Thursday, July 26, 2007

Today on my google home page the "How To" tip of the day was titled "How to Write your Autobiography" Of course - since I am done working for the day, Ryan is on call at the hospital tonight, and I don't want to sweep the bathroom floor - I clicked on the link to see what insight I could gain.

Amazingly, these tips can be applied to blogging, so the following is my rendition of the list, having switched the topic to blogging.

  • Understand Your Reasons for Writing a Blog: your blog will turn out best if you simply write because you want to, perhaps to share the experiences of your life with others, to keep in touch with your family, to try and understand your life and the forces that have shaped you, to preserve your legacy, or simply to exercise your desire to write. If money is your primary motivation, blogging may not be for you...unless you are DOOCE who is an inspiration to us all.
  • Read Some Blogs: The best way to get a feel for blogging is to read some good blogs. Ask blogging friends (ME) for recommendations. The more you read, the more approaches you'll be exposed to, and while you don't need to copy any of these for your memoirs, you can get a lot of good ideas about how to organize your story and make it interesting.
  • Think About Your Audience: If you're just writing for yourself, and you don't want anyone to ever see your story, blogging is not for you. If you're writing for friends and family, you'll want to pay more attention to readability, but you can still take certain shortcuts because chances are your readers will already be familiar with many of the characters and stories. Writing for the general public, however, requires a more thorough approach. You'll need to constantly keep in mind that your readers may not know anything about the people or events you are writing about.
  • Develop Your Theme: Think about what's most important to you, and build your blog around that. Having a theme in mind will make your stories more compelling and help you weed out all those unimportant details...which can be funny to toss in every now and again.
  • Organize Your Blog: You have options! Start at the beginning, and when you come to the end, stop. A logical beginning would be your birth, but you may also want to start by giving an overview of your ancestors' stories. Conversely, sometimes it makes sense to skip over your early years and start sometime later in life. You needn't just go through your life year by year, however. You may want to organize your story more thematically.
  • Jog Your Memory: The best way to remember the past is to try and find things you have kept from that time, such as photos and letters. They may spark just one memory or a whole chain of them. I call these entries "Flashback Friday" and am inspired to post another one soon!
  • Start Writing: This is the most important part! When you open the floodgates of memory, you will probably be eager to capture everything just right. Just relax, and take it one post at a time. Be yourself. When I started this crazy blog two years ago i didn't think I had anything to write about. I guess I was wrong.
  • Be Vivid: Use descriptive words. Think about the Who, What, Where, When, How and Why of each memory. Use your senses to help describe your stories. Show, don't tell. At the same time, don't get bogged down in unimportant details. While you want your blog to be vivid, you don't want it to be boring.
  • Be Honest: Honesty is the best policy, but you don't have to include every horrid secret you may be hiding if you don't want to. Conversely, you may decide to spruce up your blog a bit by creatively sharing some of life's mishaps.

1 comment:

Mindy said...

ahh, turning blogging into an artform... or is it a science? well, i am sitting here TRYING to come up with something to post, and feeling terribly uninspired! i do have a dentist appointment tomorrow.... exciting!