.

This week in blogging has been a real drag for me—I simply do not want to do it.  Actually, the past two weeks have been a real drag for me, but this week has been especially hideous.  I started off the week with the idea of making it all about lists in my Monday-Thursday posts because I like lists, and they’re easy for me to whip together in 30 minutes or less.

Meh…

I haven’t really liked any of my posts this week, and by the looks of my stats, my readers aren’t really too enthused with what I’ve written either.  Haha!  Sorry, my babies, I will try to get back to writing quality stuff on Friday and Saturday.  I really enjoy writing the posts for Favorite Quotes Friday and Silent Star Saturday.  And I have some great posts coming up for those days thanks to Google search queries that lead people to my blog.  Stay tuned! (more…)

Blogging Habits I Developed After Just One Week of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge

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Last Sunday I began a month-long challenge to get me into the habit of blogging regularly, and it has helped tremendously.  After just one week,  I am able to sit down and knock out posts without even really thinking about it.

Okay, I do think about it—a lot—but you catch my drift, don’t you?

So now with a full 8 days under my belt, I am going to share with you a few great habits that I’ve developed after just one week of participation in the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

It Is Entirely Possible to Write a Post in 30 minutes Or Less

Lux Products' Minute Minder timer.

Set that timer and get to writing! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I sit down to write a post, any post, I set my little ladybug timer for 30 minutes and get to writing.  Usually, at the end of the 30 minutes, I am all done.  Sometimes it takes a little less time, sometimes it takes a little more.  But setting the timer has really helped me get out my thoughts without constantly going back and editing myself.  I have had that problem for more than 20 years, and I have finally been able to kick it!

Setting the timer has also helped me keep my posts down to a readable 300-600 words.  In the past, I would ramble for well over 1,000 (yes one thousand) words every post.  No one was reading….

I Have Become More Positive

Free positive thoughts

Positive thoughts (Photo credit: mkismkismk)

If you look back at my early posts on this blog, you will see that they have a sort of negative spin.  I am super critical of this, that, and what have you and it honestly made me come off as a real (expletive) and a know-it-all.

I really like the metamorphosis my blog and my attitude has taken since I started this challenge.

I Ignore the Negative Nag in My Head and Click Publish Even When I Dislike a Post

English: Voices in Your Head's album cover for...

Voices in Your Head (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the lovely hosts of the UBC, Michele Shaeffer, wrote a great post titled Just Shut Up and Ship It that talks about ignoring the voices in your head that try to discourage you from posting content.  This is important to me, because if I always listened to the voices in my head, I wouldn’t even have a blog.  I always look back on posts and think, “Why the heck did I say that?  How embarrassing…”  And then it shocks me when readers actually like it and share it with other people.

Seeing this type of response is really good for my self-esteem, and it really helps me to stop over-editing my content and waiting for the right time to publish it.  Again, if I waited for the “right time” I would not even have a blog.

And…guess what, folks…the timer has gone off.  My 30 minutes are up.   The little ladybug is telling me that it is time to wrap up this post and do some editing!

If you are participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge, please let me know how it is going for you, and anything you have learned about yourself.  Has it helped you develop any habits that have made your blogging experience better?

This July I Am Blogging to Find My Voice

Ultimate Blog ChallengeJuly marks the beginning of a brand new Ultimate Blog Challenge hosted by Michele Scism and Michelle Schaeffer.  The goal of the challenge is to get new bloggers and seasoned vets in the blogosphere to write something new every day for an entire month, and you are encouraged to read and share content from other bloggers who are participating in the challenge with you.

If you’re interested in doing the challenge with me and more than 400 others, please go to the Ultimate Blog Challenge website and find out how you can take part.  It’s not too late to sign up!

I am going to use this challenge to finally find my blogging voice.  I have struggled a lot with who and what I am when it comes to my blogging style.  I have blogged on all types of things—history, Hollywood, politics, activism—and I never stick with it, even though blogging is something I enjoy doing a whole lot.

I really do like sharing my thoughts with the world and getting feedback, but for some reason all my past attempts have fallen flat.  I post regularly for a month or two (sometimes much less) and then I get bored and get rid of the blog completely.

I know what the problem is—it’s that I have a short attention span and lose interest in things rather quickly.  And I am hoping that the Ultimate Blog Challenge and being a part of a large group of bloggers will help me correct this problem.  Certainly there are others who can identify with me here, yes?

And who knows, by the time this month is over I might find out that blogging really isn’t for me, even though I have done it on and off for about 10 years now.  Or perhaps I will find that my blog needs to go in a completely different direction than what I had originally intended.  I just have to wait and see.

If you are participating in the challenge, what do you expect to get out of it?  Please let me know by leaving a comment below.  And if you want to keep up with my progress, you can subscribe to the daily updates via RSS or e-mail.  I look forward to your feedback!

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