I was perusing Facebook this morning and I came across my dad’s latest comment from Ireland: “My Uncle told me my blog was getting stale, so here is a new one.” This got me thinking about how often I ask myself: Is this getting stale? Am I forcing the writing? Am I enjoying what I write about? Or is it just pointless pontifications of nothingness? Like the advice that I gave my dad and will reproduce further down, asking questions is great, but providing a path to obtaining answers is even better.
To answer my question that I start with, no, it’s not stale, to me anyway. But there are moments where I fight the feeling, “I just don’t have it today.” That is when I write anyway, or send a rough draft to a friend for honest feedback. I also do a quite a few other things in order to challenge my status quo of staleness.
Status Quo Challenge #1: Question My Assumptions
I make assumptions about a lot of things, particularly about subjects and topics that have become second-nature. In order to grow in writing and the pursuit of knowledge, I need to question my assumptions by examining not only at what has changed since I originally acquired information regarding a subject or topic, but also at what I can learn if I set my assumptions aside.
Status Quo Challenge #2: Ask Questions
I have never had a problem asking questions, but are they the right questions? That is the question.
Status Quo Challenge #3: Give Answers
I struggle with giving answers to questions I ask. I fear answers because I don’t want to be wrong or arrogant. But there is a difference between giving answers arrogantly, unshakeable in your response, and giving an initial thought about what could be, allowing discussion and discourse to shape an answer to a question.
Status Quo Challenge #4: Know Your Audience
Do you know who you write for? I write this blog as a means to inspire and motivate myself. A little narcissistic—okay, a lot of narcissism there—but it’s more affordable than weekly therapy sessions, plus there are times when my readers get something out of my thoughts. This post is written for my dad and for others that want to fight the staleness of daily blog writing.
Status Quo Challenge #5: Forget Your Audience
Now that you know your audience, forget about them, because then you will want your writing to be liked. Wanting to be liked or approved of changes the way you write, what you say, and how you communicate your thoughts. Be wary of writing for your audience because of this very reason.
Status Quo Challenge #6: Be Entertaining And Educating
Don’t need to say much to this challenge other than if you are striving to be educational, do it with dramatic flair. If you are attempting to be funny, try to be serious or even academic. Writing with an opposing style or viewpoint than you normally do will help you to come at a topic in a unique way.
Status Quo Challenge #7: Have An Opinion…It’s A Blog After All!
Don’t hold back out of a desire to be academic or objective. Save that for academic journals, newspapers, and magazine articles. If I’m reading your blog, I want your opinion. I want your solutions. I want your questions and your answers. After all, I’m your audience, you’re writing for me.
If you take my advice and challenge the status quo of staleness, I’ll still be reading and sharing, because that is the whole point of daily blog writing: communicating thoughts and ideas with other people. Once the Publish button is pressed, everything you typed joins the digital cacophony of what other people think, swirling and pressing together into a collective of ideas that have the power to change the world.