My mother is considered an expert in her field of research. As one of the smartest people I know, her resume and day to day work life never ceases to amaze me. Part of her job description a few years ago was as designer, facilitator and author of a pedagogical blog linked to her place of employment. Last night, I went a-stalking and came across the blog. It read well, it was interesting and engaging, sometimes funny, and I could definitely hear my mothers voice through the writing. Then it stopped. The blog hadn’t been updated since 2014 and oh boy, I felt that deep in my soul.
I called my mother to ask what happened. “Writers block… and no longer having the blog as part of my job description” was the forthright answer I had expected, and was absolutely the answer I got. My mother – creative and genius, suffers from writers block as much as any of us. It was during that call that I realised I had so many ideas for her blog on pedagogy (a field I do not and have not studied), but I constantly struggle to come up with idea for my own blog.
I talked through some of the ideas with her and she got excited again. “Darling, if I had a topic, I could write for days… I just can’t think of topics.” The ideas spilled forth – where I saw them going, why I thought they were important for teachers/lecturers to think about, how I thought the topics could impact discussions and classroom practices. Creative juices began to flow and I quite enjoyed bouncing ideas off someone. The ideas were useless for me to write about because I don’t have a million years in pedagogy to back me up, but the process was refreshing.
Sometimes I struggle with the fact this blog has no real direction. I look at other people’s blogs and see “holly homemaker”* or “beauty addictions”*, or “Poetry for the homeless”* and think wow! If only I could divert my energy in to writing about one thing! I write about things I’ve studied, conversations that make me think, frivolous rubbish, and sometimes serious topics. There’s no real cohesive movement; just ramblings of a semi well-educated ex-vagabond who has a lot of thoughts on a lot of topics. While I struggle with the disorganisation of it, I also enjoy the freedom of it. If I had to have a website dedicated to each topic I ever wrote about, I’d be in for a rough time.
My biggest struggle is coming up with ideas, and then being able to follow through with writing them. Sometimes I have a topic idea, a few dot points, but then nada. Zip. Nothing. Other times, like right now, I can freely write with little effort. Coming up with ideas for other people never seems to be a problem for me, and I think that’s because all onus is off me. I’ve done my part, I’ve helped, but I don’t have to follow through on anything – therefore leaving me stress free and able to freely give ideas without hindrance. But when I actively try to carve out time to write for Tirades, I struggle. I’ve mention previously that I had 18 drafts sitting there doing nothing because I just couldn’t find the words. I’m now up to 26.
These topics range from Continuing on from Respectful relationships, to poetry, to reviews on my favourite teas… Even my drafts has no real cohesion to it. How do people with one topic do it? How do you write about one thing and one thing only? Do you ever wish you could branch out? Do you have a second or third blog? Do you get writers block as much as the rest of us seem to? Seriously, I want to know! I need answers!
Until next time! xx
*not real blogs I’ve come across – but I’d definitely read them if they existed.