Friday, 10 February 2012

The curse of OUT THERE

You never know who
will buy your books.
In case you didn’t know, this being a writer lark is more difficult than it looks. It’s not just a question of writing great stories with perfectly formed characters, realistic dialogue, intriguing plotlines and properly researched back stories. It’s all about getting ‘OUT THERE’, and being noticed. (In a good way.) (Or so I am told.) Which stands to reason really. If people are going to buy your books, it might be helpful for them to know who you are before they invest hard earned cash in your product. 

Hence the blog.

blog   n. - A shared on-line journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies. intr.v  blogged, blog·ging, blogs - to write entries in, add material to, or maintain a weblog.

Trimming and dyeing dogs
to look like endangered animals
is fun for all the family.
I wouldn’t exactly say this was a shared project (although I would welcome contact from ANYONE interested in dipping a careful toe into the blogging sea, thus avoiding the embarrassing scenario of flailing around desperately for topics to write about). And I wouldn't exactly say this was about my personal experiences and hobbies, because I am sure you don't want to know about them. 

But I was hoping to write something intelligent, every two or three weeks, about the whole delicious process of writing, editing and all things authory, whilst cleverly signalling to the world that I am more than willing to be OUT THERE - ready to sign on the dotted line of publishing success.

But after only three posts, I have discovered that being OUT THERE is even harder than being IN HERE, and I cannot think of a single inspiring, amusing, clever, sharp, beautifully observed or scholarly thing to write. The only things which leap into my mind, leap out again as soon as I put fingers to keyboard.

I am reminded of the time I decided to record my dreams. Someone told me I could learn a lot from this, and revelations from my inner psyche were to be my new creative starting points. It all sounded so easy; like the downhill path to deeper personal knowledge with artistic inspiration thrown in. I kept a notebook next to my bed and every day upon waking, I wrote down my (up until then) very vivid dreams, for later analysis.

But after a couple of weeks, what actually happened was that I started to have nightmares about losing the notebook, or the pen running out of ink, or worse, forgetting my dreams. My rich vein of inspiration and self- knowledge dried up, literally overnight, and so I gave up.

However, I am determined that will not happen this time. I will not be defeated by blog block.

Instead, I turned to Google and discovered that
a)      I am not alone with blog block,
b)      I am not the first writer to write a whole blog post about blog block, and
c)      Overcoming blog block is as simple as writing about it.

The genius,
Darren Rowse
It was Darren Rowse who gave the advice, ‘Think about a problem you had … and write a post that solves that problem.’ 


Within minutes, my problem was solved. And what is more, in the process of writing this blog, I have had lots of ideas for new blogs. So bear with me, I promise to return in a week or three with something intelligent and worth reading. But in the meantime, if you are a flailing, floundering or fledgling children's writer and blogger, and would like to join me on this journey to OUT THERE, please apply below.

Thank you. That is all.


  1. Oh Wendy, I am sooooo there too.
    I have 3 or 4 brilliant (they felt like that when I thought of them) ideas for posts on my desktop that fizzled out because it was too much like a writing an essay.
    Just have to make something up.

  2. This post is something all us blog writers can empathise with. Self promotion has never been something I have been comfortable with but my blog has become a good thing to hide behind!

  3. We're all in the same boat with this blogging thing. Maybe we should start a bloggers' support group?

    1. That is a very good idea! Let's meet in Costa's :)


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