I have been doing the Writers of Kern Dan McGuire Blog Post Challenge of writing 26 posts in 13 weeks. I finished 19. Suddenly my pattern changed. Usually I am in the process of finishing one post and have another rolling around in my head, ready to be worked on. That process suddenly stopped. What happened? What should my next blog post be about?
I glanced up and saw the beautiful print of a painting done by Cathleen Abalos. Cathleen is the artist who illustrated our last book, It’s Sandcastle Building Day. As you can see from the picture above, it shows a beautiful young person, in a beautiful gown, with a rather dissatisfied look on her face. I looked at it and thought, “That girl’s look of dissatisfaction is just what I feel about not having the next idea ready to write.” (Without the beautiful gown and beautiful young look.)
It sounds like writing about not knowing what to write about is a good topic for a blog post. I’m sure it’s been done, many times. Here is my version.
What should my next blog post be about?
I want to write within the structure of my blog. This blog is mainly written for an audience of parents, grandparents, and teachers of young children.
— With teaching experience, and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, I feel like that is the audience where I could be the most helpful with ideas and tips on child development in reading and literacy.
— I also want to encourage people to get outside and appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature.
— And, of course, I want to talk about our books and the experience of developing and writing them.
When I started this challenge, I already had 30 posts written. Because of this, I have to be careful I don’t repeat myself too much.
Sometimes repeating something is valuable.
I do, however, feel justified in repeating my mantra of “Read to your children regularly from birth.” because of its importance to children, and families, and society. Sometimes it takes hearing something a lot, and in a lot of different ways, in order for it to make an impression. In an article in a Financial Brand Newsletter of 2014, the author says that Thomas Smith wrote a book, Successful Advertising in 1885, that still has some relevance to people actually seeing an ad or message today. Here’s what Thomas Smith said:
“The 1st time people look at ad, they don’t see it.
The 2nd time, they don’t notice it.
The 3rd time, they are aware that it is there.
The 4th time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it before.
The 5th time, they actually read the ad.
The 6th time, they thumb their nose at it.
The 7th time, they get a little irritated with it.
The 8th time, they think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
The 9th time, they wonder if they’re missing out on something.
The 10th time, they ask their friends or neighbors if they’ve tried it.
The 11th time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
The 12th time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
The 13th time, they start to feel the product has value.
The 14th time, they start to feel like they’ve wanted a product like this for a long time.
The 15th time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
The 16th time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
The 17th time, they make a commitment to buy the product.
The 18th time, they curse their poverty because they can’t buy this terrific product.
The 19th time, they count their money very carefully.
The 20th time prospects see the ad, they buy what it is offering.”
My favorites, as they relate to people actually reading to their children, were the 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 17th, and 20th. I plan to keep repeating that message.
So, given what I’m trying to do, and what I’ve already done, what should be my solution to not knowing what to write? I’ll go through my posts, note the topics, talk to some people about it, and then start writing about that new idea that is now in my head.
Thanks to Cathleen for her beautiful picture and encouragement And thanks to my sister and sons and friends for talking with me about my dilemma.
By the way, Cathleen tells me that prints of the picture above will be available for sale on her website at the end of May. You might want to purchase one. As for my sister and sons and friends, I’m keeping them for me.