Saturday, April 7, 2018

Transitions and Changes

Image result for images representing transition and change
Photo from What'
Today, I want to talk about what happens when you are stuck in your writing.  It may be your blog, a novel, a poem, or a letter to a loved one.  Whatever is the case, you are stuck, and you have no way of getting out of it,
Recently, you have been seeing a lot of vlogs on my blog.  The reason behind this and I have explained this before, but for my new readers, I have what is known as an ITTT command attached to my blog.  ITTT stands for “If This, Then That” command.  It helps you simplify everyday tasks on your computer, and this specific command allows my YouTube videos to be posted on this blog.  This helps with what I call, “Being stuck”.  I took time out to see why I was stuck, so, that is the reason lately you have been seeing more vlog than blog posts.  The other reason, which happens more often to most writers, especially if you are writing in a blog is the lack of subjects to write about.  Since I write a generalization blog for writing, meaning no subject is off-topic, except adult themes, this will happen from time to time.
This topic is the first one for 2018, even though I have written a couple of posts before this one.  I felt I needed to address this topic of transitions, changes, and being stuck because again it happens to a lot of writers. So why does a writer become stuck?  Let’s look at this for a minute, which by the way, this happens to vloggers as well.
1.       Your subject is too narrow.  I find this to be a very bad thing.  It is nice that you want to write about cardigans.  Yes, it is a trend, but there is only so much you can say about the garment.  I find this in the form of the Dr. Seuss term, “one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish”, (try substituting the word” fish” with “cardigan”), and you will not get very far with the topic.  Try expanding the topic a little.
2.      Your topic is not trending enough, especially if you have a beauty blog or vlog channel.  Google, Bing, and other search engines have a plethora of information, including trends, but they also have their limitations on a subject as well.  Try researching your topic as though you have never heard of it before.  If you get lots of hits on it, you are good to go, and you can write to your heart’s content. However, if you keep seeing the same content on your topic, it is time to move on. Also, remember that trends come and go, so keep up.
3.      There is a physical problem.  I cannot stress this enough: GET SOME SLEEP, EAT SOME FOOD. Sometimes, you are not able to think about what you want to write about.  Sleep is important in anything you do.  You can focus better, and ideas come to you much faster.  You also cannot think if you do not have any food in your system (like I don’t as I am writing this now).  You need that energy to get going.

You are changing.  Oh, a game changer. This is the topic I want to get to talk about today.    When I took time out to find out what was the next step in this blog, besides the constant need to switch this blog to WordPress (One day, Lord, one day), I realized that I ran out of topics for my “Lessons Learned” series.  I had learned about being a “dutiful daughter” when both my parents were sick, filing taxes as a business person, and “Adulting”.  These were subjects that were on my heart because these were things that came naturally, but I have not done them in a while.  No one asked for a parent to be sick, especially if you are sick yourself.  I found out that I had gout, which is a form of Arthritis, and that I can control.  I cannot control when my parents get sick.  I cannot control my business’s tax (In fact, today, I got a notice to pay $2,000 because I failed to file August 2017 sales taxes.  I need to correct it, so I do not have to pay).  I need to have a system in place so that when I file, I can mark it done. This happened before with November 2016 taxes.  In both cases, I thought I did it since I filed the other months.  The adulting part, simple, remember to do the little things around the house and not just the business part, which is one of the downfalls of running a business from home.
As for the actual transition to your blog or writing style:
1.      Find out why you are transitioning.  My transition was simple.  I got tired of writing about current events.  That does not mean I will never write about a current event.  I do not find the current administration interesting enough to keep from turning my blog into a 24-hour gossip column.  Everyone who has read my blog so far knows my views on the current administration, and let’s keep it like that.  I am here to empower you to do your best work, I do not think the Trump Administration is doing that, and they are not good role models for what I am trying to achieve in this blog.  Neither is Abby Lee Miller.
2.      Find out what brought this change? Was it your health? An injustice? A lifestyle change?  a hobby change?  All of those are valid reasons for changing your vlog, blog, or writing style.  There is no such thing as “I have no more to learn about life”.  As long you are living, you can learn something new.
3.      While you are transitioning, find out what is it you want to write about.  It goes hand in hand with #2 under “why are you stuck”.  Research that subject.  Is it trending?  Can you talk about it for a long while?  Are you interested enough to put in the hard work, including researching the areas of this topic (which is also called a niche) that you know nothing about.  Keep in mind, that if it is a trending topic, make sure you are not catching the tail end of it. It can bring you back to #2 under “Why are you stuck?”
4.      Once you have transitioned over to this newness, inform your readers.  Do not announce it in a post or vlog that day, create a separate post. Why?  It gives them a chance to change with you.  If they love you for you, they will change along with you.  If not, they really did not tune to read or to hear what you have to say, and they will move on. Explain in your post what brought on this change, and they will understand.  Be real with them and tell the truth.  I try to be honest with my readers and viewers.  Also, understand that you may lose some people.  That is human nature, I already know I have lost some people by not posting a regular post these last few months. For this, you know to let them know when you are uploading a new post in your blog or vlog post and stick to it as much as possible.  We all know that life happens, and it happens for a reason.  When life does happen, do not panic, simply explain the reason for not upload a blog or vlog post.  If you do not feel up to an explanation, simply say, “Life needed to take care of itself”, and leave it at that.
Finally, it is very rare that a reader expects everything to stay the same on your blog or vlog channel.  You do not owe anyone an explanation at all. Sometimes a hiatus is simply a good way for you to refocus on why you decided to write a blog or have a video channel in the first place.  During that hiatus, you can review your work schedule, ethic, topics covered, platforms that your blog or channel are on, or rather your family wants you to continue or not.  I took my latest hiatus originally because I was going on my first cruise, and rather than sitting there on deck, pinning my vacation away on a sporadic network, I decided to soak in what I was experiencing.  This was from my first day of packing to staying the night with my parents.  I have lots to talk about, and lot of information to give you later.  As I quoted Janet Jackson in one of my last written posts (not vlogged), “Hello, it’s been a while.  Lots to talk about”. I hope you stay a while.

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