Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How can I be at a loss for words when I teach writing?

I feel silly admitting this, but I've been paralyzed by (I'm sure excessive) indecisiveness over what the heck to actually post about these last few months, leading to pitiful posting stats, I know.

Here's my dilemma--it seems like everything I read on building and maintaining a successful blog indicates you should have a theme--and that makes sense, because most people probably return to blogs for a reason, wanting to see more of whatever was there that first got their attention.

The thing is, I feel waaay too scattered to stick with a theme these days, and it's left me wondering whether to post on the stuff I'm really thinking about, which has absolutely nothing to do with cats, crafts, or even (my personal favorite) snarkiness, or whether to try to generate some cat and/or craft themed posts.

As a writing instructor, the biggest thing I tell my students is that they have to write a bridge between their purpose and their audience--but in order to take my own advice, I feel like I need to know a bit more about who my audience is. So...age, weight, height, mother's maiden name, social security number? You don't mind leaving that in public, right? ;)

Ha ha--yes, I know, I'm just so hilarious you can hardly hold your sides in. Actually, what I really want to know is: why are you here (not on the planet, on my blog--though if you can answer the first question, color me impressed!) and what do you like reading? Do you like it when I dig up photos from etsy or artfire to show off fun handmade finds? Do you like it when I post videos or photos of my cats? What about random cat info, like the last post? Or pictures of my cat designs? How about miscellaneous stories from my life (and, with those, do you prefer the funny ones, or is somber stuff interesting too)?

Don't worry about hurting my feelings here--I want the real, nitty gritty stuff. I didn't start this blog to pour out my feelings, after all (I have a honest-to-goodness paper and pen journal for that), but to connect with people. So what I'd really like to know is how best to do that. Lay it on me, full force.

Oh--and if you have any pointers on how you get yourself posting when you get stuck in a rut, I'd welcome those too

7 bits of commenty goodness:

BeadedTail said... 7/1/09, 11:48 PM

Blogs are meant to be fun for you most importantly so post whatever you enjoy writing about! Your stories of your cats, your shop, other finds, and other miscellaneous things about your life have all been fun for me to read. I guess I didn't give you too much nitty gritty but I've enjoyed the variety you've posted so far!

Cozy said... 7/2/09, 12:14 AM

Variety is good IMHO. If you are scattered then that is what your blog should be. I know mine is. Maybe it is the Gemini in me.

Christy DeKoning said... 7/2/09, 7:12 AM

When I get into a writing slump it means I'm not feeling creative anywhere else either (usually during a bout of commissions that I'm trying to finish)...so unfortunately I just don't blog at those times, or I simply post quick photos.
I've found, however, that as soon as I do something creative (see my last blog post if you like) that is entirely self-centered, then I have no difficulty blogging all about it. In fact I have to edit them down to size then!
Not very helpful I suppose - but maybe you need to focus on YOU for a minute, then come back and tell us all about it (in all it's selfish snarky glory)!
I love seeing what you dig up on Etsy, but the real reason I'm here is for your great writing and your cats.

Higgins Design Studio said... 7/2/09, 7:19 AM

After reading the first 3 comments, all of my things to say have been said... the blog is about you and your creativity and your love of all things cat... I am here because I love all of it... I get those bloggers block moments (months) too... sometimes the little snippets at least let us know you are there and you are OK... now, my mother's maiden name is...............

Mishkat said... 7/2/09, 9:05 AM

I get writer's block too - especially when I'm doing a lot of scientific writing. Sometimes I get completely stuck on blog posts. I often start with a photo and then make up something to go with it. And it's sometimes much easier for me to write from the point of view of one of my cats (weird, but it helps!) So I have basically ended up with a cat blog. This was not my intention, but it is fun! But the people who read my blog have encouraged me to post about myself also, which is nice too.

I, of course, like to hear about cats - and I'd love to hear your cats' stories (not sure if you've posted them already?), but I also like to know about the people who write blogs. One of my favorite posts on your blog was the one about your mom's Thanksgiving Day celebrations. And I know your writing standards are probably really high, but every blog post does not have to be a work of art :).

P.S. IMO, the Wordless Wednesday meme is a boon to people with writer's block!

Noir in Texas said... 7/2/09, 9:01 PM

This is my first time to your blog and I LIKE it. My human Tommy says she probably wouldn't like you because you're all crafty. Tommy got "D"s in art during her school days in Jurassic Park (she's old). I digress. Tommy says the theme thing bugs her about her OWN blog (not mine!) She hears you on that as she sees her own stats (Not MINE!) go down. My thing is, and since I AM a cat so have opinions--write what YOU want. You have a great write style--THAT's what brings humans and cats and dogs and maybe a hamster BACK to your blog.

Higgins Design Studio said... 7/3/09, 7:17 AM

PS - Another thing I LOVE about your blog is the wonderful people who make comments! I'd say, as far as demographics go, you probably span several age groups, and may have followers of both genders, you definitely have a feline following, and, we are all crazy like you! (That is, crazy in a VERY GOOD way!!!)
As far as my age, height, weight, etc... let me know where to send it... ;-D