Springingtiger's Blog

The Seventh Day of Christmas

On the Seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Seven is a special number in many cultures throughout the world. To the ancient Greeks it was the number of perfection. In Hinduism there are seven lower worlds and, above us, the seven higher worlds of the Gyatri mantra. There are seven days in every week. Apparently it takes seven years for the human body to replace all its cells. However, for me the most important Seven, is the seven steps Neelam and I took at our wedding to begin the journey of our married life.

Because seven is so deeply ingrained in the human psyche, the writers of self-help books and income generating blogs suggest using seven in one’s titles, which is why there are so many books and blog posts with titles along the lines of, “The seven things you need to know…”, “The seven secrets of…”, “The seven biggest mistakes…”. Mine is not designed to be an income generating blog so my take on things may be different, however here are my Seven Lessons from  My Blogging Challenge .

1. Write for yourself. I am glad that so far this year my blog has had nearly nine thousand views, but I don’t really write it for other people, I write for my own enjoyment. I don’t think I could have maintained a daily blog were I not enjoying, and deriving satisfaction, from writing it. I write to express my own thoughts and to make sense of them, it is by reading what I write that I understand what I think.

2. There is no such thing as writer’s block.  That one cannot think of something to say on a particular subject does not mean one cannot write. A writer working on a book may be inconvenienced by a lack of inspiration, it is less of a problem to the author of a daily blog. I find the best remedy is to write about something else, there is no shortage of things about which to write. I frequently get my writing going by commenting on a news item or something seen or read; once my writing starts to flow in one area, I usually find that ideas present themselves for the area in which I was blocked.

3. Deadlines are empowering. I have found that having a commitment to produce a piece before midnight each day has tended to overcome my customary procrastination. A deadline gives one a timed measurable goal; open ended goals don’t get completed, but they do when they carry a commitment to a finish time and date.

4. Write every day. This was the tip I got from L. Michael Hall that led me to my blogging challenge to produce a blog post everyday. My end of year stats from WordPress tell me I have put up four hundred and ten articles and poems this year, it will be more than that by now. Without my daily target it would have been fewer.

5. Write first, edit later. I have learned that if I have an idea the quicker I write it down the better, this is particularly true of poetry. An inspiration deferred is often an inspiration lost, even if it is possible to recall the gist of an idea later it is often impossible to recapture the passion which brought it into being. Editing can break one’s flow and so I find it more productive just to write without regard to spelling or grammar until the capture of the idea is complete. I do often as I write, pause and read over what I’ve just written to generate the next few sentences, I may correct obvious mistakes at this point. However if my ideas aren’t captured I’ll have nothing to edit so I write first and edit later.

6. Publish. Although I write primarily for mine own enjoyment, there is a lot of pleasure in sharing my thoughts with others. That other people read and seem to enjoy my blog makes it feel selfish not to share. I could just put my thoughts into a Libre Office document and keep them to myself, but where’s the joy in that? Besides one of the best things about sharing is that it opens up the possibility of feedback which brings me to my seventh point.

7. Accept criticism gratefully. If people take the trouble to comment on what I have written, the last I can do is to consider their remarks. I may not agree with what others say, but I always examine their comments firstly to see if they are right and secondly, if not correct to try and understand how they arrived at their opinion. Even utterly derogatory comments unrelated to a post have an origin that if identified may suggest appropriate action. Accept criticism gratefully and act on it, never pass up an opportunity to improve your writing; if writing is your life then improving your writing is personal growth.

And so I complete my challenge publish a blog post every day of the year. It has not always been easy, there have been highs and lows, but I am glad I did it. It has been an interesting and exciting year, thank you for reading and a double thanks to all who commented, may 2014 bring you joy and fulfillment.

Today’s blog has been brought to you by the number Seven and the letter M for magic, mystery and Me; also by Ganesh the god of writers and new beginnings. Happy New Year!


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