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Blogging 101, Day Three: A Penny for Your Thoughts

Today’s assignment: write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog.

Welcome to Blogging U! This course isn't currently active, but you can learn more about what we offer and register for upcoming courses on the BU home page.

When you first thought about blogging, you had a post idea; something you wanted to say, a photo to share, a story on the tip of your brain. Maybe you just wanted to cultivate a writing habit — but you probably had an idea for a post, no matter how nascent. Today, you’ll write it.

Today’s assignment: write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog.

Why?

  • Because it’s an idea you were passionate enough about that it motivated you to become a blogger — there’s something to that.
  • Because you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and ownership for following through on the idea, the blog, and the post — and that will make you a more confident blogger.

Open a new post, and let the ideas flow from brain to fingers to keyboard to screen. Spew it out without worrying how it sounds, then review your ideas and give them more shape.

You don’t have to publish this post if you don’t want to. Maybe your ideas about blogging have already changed and you plan to focus your posts elsewhere, or maybe you’re not quite ready to share Your Big Idea with the world just yet. That’s okay — save the post as a draft, and hang on to it. Revisit it at the end of the month, and see how it feels then.

Don’t have an idea, or you began blogging simply to have a place to practice writing? Great, do that: publish a post that responds to today’s writing prompt. Feeling less-than-confident about your idea? Take a look at our post on breaking down your internal critic.

Have more to say? Head to The Commons.

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    1. That is insane. I don’t know how you got through day one. I was worried from the moment you went to the interview. I was invited to an interview in a building that didn’t exist anymore once (Luckily I looked it up first). I was thinking to write about my last job, it was an awful experience. I’m rambling – sorry. Good posts!

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  1. Hello:
    I’m still considering and fine tuning the copy for my About Me page, especially since the dashboard is so complex that I’ve forgotten where to click to revise that page. (Please, help me)

    WillWright.me is the fourth or so blog that I’ve created in the last several years. So, to write about why I decided to begin a blog will be strange. If I simplified the assignment to the point where I describe why I created WillWright.me, then that prose would be bound for the About Me page.

    Shall I simply await Friday’s assignment?

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    1. Hi Will, when you enter your dashboard, you should see “Pages” listed in the lefthand column. When you hover over the link, you’ll see three options, the top is “All Pages” when you click that one you should come to a screen listing all your pages so far where you’ll be able to edit that.

      And I think the point of the assignment is just to write something relevant or share something you have written that just shows you. There is also the commons for any posting at all you want to do. I hope this helped, and good luck!

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      1. Dear, Liz: Thank you. This morning, I decided to be more diligent and click just about on every button until the idea of clicking “pages” came to mine. I felt silly!

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    2. Today’s post is meant to be less an “about me” post, and more a post that covers a topic that’s been on your mind since you first thought about blogging. That being said, if it doesn’t fit for you, feel free to work on your about page, or write anything else you feel like writing.

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    1. Hey, I’m new to blogging and couldn’t figure out how to reply to your message. Then I found this comment here :). Thanks a lot for reading my blog and for the encouragement. You made my day! I’m writing anonymously since its very personal and real and have been waiting for someone to say something nice.

      Your blog looks great btw. And you seem to be a very brave woman. Cheers to that!

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    1. I just finished reading your post, but there is not a comment section, so answering here. I know that you feared that it is harsh, but sometimes, we just need to say what we need to just the way we feel it. If you are emphatic, you are simply voicing your passion. Isn’t that what we are here to do? I also have a Christian devotional blog at http://todayicanwithgod.wordpress.com, if you are interested in hearing my heart’s passion 🙂

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    2. That’s an interesting post. You might have thought it was too short, but I think it was just right: you said what was on your mind, and stuck to the subject. If you had gone on longer, it might have risked becoming an off-putting rant. Instead, it’s a flash of righteous indignation.
      So you don’t know how to blog? Why not just keep writing quick blurbs like this one? If they follow a theme, even for just a while, then you’ve got a focus for your blog. If not, so what?

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  2. ohhhh, this is going to be a tough one!!! Must actually think about this one, but that’s why this is a challenge and I like challenges 🙂

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    1. Like Nike says.. just do it. Start to write without thinking it through and things will just start to flow. Edit later.. or not, but just write for yourself forgetting about why you are doing it other than feeling that you need to for yourself.

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      1. Hear, hear! There’s a great Hemingway quote: “Write drunk, edit sober.” Spew all your thoughts onto a page, and then refine — shaping something that’s already there is usually easier than starting from scratch.

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      2. Great advice! Indeed, I tried to think toooo hard about what to write… When I got frustrated and gave up- THAT’S when the truth started flowing 🙂 So you came with the advice and I can now say- it works and I recommend to everyone else, as well 🙂 Thanks!

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      3. I’m happy to have hit the nail on the head. Writing out a jumble of thoughts has always worked for me.. yes Michelle.. in the “drunk” way (and admittedly, sometimes so). Edit later. 🙂

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  3. When I have a good idea, I usually do it right away. In this case, I had a plan for when I was going to start the blog, but my desire to answer the writing challenge my son offers on his blog (see the one released today at http://theseekersdungeon.com/2014/04/17/dungeon-prompts-season-2-week-16-our-hidden-modus-operandi/) was so strong that one day I decided I was going to start it NOW.

    Luckily he had been pestering me to start a blog for some time, so was more than willing to help me build it, even though he lives in India and I live in Seattle!

    By the end of the day, my blog was ready and my first writing challenge response was ready to post either that same day or the next. The post is called “Living in Gratitude.” http://livinglearningandlettinggo.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/living-in-gratitude/

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  4. Here is the first post I did on my blog two years ago when I first launched it.

    http://conedogers.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/autocross-isnt-real-racing/

    I guess that the first 3 articles indicate where I wanted to take the blog when I first started, but I got a little distracted with CrossFit exercises and coding samples.

    http://conedogers.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/the-boondoggle/
    http://conedogers.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/boondoggle-video/

    I wish I my GoPro Camera didn’t fail when it did. It would be nice to have some videos of the Formula Ford. The vibration of the FF race car killed the camera, which is a known problem with the early GoPro units.

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    1. I read your first post and although Autocross is not something that I am at all informed of, I found that your article was clear, concise, easy to read and especially important to me, understandable. Well done.

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    1. I like your post a lot.

      Suggestions: Put space between your paragraphs. You probably did when you wrote it, but I’ve found that the text is often crunched together when you put it into the new post box. So it takes adding another space between lines once it is there.

      I love the quote from Ali and will keep it. I also learned a new word from reading your blog! I have never seen learnt before and thought maybe it was a typo. I looked it up and learned that learnt is past participle of learn but that it is used mostly in Britain.

      I like that I’m learning new words through blogging. I also learned about chuffed and latterly this way!

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      1. Hey Karuna,thank you so much for notifying me on the spaces. I’m using the app on my tab and it looked q little different there, I’ve changed it now.:-)
        I’m so glad you enjoyed my post and more importantly that you ‘learnt’ a new word!;-)

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    2. Nice blog, I like the way you present your content. It’s the style of writing I guess. That’s the best express that thought when reviewing your site. I followed your site, and I look forward to reading more of your posts

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    1. My blog is about a big white ship, the organization that runs it, and the God that runs the organization. And also the things that happen in my life because of those things.

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    2. Awesome photos and yes, your pictures say far more than words every could. I have a quick question. Is the Debra Bell that you have the photos tagged to from the Toronto area?

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  5. I have a comment that is in moderation. When I did it I checked notify me of follow up comments thinking it would be replies to my comment. Now I find I’m getting all of the comments!!!! Would the teachers for this course please uncheck that box for me if there is someway to do it!

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    1. I did the same thing yesterday. When you get the comment email there should be an unsubscribe option at the bottom of the page. You can either unsubscribe or change your subscriptions. Hopefully that helps!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. On The Commons, you can get notifications just for conversations you’re a part of. Here the comment section is considered a single big conversation, so opting in to notifications notifies you of everything.

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    1. I am sorry to hear of your illness, but I am glad that you are finding ways to share it with others. In my opinion, that is one of the only ways to heal on the inside. One tiny suggestion, I have been reading a lot how limiting categories and tags to just a couple effective ones makes it easier for those looking to find you. I used to have a quite a few as well, but I like the polished and clean look of only a couple. Just a thought, I look forward to reading more of your blog!

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      1. Liz thank you for the tip, I’ll look more into tags, I am still learning about them and Not sure how to use them properly. I was afraid I was over using them. Thanks.

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      2. A note on tags — the WordPress.com Reader actually filters out posts that use more than 15 tags and categories (combined) as an anti-spam measure, so using lots of tags actually makes it harder for folks to find your posts! If you cut your tags down to the most relevant, you’ll actually draw more readers.

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      1. Hello, Liz: Thank you. When I noticed how well they coordinated I grinned at the happy, surprisingly happy accident. I used the photo editor PicMonkey.com in order to create the banner. If only I felt comfy using my several-years-old copy of CS3 Photoshop!

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      1. Chelle and Liz:
        Thank you for the praise.

        At the risk of being dense or obtuse what should I add to the menu in order to help readers? “Home” and “About Will” don’t suffice? What important elements have I omitted?

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      2. Oh Will I apologize! I see your menu is at the top! I think you should make it stand out a little bit more. It depends on what you need really, don’t over do it! It helps to check out other blogs for ideas.

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      3. Hello, Chelle: I wish I knew how to change the links to a color that would pop instead of hiding. I cannot afford a custom option that might accomplish that.

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  6. To be honest I have already posted something similar to this ‘assignment’ on my blog. So I have written another and I have not published it!

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    1. Hi Jemma.. Nice Gravatar page, but it does not link to your blog, so I was not able to see it. Go into your gravatar settings and you can link it to your blogs and make your site easier to find. That or post your link into the comment section here.

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    1. I’ll be honest… I don’t normally like poetry blogs.
      But I like yours.

      I like how with a handful of them you gave a description about the “whys” of the poem. There was context and information that felt like you and the reader (me) were connected a little more. Not to mention that I actually liked your words as well. : )

      Occasionally I go to open mics and one of the things I love about the open mic is when a songwriter or poet tells the back story about their lyrics.

      If I may suggest… keep doing that. That is wonderful.

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      1. Thank you, that is so great to hear!!! I will definitely keep doing that, I appreciate the kind words so much. I have been considering open mics as well, and I will keep all of this in mind if I do!

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    2. Oh I’m glad you took my comment positively Sarah. I began thinking I hope I didn’t come across as an ass.
      I just hit the follow button. Would love to see a post about your experience hitting an open mic. (hint hint 🙂 )

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    1. I read this.
      Did some work, went to lunch, mulled it over. Worked it around in my head. I re-read it and have concluded that THIS…

      is unnerving, deeply exposing, mournful, sorrowful and amazingly powerful.

      Your words have shaken and moved me in ways I haven’t been in a very long time.

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      1. I don’t know what to say. I just hope that if you ever come across a child who you suspect is being abused, you’ll remember what you read today and do your best to help him or her. If I am able to move you enough to be able to do that, my job is done 🙂

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    1. Whoa.. five years is a long time! I’m sure you have a ton of tips up your sleeve. As for the poem you posted, I can totally see myself reading it out to my children one day (if I ever have any). Loved it!

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      1. Thanks so much AN-Miss… I love fun poetry as much as I love the deeper ones that reach inside to heal the hurts. Make sure to have some fun along the way as you dig into writing. It is a nice reprieve from the daunting task of healing.

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  7. Good morning everybody! Finished today’s assignment – sort of hard since I had been in a place of hard feelings when I started my creative journey. I’m now in a much better place creatively and mentally, but sometimes it’s good to look back and see how far one has travelled. Comments are very welcome! I hope any readers might find something they can take away for their own growth. http://weaselwerks.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/is-it-art/

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    1. Hi Enissa, what a wonderful beginning to your story. I love that you went back in time to show the part of you that has butterflied into who you are now. Lovely.

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      1. Thank you so much!! xoxo

        Its that part of me that I can’t forget because of the woman I am today! I realized that all those ugly flaws were beautiful like we all are.Thank you

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  8. For this challenge (which I really had fun with), I chose to tell one of the stories I had in mind when I originally started a blog. The following post is the saga of me trying to register with a doctor when I first started at uni. It deals with me, sweet old ladies who are willing to break my face with a cane, Jesus working as a doctor in a small Yorkshire town, and the graveyard of lost souls otherwise known as the carpark of the surgery I eventually went with*. Also: illustrations!

    http://annabelmcquade.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/anna-goes-to-the-doctors-illustrated/

    *Ninety nine percent accurate. One percent potential dramatization.

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      1. Thanks! 🙂 The astute observer will notice I hate actual photos of myself appearing anywhere. 😉

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    1. I love it! I believe everyone has something to offer in this life. Saying that I believe some people are here just to help others! I am naturally not always looking at the positive in life, though I try. I get a lot of my inspiration for my life from other people, quotes, sayings, so on and so forth! You have a natural ability that I envy! And I bet there are plenty more out there just like me! I would love to follow your blog! Who wouldn’t love a good dose of motivation every day??? I did subscribe so hopefully I will be receiving your blogs daily, but I didn’t see a follow button or likewise….hopefully that will be available soon! Good Luck and I look forward to your inspirational thoughts!! ~TalentedPink

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