Goal-Free Creative Blogging
A friend of mine, Jason Bates, mentioned that his approach to blogging is very goal-free. Here’s what he said:
When I started blogging, it took real effort. I had set myself a goal of writing a blog post a day, and so I spent a good deal of time sitting at a keyboard thinking “What should I write.” I had this idea that I had to know what I was going to write before I wrote it. So I’d do a little ‘essay plan’ and then translate this into something that was more polished. I soon discovered that this wasn’t only a boring process for me, but it was also (from my lack of readers) pretty boring for people to read… it seemed to lack spark. I turned in despair to a friend who was a successful blogger who gave me this advice:This is a wonderfully creative way to write. Rather than thinking through the structure and content intellectually, you allow the words to flow in unpredictable ways.
“If you don’t surprise and entertain yourself with what you are writing… your audience won’t be surprised or entertained either! It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be you!”
Wow! It really hit me… and that day I started a blog post with a thought, but no idea as to where it would take me, and that’s how I’ve written ever since. When it’s going well, the words just flow out of me… surprising me with the unexpected direction. But, you know, I’ve realized that I am blogging now because I enjoy it, rather than to “look good” in front of my audience. It’s a very different feeling!
Of course I have to spell check, and reword sometimes… but that’s just cleaning up the insights that appear, it’s a million miles away from planning the piece from the start.