Writing for the first time with Blogsy

I've used other tools previously – either the desktop browser interface to my WordPress blog, or sometimes with the WordPress app for iOS.

Of the two, my preference has been to use the desktop browser interface simply because it has the most accessible feature set. It also allows me to tinker with some of the other site settings, but perhaps that's not such a good idea – I do have a tendency to forever be searching for a better theme. The desktop version also allows me to schedule posts, which I sometimes find useful for posts that perhaps I want to write now, but publish later, and then tune some of the publishing options at the same time. Often I like to write in the evening but hold on to the post until the following morning when I know that a post to Twitter of LinkedIn will get more readers.

The WordPress iOS app is a little more limiting, nothing major, just some of the features you might sometimes enjoy having to hand. When it comes to writing, the app is fully functional and does everything you need for publishing content. There are other apps you could use, and I've tried a few before, but none has really impressed me that much. I suppose I've never been massively impressed with the WordPress app either. It's okay, but for me that's about as far as it goes.

So, why Blogsy? Perhaps a bit of an impulse buy, I suppose. I've also been disappointed with the fact that I haven't written much over recent months. Just before the new year, I purchased a copy of DayOne, a journal app. I've never kept a journal of any kind before, but DayOne has proven to be both enjoyable to use, and persistent enough to keep me writing every day since. I don't write in great depth, or about every last detail. I just write enough to hopefully provoke the return of some enjoyable memories at a later date. There's nothing overly flashy about the DayOne app, it just lets me do simple things like write some text, and add an image – and thats all i need. That's what I'm expecting from Blogsy. DayOne is not over complicated, but just offers the right level of features and function. That's what I'm expecting from Blogsy. DayOne encourages me to keep writing, without it feeling like a burden. That's what I'm expecting from Blogsy.

I’ve just hit fifty (blog posts, that is)

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I never expected to be very good at writing a blog. Not from a writing point of view, but rather in commitment. I think I’ve surprised myself. There was a period of a few weeks earlier this year when I found it really hard to write. Nothing was flowing; my thoughts weren’t clear.

Writing problems aside, I’ve just passed the a milestone of fifty posts, and I’m pretty pleased about that. Compared with the prolific writings of some whom I read regularly, it might seem trivial, but for me it’s quite an achievement!

What was it that held me up?

Fear
At one stage, I think I felt a little fearful of blogging. Though its not entirely clear to me why this was the case, it certainly prevented me from writing. Something to do perhaps with expressing myself openly from a personal perspective, communicating the views I am now forming about the way forward? Fear of how my personal vision and strategy is contributing to the development of strategy for our organisation, and how this might differ from others – either within or beyond.

Drafts
I’ve written (or started writing) plenty of drafts. Some of them remain here in one form or another. I also write when out and about on the iPad, though have given up with WordPress and Blogpress apps, and instead sync to text files to Dropbox with iaWriter. Sometimes it’s just a few words quickly jotted down. Other times it’s more comprehensive with text flowing freely from my thoughts or structured around or in reference to other materials.

Commitment
You really have to work at a blog – long enough at least that it becomes a natural process to write regularly. Writing doesn’t have to be every day; you can use a few methods to keep ahead of yourself, like scheduling some posts ahead of time to fill in those gaps in your writing flow. I think you also have to be actively thinking about your writing very regularly – many times a day, in fact. If you have an idea, quickly scratch it on something, make a note, record a voice memo. Only a few minutes later, the moment and the specific idea you just had might be gone.

Distractions
There are distractions everywhere, and for a technology enthusiast it could be said that distractions are even more noticeable. To start with, there’s the blog platform – in my case WordPress. I’m using the hosted version, but you can also host your own (and do lots more cool stuff). I’ve simply taken to using one of the preconfigured themes (Wu Wei), but customisation is also available, as are additional modules and widgets. Beyond the blog platform though, there are so many other opportunities, all of which threaten to draw you away from your blogging objective.