I just can’t find the words

2014-02-04 11.06.23I write blog posts for my marketing clients. Taking one client as an example, I keep a schedule going forward about 2 months, identifying topics for two posts a week.  I keep a few gaps in the schedule for more up-to-the-minute items, but in general I know several weeks in advance what I’m writing about, and when.  This means I can get ahead of myself if I’m going to be away or expect to be extra-busy on other matters.

Each post takes on average up to one hour to get written, re-written, checked and posted.  Some are longer, some shorter. Sometimes there’s a little research involved, such as when I’m writing about an industry related topic about which I need to mug-up in a hurry. For some I need to chase up background from the company or interview staff – usually by phone or Skype. But that’s about as tricky as it gets.

So I keep on top of it, posts on Mondays and Thursdays, unless there’s a good reason to shift days.  This week’s Monday post for example, went out today, as it was a promotion for the company’s Facebook page and it seemed worth tying this into Facebook’s 10th birthday celebrations.

It’s not just about getting paid for my work. Cliché I know, but I value my clients – they enable me to live like I do, with enough time to write for pleasure alongside earning my living.  So it matters to me that they think I’m doing a good job for them.  I work hard at being interesting, relevant, varied, witty and informative in the blogs I write for them.  I want my clients to receive positive feedback on my posts from their clients and associates.

But here’s my dilemma: Why doesn’t it work the same way when it’s personal? Why can’t I bang out my own personal ‘A Writer’s Notepad’ blog posts as efficiently, professionally and dependably as I can manage my clients’ posts?

Why is it easier to write for someone else, than to write for me?  What makes it different? Why do I agonise for days over one post or another?  Why do I start writing on one topic, then abandon it for another, then go back to the first, then … go and make a cup of coffee? I can’t seem to settle. I write and write, and I just can’t get it right.

My own from-the-heart, writerly missives cause me endless frustration.  What topic to pick? What to say? How to make it interesting? Should it be humorous or deep-and-meaningful? How personal or intimate should I be – or not? Then I need to get the words right – I am a writer, after all, and so the last thing I need is to bsha ou psots flilled wit miscakes.

So I’ve hit on an idea – just for this week.  I have a few (admittedly cryptic) blog post headlines for you to choose from.  These are all partially written – some more partially than others. Whichever gets the most votes, come what may, I will post next.

You get to choose, and here’s the choice:

 

The poll is open for one week from today. Meanwhile, just in case, I’m going to try and pull every one of these partial posts into some kind of shape.

PS:  Just by accident this morning I found out that if I press the Ctrl key whilst scrolling the wheel on my mouse, it zooms the text on my page in and out. How cool is that? And how come I never knew this before?