Saturday, September 17, 2005

writing to assignment

I write best to assignment. I was always a good student in writing classes: give me a topic and I can give you a coherent, sometimes better than coherent, take on it. This worked for me in undergrad and even, to some extent, in grad school. Later in grad school, of course, I was supposed to come up with my own topics. When I did, I did fine. When I had trouble defining a topic, I got help. And even then I had deadlines and consequences and my writing, mostly, was good and on time.

Blogging is different. There are no set topics, no deadlines. And no pay, which is of course a profound (though rare) motivator.

This is, of course, why the best blogs are focused and frequent. Writing begets writing, for one thing, and a rich topic (kids works fine, so does politics, the academy, technology, etc.) generates sub-topics all the time.

I've had some set topics here and elsewhere, of course: motherhood, writing, kids, faith--but I have not yet found the edge, the focus that keeps things going. And it's been a rough couple of months for writing, too. Being away from home, then back but in flux, is not conducive to a regular posting schedule. So things have slipped. Not blogging is like not calling a friend--first you don't do it because you're busy, then because you didn't when you should have, then finally because you can't remember why you were going to anyway. But if you do (call, write) -- the words are there.

So I'm going to start setting some topics and some deadlines. Twice a week, at first, and daily (non-work) life topics. Simple ones. Ones I can handle. We'll see how it goes.

5 comments:

Regina said...

I can ttally relate. I am trying to create a writing schedule for myself. If I don't I will just procrastinate and never get to it.

Lilian said...

It sounds like a good plan!

Libby said...

OK, now I've not only made a resolution, but made it public, and even gotten support for it (thanks!), so I guess I'll really do it. As soon as I posted this last, in fact, I came up with topics for about five new posts. I'm going to take them slowly, though, so that I don't lose steam or focus.

stay tuned...

Becca said...

ooh give me some topics! I'll do it too!

Libby said...

Well, Becca, a lot my topics are specific to us: the readings I heard in church Sunday morning, adventures in remodeling, etc. Although, really, doesn't almost everyone have an adventures in remodeling story? I have also made a resolution to remember (ie, write down) at least one thing one of my kids says every couple of days. I'd like it to be every day but, you know, I'm unlikely to do that! The idea here is not just "my kids are so cute/smart/funny" (though, of course, they are) but also, this is how dialogue really works. I can never do dialogue...