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Blogs: Inspiration or Perspiration?

by | Aug 20, 2010 | Industry News & Trends

The wait for "inspiration" can be a very long one

This morning I was “inspired” by Seth Godin’s blog post about waiting for inspiration. Over the course of our lifetime we’ll wait for a lot — the bus, Friday, payday, a significant other, our kids to get older/become more manageable, a career opportunity, for the holidays to pass so we can go on that much needed diet, and so on.

But Seth cautions us not to wait for inspiration to write that amazing blog post. As a writer, I’ve heard this information over and over. Don’t wait for inspiration. It may never come. But Seth wrote something that made me understand this suggestion on a different level. He cautioned that waiting for inspiration, “plays into fears.” But it also provides us with an easy way to shirk responsibility — wasn’t my fault. The muse didn’t visit. The writer has now been exonerated for not having accomplished anything all day aside from changing his or her status on social networking sites. Seth’s point hit home. He made me feel a little lazy for having used that excuse in the past.

But one of the reasons I use that excuse is that it feeds into the idea that we writers are “magical” and that we can do things others can’t — like match nouns and verbs. It’s job security for us, and we need as much security as possible, because we are a very insecure bunch. Now Seth has taken away my curtain and exposed writing for what it is — something we can all do. We are all content makers and curators. It is not mystical. It’s just hard work and requires a schedule, rather than any mythical inspiration.

But sometimes writing about what you’re closest to is difficult. You know your business or organization like no one else but identifying and “penning” blog material seems tantamount to earning an Ivy League degree in a semester. Seth provides a way to get into the habit of daily writing. He suggests starting a blog with a daily tip on how your favorite company can improve itself/its offerings. It gives you a focus and it’s so much easier to think of how others can improve. But if you want to challenge yourself further, turn it around to something involving your own practices (no need to make this blog public, it’s just an exercise in daily writing).

When you get to the end of your month take a look at what you have. Anything that can be parlayed into a blog post for your organization? Maybe not but at least you’ve developed an ability to write independent of that wily muse. She can be very fickle.

Do you blog every day? Is it a task or an inspiration that moves you to write?


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