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The magic blog wand

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Saturday, January 05, 2013

I've been meaning to post this one for a while, ever since I put up 'Why don't people blog more?'

I've been blogging since I started on SP and I'd never blogged before I found this site. So I started from scratch, and that was why I wondered why so many people don't blog much when there's a lovely blogging function ready and waiting to use.

I've just had a look at the replies and there seem to be a few common themes:

emoticonWriting isn't my thing.

It doesn't have to be. It comes with practice. Writing's a craft, in other words the more you do it, the better you get at it. It takes a while to develop your 'voice' and you won't develop it till you get started. And a blog's a blog. It's yours. It doesn't matter if you can't spell or you don't know where to put the punctuation. The best blogs are written from the heart, by real people.

emoticonI don't want to/I dare not tell people personal stuff and I worry about being identified on the net.

You can include a lot of detail about things you've done recently without talking about anything very personal. Or you can talk about personal stuff without giving the kind of detail that identifies you. This, I do all the time.

emoticonI waffle too much.

Waffle is good. People want to read about what a real person whom they can identify with has been doing.

emoticonPeople don't comment on my blogs

If you blog regularly, you'll soon find that people do in fact comment on your blogs. The same people who commented will come back and comment again. It takes a bit of perseverance. A bit like losing weight really, but much easier.

emoticonI haven't got time

It doesn't take long. Honestly, once you're into the swing of it, it doesn't take long. 10 or 15 minutes, normally (this one is taking me longer because I'm thinking about what I'm writing, for a change!). It also pays dividends. You get loads and loads of support and loads of new SparkFriends.

emoticonI'm too busy reading other people's blogs

Tut tut! Where would we be if everyone said that?

emoticonWho would be interested? I've got nothing to say

Everyone will be interested. You don't have to write momentous stuff. I wrote my last blog on how I got stuck in my bra. That is not going to change the course of history. It changed my personal history very slightly. A blog is about detail, what you were thinking, how you felt.

My top tips

1. If something funny or interesting happens to you during the day especially if it's related to fitness or food, make a note of it. It's blog material. It can be very small eg you tried a new vegetable, you didn't buy chocolate.

2. Write something other people can relate to. One thing's for certain, whatever has happened to you, has happened to other people and if you write about it people will reply with their own experiences.

3. Try to make sure your blog tells a story with a distinct thread running through it: where you were and what you were doing, what happened, how this relates to your SparkJourney, and a good punchline at the end.

4. Practicalities: write the blog in whatever word-processing software you use. It's easier to spellcheck, move text around etc. Split it up into paragraphs to make it easier to read with a triple 'enter' button (carriage return) between paragraph before copying it and publishing it on SP as a blog. It's good to use a photo if you've got one, and if you use a portrait (top to bottom) photo rather than a landscape (side to side photo) it comes out bigger because of the way the SP software works. You don't see the photos till you publish the blog, but you can edit the blog later and you can move the photos around just by cutting and pasting the link in edit mode.

So there you are. Now it's time for all of you to blog, because this is my last blog.

Now THAT'S a punchline.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    ...But you have such a gift and you provide so much laughter, joy, and enouragement to others. Please, please, please keep blogging. It's the high point of my Sparky day.
    1990 days ago
    I will greatly miss your blogs, but will respect whatever personal things are going on that you made this choice. Wishing you all the best, thanking you for the marvelous photo walks, and praying for your continuing success on your journey. emoticon
    1990 days ago
    1990 days ago
  • CHRIS3874
    Sorry to see you go.
    1990 days ago
    This better NOT be your last blog. You just become my new friend and I NEED more of your blogging. I'm a blogger myself (and a teacher), so naturally I appreciated the advice and writing tips for blogging! Well I best get busy blogging myself. I hope to hear from you soon!
    1990 days ago
    If this is your last blog, I'll miss you
    Rethink your decision, Please
    1990 days ago
  • 4KWALK
    Come on Chantel. Your blogs are more interesting than Coronation Street.
    Don't stop the series just when it's getting good.
    1990 days ago
  • KIPPER15
    I have only blogged twice on SP. No response on either. Oh well, I would rather read yours and you MUST continue. You are the talk of my office and we all love the pictures!!! emoticon
    1990 days ago
    You 'waffle' too much? ....... No ........... Never!! too cute! I blog once a week ........ Even when I am not sure of subject matter, something will always flash into my mind so I have material ........... I would like to break 20 readers though ............. 18 is tops! ...... Oh well .......... like you say, keep at it .......... Eventually peeps see and read ................ I love them cos this is where I get to know a person most, is by what they blog ................... emoticon
    1990 days ago
  • KATYDID412
    Pssshht. This isn't your last blog. emoticon

    Good advice, though. I've been trying to journal and/or blog more in 2013.

    But now, I must do some catching up on my January Jumpstart workouts.
    1990 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    Please tell me your punchline is not serious! For some reason, if I type my blog in word SP software won't accept it. I've been writing my blog in SP's Journal under the Planner. Then I copy it and paste in the blog. Then from there you can add links, pictures and emoticons. Anyway, thanks for the tips!
    1990 days ago
  • DNRAE1
    emoticon NOOOO! It can't be your last blog! You always MAKE my day brighter and happier, and ok, ok, I'll blog...........tomorrow! Promise!
    1990 days ago
    I am working on going much better on blogging!
    1991 days ago
    Your last blog???!

    I hope you don't mean 'forever'.

    Are you OK?
    1991 days ago
    Right. I don't believe it. Perhaps you'll take a break and then share about another neat amble you've taken. Anyway...I agree, you are natural teacher for blogging. My excuses are in some you have listed. Now exposed, I must begin again. Thanks for all your encouragement. Do hope you'll continue. emoticon emoticon
    1991 days ago
    You are a natural blog teacher you are!
    Wonderful hints!
    1991 days ago
  • MARYBETH4884
    If you stop blogging how can we follow your journey ? We want to know how the journey ends or continues in maintence as the case may be! Have enjoyed your blogs, you truely have a gift for words!
    1991 days ago
    Love your blogs and I have started being more active in blogging, its like a free space I can put down what i feel.

    thanks for your ideas and views emoticon
    1991 days ago
    Hey, why didn't you gave us a magic blog wand long time ago? emoticon
    I have never ever blog before in my life until very recently with spark. I just blog today too.
    It is kinda felt shy about blogging in first, since English is a second language for me. And I know that I am not a great writer either, but I have decided to blog for me. For my personal growth. If people will lough be cause my selling or wrong wording, I am happy that I made them lough for a moment or two in their life that I made it bit lighter . (^_^)
    Thanks for your encouragement !! I will blog even no audience. It's my blog right? Isn't it?
    Take care until next time. ^_−☆

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1991 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    I am pretty sure this sums up how I feel. IF you are not blogging anymore I will certainly miss walking in Epping Forest with you. You're probably the only way I'll ever get to visit England. Is guilt a good motivator for you?

    I love reading your blogs and appreciate your humor and your realistic view of what we ALL go through. Thanks bunches!!


    1991 days ago
  • LOUISE3518
    emoticon You must have hit the sugar bowl.
    1991 days ago
    Something you didn't mention....
    Just because people do not leave comments...
    Does NOT mean people are not reading your blog... and
    it does NOT mean that those same people are not receiving something from the experience. It just means that they didn't write you a note or great long missive.
    I read quite a few blogs every day... I tend to only comment on a very few everyday. I don't really know the answer to why the so few responses... but if I think on it awhile I will come up with something.
    I don't know if you read all the comments you receive; but if you do I hope you like this mini-blog comment.
    1991 days ago
    Very nice blog. I had just had a talk with me about blogging this year.

    1991 days ago
    Thanks for writing this.

    I never in my life thought I would blog. I thought that was for the younger generation. I've gotten into it the last couple months.

    I feel like some do, that I have nothing important to say but it feels good to throw stuff out to the universe that is rattling around in my head.

    1991 days ago

    You mean LAST blog of TODAY !

    Dear, You can't stop -
    we are addicted to your lovely
    phrases and photos
    come to think of it,
    THIS is one of the FEW
    without photos

    I am AMAZED !
    You are such a gifted spinner
    of words, that I assumed you
    had kept a journal for YEARS

    You must just have
    a natural knack

    for the hints and
    your daily inspirations

    Have a Super Sunday !

    emoticon emoticon


    emoticon emoticon
    emoticon emoticon

    1991 days ago
  • DALID414
    You had me half way to sucking the air out if the room (gasp)!
    Last blog, pfft, you're addicted to the fame!
    1991 days ago
    Love your blog, and your encouragement to others to blog!! We all LOVE your blogs -- I hope you continue! I really appreciate all the people I have met through blogging. I am trying to increase my blogging, from about once a month to weekly.
    1991 days ago
  • LIS193
    Great tips!
    1991 days ago
    Nope, a trip to London right now isn't in the cards; so I cannot administer corporal punishment if you quite blogging. Sorry about that. emoticon

    Thanks for the tips and encouragement. You are so right, 'just write' people WILL reply.
    1991 days ago
    I didn't blog before SP and don't blog much now. Thanks to your previous blog I did 3 in the last week. Thanks for your ideas on how to blog. I will keep them for future reference.

    You are kidding abiout this being your last blog, aren't you???
    1991 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    Thank you, great tips. emoticon
    1991 days ago
    What do you mean, this is your last blog? Are you going on retreat to Nepal...they probably have WI-FI there so that's out.

    emoticon emoticon

    I got a lot out of your blog. It really takes the whole process into account. I've been blogging good info illustrated with images from google. No one has been negative, usually everyone who looks at a blog will say something positive. Even getting a number of people to follow you feels like a million bucks.

    1991 days ago
    emoticon blog!! emoticon emoticon
    1991 days ago
    Sorry, you're not allowed to stop blogging! What would the rest of us do without you taking us along for your scenic walks? You have a real gift for making ordinary occurances into real interesting events.
    1991 days ago
    Thanks for the blog. I rarely blog unless I have to do so, but I do hope that wasn't your last blog-I just found them:(
    1991 days ago
    I've commited to a weekly blog. It's still in reporting in stage, Mostly for my own benefit, Thanks for the tips.
    1991 days ago
  • LYNNA1968
    didn't blog before spark either, it is freeing and a great asset if and when you need support
    1991 days ago
    As it's panto season I will retort

    "Oh no it isn't"

    and wait for the response
    1991 days ago
    Interesting blog.....thanks for the insight into blogging
    1991 days ago
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