Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Inspiration to write

In undertaking a MOOC recently on academic writing at Berkeley, I was asked by another student on the course how I got the inspiration to keep a blog.

This gave me pause. On reflection, I think I get inspiration from teaching, consulting and because I straddle four fields - management/leadership, business, sport and careers. This means that there is always something to write about. Doing any kind of learning also help me to reflect. I read a lot, as I am researching, and do a lot of writing in the various aspects of my job.

Professional media and news media also helps me to write. As I belong to a few LinkedIn groups, following the discussions often gives me a thread to expand into a post of my own. Sometimes email conversations will give me inspiration.

All those things sparks ideas to write up. Then, because daily I use, I use that platform and task to tease my ideas out more fully. The writing on 750words gets recycled, and the product is posted on my blog, with a image that I create.

Sometimes partial ideas will sit as drafts on my blog for a while before they are polished enough to be posted. I aim to publish three posts a week, but tend to write more than three. This means that I have between four and eight weeks of posts scheduled, depending on how prolific my writing has been.

However, sometimes it is difficult to think of topics! In some cases, what I have done is to dip into one of my teaching slides, and write a post up around it. This will happen when I am busy - overloaded - elsewhere, and this is why I have built up a buffer for these 'dry' writing times. Interestingly, it was Stephen King who taught me that (1998, p. 28):
You see, although I have published a book a year [...], I wrote two books in four of those ten years, publishing one and ratholing the other. I don’t remember ever talking about [...] what I was doing: saving up nuts.
Thanks Mr King. It's a good way to keep up a blog: write when the inspiration is there and save like a squirrel does for winter, eat the savings when food is short :-)



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