One blogger’s quest to maintain her momentum
By Jeanie Hendrie
Readers, you may remember me as the writer of such SW+A blog hits as Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Debunking Social Media Myths, The Collaboration Ma-Sheen and…crickets. Wait, no, I didn’t write about crickets – but for some reason I can hear one from under my desk. I was in a meeting with some of our other bloggers today when it dawned on me that I haven’t made so much as a peep (or a tweet) since May. I came back to my desk feeling a little discouraged and reached into the depths of my filing cabinet to pull out my Blog Team folder. Once full of excitement and promise, it now looked and smelled like an old library book. Somewhere, in the midst of this sub-Saharan Toronto summer, my little orange folder had gotten acquainted with a few moth balls – I can’t say I blame it; it’s shady in those big grey drawers!
I’ve loved writing for a long time, but it’s never been easy. In university, I wrote essays with a Bruce-Banner-goes-Hulk sense of abandon. But the work didn’t end there. Once the green paint wore off, I’d spend hours, days, even weeks polishing and wordsmithing my paragraphs until they sounded just ‘right’. That was then – it was a time when I found 20 hours a week to stream every reality program MTV had to offer (twice); a time when lunch breaks turned into afternoon naps and when waking up before noon elicited wide-eyed awe from my friends.
Yes, that was then and this is now. Today, the luxury of time just doesn’t exist. We’re stressed, time-pressured, over-extended energizer bunnies. We bang those cymbals so hard every day that by the time we sit down to write our blogs, our ears are ringing and our minds are empty. And all of a sudden, something that we used to love so much has become a chore. Flash back to my little orange folder that could. In the past 45 minutes, I gave myself one task – write 3 paragraphs. No topic, no guideline – just words on a page. It’s a Seinfeldian approach to writing – a blog about nothing. At SW+A, we like to say “make it up and make it real”. Sure, putting yourself out there is a little scary – but then again, having the guts to fail unlocks a freedom of thought and experience that are often required to succeed. Sometimes when you’re stuck, the best thing you can do is forget about that framework and let yourself dive in…or hulk out. No editing today readers – Bruce Banner is headed home.