The dangers of thinking too much about writing a blog

Hello Mr. Snake

Dear beginning bloggers and stuck bloggers and bored bloggers and worried bloggers:  

Do you want to know my blogging advice to you?  (As if you don’t know already after reading the headline!) 

Don’t think too much. 

Don’t think too much before you write your blog.  In some instances, it’s better not to think at all. 

When I started blogging back in the 1800’s–no, no, that was eighteen months ago–I thought about The Blogging Subject all day.  What to write about, what to write about…  Mulled over the topic.  Turned it sideways and peered at it in the mind’s eye.  Pondered.  Thought, thought, thought.  A good portion of the day was spent mulling over Blogging. 

Until one day I realized–I can’t live like this.  NO MORE THINKING! 

Husband holds little garter snake with dire results

And from that moment on was born:  The Spontaneous Blog.  OK, not every blog is totally 100% spontaneous.  (This one happens to be.  I had no idea what was coming out until…until…well there is still no idea what is coming out.  Let’s wait and see!) 

Sometimes a couple of sentences or a fragment of an idea hatches in the early morning.  Or maybe it hatched two days ago.  But I refuse to think about it beyond maybe two or six sentences.  Because…then the Mind starts churning it around and trying to figure out how to say it better and what to say and what’s grammatically correct… NO! 

Sometimes it’s best just to sit down and start sharing. 

Let the little snake go into its wildflower home.

Let the pictures determine what you’re going to talk about.  Let the pictures tell a story.  The pictures might keep referring to the person who looks like she’s writing a blog, but really it’s the pictures who are talking.  They’re crafting their subject–sometimes craftily.  Sometimes funny.  Sometimes dead serious.  But there’s an open space where you never know what’s coming out. 

That’s when blogging gets fun.  Because there’s not a Mind that is supervising and orchestrating and fretting and revising.  There are just words flowing out helter-skelter from the typist’s fingers and sometimes laughter too. 

How do you DO that, you wonder? 

Bambi sighting from the bathroom window.

You sit down.  You still your mind.  You post your pictures.  And then you start typing.  You watch the words form without even thinking about what you’re going to say.  

Perhaps some of you have heard of a group called Diving Deeper?  It was once part of a community website called Gaia.com which is now defunct.  The founder, Sandra Jensen, teaches this technique of sitting before a blank piece of paper (OK, a computer screen will do) and simply writing.  

There are a few guidelines which assist the writer and I thoroughly recommend for some of you to check out the current site:  http://divingdeeper.ning.com/  

You will soon see that this practice of fearlessly facing the empty page and allowing yourself to dive in fully can yield great results.  Although I don’t utilize all the Diving Deeper techniques on my blog, I love the idea that it’s possible to write without our conscious thinking mind leading the way.  We can surrender and allow something deeper to have its say.  

(And not always something deeper in the sense of something more profound.  Just something deeper than our surface thinking mind.) 

Mama and baby wander into the woods

Before I quit typing for the evening:  back to the snake photos.  Barry and I walked on the road last night.  We saw a snake paused in the middle of the road.  Barry took the winning photograph (above).  He actually got on his belly next to the snake to come up with this shot!  Didn’t he do a great job? 

And then…and then…he picked up Mr. Garter Snake and held it!   And then–you are thinking that Mr. Snake bit him, aren’t you?  Oh no.  It was worse than that.  It– (how does one put this politely in a blog?  C’mon, thoughts, where are you when we need you?) –It peed and poohed all over his hands.  Yes.  It did the dirty. 

It was very challenging for Barry to continue walking with me up the road, let me tell you.  He wiped his hands on every damp leaf in the nearby surroundings while exclaiming quite loudly against the poor snake. 

Simplicity of being just what it is.

As for the deer photos….remember my desire to see a curled up baby fawn?  Well, it is definitely too late.  The fawns are now prancing and dancing and frolicking.  I didn’t get the greatest shot (through the bathroom window and everything) but it does kind of look like a modern art painting, don’t you think? 

Ooops, I didn’t mean to suggest that anyone start thinking.  OK, you can think again. But just remember the dangers of thinking too much about writing.  Just dive in and let the fingers tell whatever story they’re aiming to tell.  I’m here to tell you that they usually do a good job.

P.S.  All you people who write a blog teaching and educating folks–don’t lynch me!  Sometimes it’s OK to think.  Some blogs lend themselves to thinking.  It’s OK.  Just wanted to alert everyone to the dangers which some time crop up when you try to think too much about writing.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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46 Responses to The dangers of thinking too much about writing a blog

  1. elisa says:

    ROFLMAO!! The bathroom, when only one eye is opened, in the morning EVEN BEFORE TEA, can sprout some of the BEST BLOGS EVER!!!

  2. Dear Kathy,I too embrace spontaneous blogging.

    Sometimes I have an idea sitting around but often it gets changed as I sit down to write. Sometimes I know the topic or intent before I start because it is a creative problem I am musing about. But it often doesn’t take shape until I start to write. I have tried to write blogs in advance and it is like trying to decide what I am going to wear before I get up in the morning… never easy. How am I going to know what I feel like wearing in the morning the night before? I don’t. Blog writing is the same way. I have a few ideas but the moment is the moment. However, I hold the intent of my blog like a lit candle in a darkened room full of partially visible possibilities.

    Great post my friend!

    • Kathy says:

      Terrill, your words “How am I going to know what I feel like wearing in the morning the night before?” strike a bell. Your suggestion of holding intent like a candle in a darkened room also resonates. We light the candle of our intent and see what happens!

  3. Jeff Stroud says:

    I think you are perfectly correct. Since my blog has become my morning pages in last few weeks, free flow is the key. If I think to much, it doesn’t even get written and therefore I am not fulfilling my commitment to the pages and to myself.
    For me the photographs come after writing, sometimes I have an idea of what I want, and they may have nothing to do with the words in the blog, they are there just to have something to reflect upon, to shine light on the day, etc.
    Less thinking more blogging…

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Kathy says:

      Jeff, morning pages are just like it, aren’t they? We just open our minds and let the words spill onto the paper or computer. The free-flowing is an energy unto itself…and shows us many things. I never thought about putting the photoraphs after! Wow! You just taught me a new possibility. thank you! Will have to try that sometime.

  4. Colleen Lloyd says:

    Hi Kathy, fortunately (ot not!) I’m too tired to think at all right now so maybe this is just the perfect blog to be reading at this moment in time. But I always think that about your blogs, no matter what delightful direction they happen to take!! Just love your little garter snake. He’s a bonny wee fellow in comparison to some of his relatives that we saw in Australia. Hmmm… is there perhaps a future snake-whisperer in your family? I peeked into Diving Deeper just as Gaia was ending but will admit that I was a bit intimidated. Will definately have another look.
    Looking forward to catching up 🙂

    • Colleen Lloyd says:

      Through all of the fog I hope that the message you are getting is that I love this…not that your blogs are only delightful when one is not thinking at all! Oh, dear…sleep deprivation. It garbles the mind as well as the tongue!!

      • Kathy says:

        Colleen, those Australian snakes scare the heck out of me. No snake whisperers allowed in this family, either! LOL. OK. We can have one, if they keep ’em outside. As for foggy bloggy-commenting, you’re doing fine. Hope you had a wonderful trip and recover easily from your jet lag.

  5. emaclean says:

    Beautiful lupine photo! Love the garter snake too.

    • Kathy says:

      Aren’t lupines beautiful, emaclean? Especially when white ones linger around purple and pink ones.

      • emaclean says:

        Kathy, they are gorgeous. I am surprised you can grow them waaaay up there! My father in law brought me back some giant lupine seeds from New Zealand many years ago. The photos he took of the flowers were amazing–and I had never seen such large lupines. I never did get those seeds to start. Probably can’t blame it on my climate….

        Erin

  6. Artswebshow says:

    I completely agree.
    I create so its not so easy not to think.
    But i have conditioned myself to switch off when i leave the computer.
    It is important like you say.
    And i like all of this spontinaety

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Richard. To switch off when we leave the computer…or at least open our minds and thoughts and feelings to the world beyond the comptuer. I like what you say. (And also like the way you wrote that spontaneous blog.)

  7. i love it, I Love It, I LOVE IT!

    How do you manage to do it? It must be a blast living inside your head! It’s so nice you let the rest of us get a daily peek at what takes place in there. And on top of that you captured the little garter snake in his tongue-stuck-out pose, and then you caught Bambi from the bathroom window.

    Kathy, you’re an inspiration. A true inspiration!

    • Kathy says:

      Dear Laurie, well, you’ve lived in my shirt pocket. You might as well come inside the head for a little while too. But you might find it boring in between creative ideas. The old mind can be…so….silent. Absolutely still. Headed for another meditation session in a short while. Afterward the world starts again but the stillness is everywhere; a delightful silent background music.

  8. I love that you share your adventures with us…I hope we all fit in! LOL

    I thought that the snake bit him!

    I use dogie bags here, I guess you don’t need to worry about that with your animals!

    The adventures of Indiana,I mean Kathy Jones and the kingdom of the snake skull….

    Kim

    • Kathy says:

      Kathy Jones! You are funny, Ms. Kim. (I meant to leave the evil impression that the snake bit him and am delightfully happy that you thought so.) smiling…as the Indianna Jones music crescendos!

  9. Dawn says:

    Well….I agree, sometimes it’s best just to let the fingers loose. Never know what they will come up with.

    And Mr. Snake? Well, what would happen if a giant picked YOU up while you were walking along? You’d probably do the same to HIS (or HER) hands! LOL!

    • Kathy says:

      Let those fingers fly without censorship across the keyboard! (Then again, what if those fingers are saying particularly disturbing things? Hmmm. Then I think it might be time to privatize the message and go deeper into it. Don’t you think?) See, I’m turning things around again! And I am with you and the snake. Shame on the giant!

  10. Carol says:

    Good advice. I think I tend to put off starting a blog if I don’t have any idea what I want to write about; other times, I just start and words just happen. I want to coordinate my topic with photos, but I don’t always have photos that prompt a topic. I need to learn to just let that go too.
    Thank you for your prompting!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Carol! I guess I learned how to write everyday–sometimes with no idea–when I did the outdoor blog last year. Half the time it seemed like there was nothing to write about. But the fingers always surprised the skeptical mind! The coordination of topics with photos sounds good…but sometimes we can just let them kinda dance between the words. Maybe?

  11. Susan D says:

    Another inspirational, motivational topic, Kathy! Thank you.

    As for The Snake Whisperer, I am in awe of anyone who handles snakes, excretement or not … The creatures terrify me, sad to admit….

    The Diving Deeper link is waaayyyyy cool. Another thank you 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Susan D! We should go for another walk one of these fine summer days. We will not handle snakes. We will try not to yelp when we see one. We shall walk by in a dignified manner pretending we’re all cool. Shall we?

  12. Marianne says:

    Great advice, Kathy! Thanks. I always love the pictures on your blog. It gave me an idea to learn how to take pictures with my cell phone. I don’t think I can store them on my phone, I think I have to upload them to a site then download them to my computer. Sounds like a process. Anyway, pictures certainly make a blog interesting. I will try to not think when I post my next blog.

    • Kathy says:

      Hello, Marianne! I was hoping to jog some bloggers free of blogging-block. 🙂 That’s cool that you can take pics on your cell phone. Le tme know when you write your first non-thinking blog!

  13. Sandra says:

    Gorgeous blog as always, Kathy! You made me laugh, and I loved the tension in wanting to know WHAT the snake did or got done to. Funny when we finally found out. And thank you for posting a link to Diving Deeper, if anyone feels intimidated by the group, please email me and let me know, it’s meant to be for anyone who wants to write, regardless of experience…. ok off to do some not thinking on my novel 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Sandra! Oh listen to you! You are praising what you like about the writing, like you always do. (Hey, you other intimidated possible Diving Deeper people…see how kind Sandra is? How she can always find something in our writing to like?) Sooo very glad you stopped by to laugh and hope your novel is going well. Just be sure not to think about it!

  14. kathusitalo says:

    It is funny the way things just pop into the old noggin sometimes…

  15. karma says:

    Thanks for the advice. I find blog posts popping into my head as I go about my business for the day or try to capture a nice picture. Does that count as thinking? 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Karma, such a good question! You know, when the blog post pops into our head, I think that’s Divine Blogging Inspiration. When we get attached to the inspiration and think, think, think about ways to execute it…that’s when it gets dicey. I love the Inspiraiton pops! As long as I don’t think about ’em too much…

  16. Robin says:

    Wonderful advice (says she who, after a bunch of years of blogging, does just that). I used to think and think and think until my brain hurt. Then I started doing as you suggest — letting the pictures lead my words. It’s so much easier and my brain doesn’t hurt anymore. Most of the time. 😉

    Great shots of the snake. They are all great shots but I am fond of snakes. I carry around a small towel when I’m out and about taking pictures. It’s good for all sorts of things, including wiping one’s hands. 😀 I got that advice from Douglas Adams. hehehe

    And yes, I do think your deer photos look like an old world painting, especially with that lighting. I didn’t even have to think about it.

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, high five! We now belong to a club of former think-til-your-brain-hurts bloggers! Phew… OK, we’re not perfect, are we? We still think sometimes. I will tell Barry you like his snake photo. But you have just made my night saying nice thins about the deer photo. A second high five! We are now true buddies.

  17. barb says:

    Well, I had faith that the fawn would appear, Kathy – and it did. I guess it’s the same with writing. If you still the nay-sayer long enough, something emerges.

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Barb! Yep, that fawn did appear. Even though it wasn’t curled up. It was prancing. (I guess our job is to just wait. To see if our blogs curl up or prance!) 🙂

  18. Kryssy [shellypolly] says:

    Not AGAIN Kathy This will be your 36th comment. Your right about NOT thinking about when we right a blog. Sometimes we (as bloggers) get so caught up in the thinking that we can’t put it into words after. Which is shameful thing.

    The snake incident was rather quite amusing. I LOVE reading your blog from time to time because you DON’T take life so SERIOUSLY 9like some of us do). So it’s refreshing to the eyes to see.

    • Kathy says:

      Kryssy, you have to realize that one HALF of those 36 comments are just me talkin’ to myself. (or whoever comes back and reads!) so it’s really not as many comments as it looks like. But yes yes yes, I don’t like to take life too seriously! If we take things too seriously we end up getting caught in tangles. Kinda like getting caught in tangles of brush. Better to head for the clearings!

      • Kryssy [shellypolly] says:

        Kathy,
        Yes I do realize that the ‘comments’ are just read and replied. Tangled is my name for now. I’m about to go on a JOURNEY in which I’ve NEVER been on but ce la vive (that’s life), not much I can do about it. Talking about pictures I saw a friends picture I stole from her (not that she’d mind). I LOVE the picture so MUCH I’m going to do a blog about it :).

  19. Thanks for writting this blog JUST FOR ME. I see every one else gets it (even Robin- I USED to think and think and think until her brain hurt) My brain still hurts…and you can see by the amount of blog entries I produce as in…slim to none… I can not get out of my left brain for my right … no matter how HARD I WORK (Te..I Know)at the go with the flow…let the pictures lead..dont think, just do concept. It is not for lack of ideas though.
    it’s just…let me think of the right word here. Wow! No shit I just got it.
    I’m not kidding girl. Now I really thank you for this blog.

    • Kathy says:

      Julie, it was worth it to write this blog JUST FOR YOU!! No more hurting brain for you! Refuse to let your mind think. Just let your fingers stumble around the keys, tapping out their blogging songs! If it’s hard work then we won’t get to hear enough about your viewpoint and your life and whazzz happening. Let us know how it works, OK? Happily beaming into the afternoon finally knowing who the blog was really FOR!

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  21. Jessica says:

    Hello, your blog inspires me so much. I’ve been told by several professionals that I need to create a blog as a journalism student, but I’ve taken a look at some of the samples out there and they all overwhelm me with being about strictly one topic. I can’t say that I’m an expert at anything other than being myself. With that in mind, I’ve decided to put caution to the wind and write whatever comes to mind in this new blog that I have created…Thanks for your helpful advice!

    • Kathy says:

      Jessica, I am so glad to have inspired you! (Did you know I was once a journalism student, as well, a half billion years ago?) As for being an expert on being ourselves–that we are. Go for it. There is only one you!

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