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The Gong Fu of Blogging

This guest post is by Michael de Waal-Montgomery of The Monty Mike Times.

The word Kung Fu comes from the Chinese word “Gong Fu,” which means “hard work.” Anyone who’s studied Kung Fu knows this name is well deserved. It’s tough going, no matter how good you get.

Blogging is also “gong fu” sometimes. On a good day, the writing can seem to flow effortlessly, perhaps feeling something more akin to Tai Chi, or “Tai Ji Quan” in the original Chinese.

On a bad day, blogging is exhausting. The thought alone of sitting down and staring at a blank page, a blinking cursor in a field of white snow, can be utterly depressing.

If you’re writing for pleasure, this is the last place you want to be. Why spend your own free time doing something you’re not enjoying? It’s a question worth asking.

Inspiration

The other question worth asking is why does blogging feel like such hard work today? The answer is usually because you’re uninspired. You feel you have nothing worth blogging about. You feel like you have nothing interesting to say.

What you deem uninteresting and what the world deems uninteresting are often not the same thing. For starters, you spend every day with yourself, locked up in your own head.

Because we are too close to our own situations, to our own lives and the events that unfold within them each day, it’s easy to make a judgement call that we are just boring people.

That’s not true.

No one else is living your life. No one else is seeing the world in quite the same way you are. No one else is thinking the same thoughts and no one else is taking away the same lessons from each experience.

If you are feeling that writing that blog post is a bit Gong Fu today, look for inspiration. If you think you have to climb a mountain to find it, you’re wrong. Inspiration can be found everywhere, in everything.

Look in your thoughts, and at your experiences. Consider the things that make you who you are, the places you’ve been, and the people you’ve met. The lessons you’ve learned living this life.

It is said that a man is what he thinks about all day. If you think about cars, blog about cars; if you spent the whole day feeling uninspired, blog about something that will inspire others instead.

Often looking for a topic to blog about is as easy as facing up to the very one you’re running away from. The one that you think will bore readers to death.

Limitation

There is very little new and original content in the world today. What’s new and original is the way you look at something old and tired. The angle you take, the spin you put on it. The piece of your character that you bring into it.

The possibilities are endless.

There are only 26 letters in the alphabet. There are only four limbs in the body. Yet bloggers go on blogging and Kung Fu teachers go on teaching Kung Fu. So what’s the secret?

They know how to stay inspired, how to stay hungry. They know how to look at the ordinary and find the extraordinary. If you can’t learn to do this too, your blogging will always remain Gong Fu.

Time to buy some new spectacles, perhaps. Or take off your old ones. The whole world is right in front of you, like an oyster.

So start writing that latest blog post already!

Michael de Waal-Montgomery is a full-time journalism student and aspiring writer who enjoys blogging in his free time. You can read his rants over at The Monty Mike Times.

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Comments

  1. Very Inspirational. Like the way it’s written and elaborated.

    • DuyLe says:

      yes, it’s long-term stategy for Internet business. Without hard word, none can make it work on autopilot in the future

  2. Dwayne@TWC says:

    I like this post, Michael. I have definitely had days where writing a post was “Gong Fu” and I did feel a little uninteresting but I pushed through it and sometimes if I needed to I would start a different post that made me feel more inspired. Great job, Michael.

  3. Indeed Blogging indeed is hard work and I guess you don’t always have the inspiration to write what you want to write.
    When it comes to anything in life.. blogging inclusive… “You either have to be first, best, or different.” I found this quote on a quote board and it seemed a perfect summation of what your ever blog post you publish should be about…. it’s definitely not easy..

    P.S: I didn’t know the meaning of Kung Fu. Thanks for the info.

    • DuyLe says:

      Kung Fu” means Hard word :) That’s correct , Blogging needs invested much time, energy and money even to have long term sucess and build brand. In fact, I think the SMART word is much more important than just hard working.

    • DuyLe says:

      Kung Fu means hard work

  4. Erin says:

    Guess, it’s time to find our Zen and start writing. Thanks for uplifting our spirits!

  5. openbook says:

    I would personally say inspiration influences the general direction of the blog. Those days I woke up and felt low about my blog are the days I made less.

    Thanks for reminding me of this great virtue once more :)

  6. Nice post, Michael. We are definitely our own worst enemies when it comes to blogging. When in doubt, it’s better to just put something out there than nothing at all. As you say, there’s no telling how someone else will respond to it. Posts have a way of taking on a life of their own once you start writing, sometimes your best work can come from forcing yourself to to blog.

  7. Finally, a blog post worth reading. Thanks!

  8. Jon Loomer says:

    Thanks for the post, Michael! For the past month or so, I’ve been committed to a new blog post every day, Monday through Friday. That can get challenging.

    But three things help me: 1) I publish a day in advance, leaving a buffer if I’m not immediately inspired; 2) I keep a running list of blog topics, as they inspire me (since I often forget when I need that inspiration); and 3) reading the work of others.

    Like you said, getting locked up into your own thoughts can be dangerous. Reading another perspective can spark something that can get you on the right track.

    It’s always a challenge, but good to have some tricks!

  9. Bryan Ring says:

    Love it! You are right on the money with this one. The clients I highly recommend they write about their niche of at least 400 words, must go in one ear and out the other.
    Personally I’m not much of a blogger per say, but do a lot of blog reading and posting. I love running into real, tell it how it is type bloggers like you! Thank you for the inspiration!

  10. Mentor Mala says:

    Thanks for posting this. Good writing style, and very informative.

  11. Amit Shaw says:

    Michael Thanks for sharing it with us. For me inspiration influences the general direction of the blog. Nice And Small Article.

  12. Mark Jones says:

    Hi Love your article, I recently started blogging and with my blog I wanted to share my thoughts, knowledge, opinions, suggestions and ideas with readers who want to know more about the latest happenings in the world of IT.but Blogging is hard work

  13. Edwin says:

    Michael, your post does depict the reality of blogging. Thank your your post!
    I blog because I want to journal what I have learn base on common interest in a community. That also refer to the traditional reason for this blogging about. Sometime, laziness could deter one from blogging regularly.
    Thank you.

  14. HiepNguyen says:

    Thanks very much Michael, after reading your article I will try to improve my blogging to become Kung Fu

  15. Straight to the point. I believe that one should aim to become the best out there, no matter in what field he aims for. The inpiration.

    Inspiration is needed for the ones who are uninspired. If you’re set to become the top notch, this aim of yours would inspire your self. You become an inspiration for your self.

    Great writing style :)

  16. newtechno says:

    thanks for sharing this valuable post. maybe it’s time to me to get hard working for my blog…

  17. genius of a man lies in his thoughts….and the thoughts are inspired by what goes around the man…inspiration comes once you start looking for it…all we need to do is to startlooking for it…thanks for a great article…good work

  18. Hi Michael,

    Super inspiration here.

    Most miss the boat when it comes to successful blogging. You must write. When you do not feel like it sometimes. Other times, you might be inspired, but sometimes you just sit and stare at a screen for a bit, before writer’s block dissolves.

    When it dissolves you can churn out top shelf content with ease. It’s all about committing. Making a decision to write a blog post no matter what, and sticking to your commitment through thick and thin.

    Usually I write on a schedule but at times I just write when the computer powers up. I like to keep my creative momentum flowing each day. When I take 1 or 2 days off, I lose the mo. So I like writing daily to keep my creative momentum building like an avalanche.

    Find your why, and you are set. Your why is your motivator, your driver, the one emotion which pushes you through any type of situation. Have a weak why? You will surrender quickly. Have a strong why? You will never give up. You will persist through all types of resistance because your drive will never let you quit.

    Love your note of infinite possibilities. Limits do not exist in nature. Only in the minds of people. But take the lid off your mind and you tap into a limitless, infinite stream of creative, original ideas. The Universe is just waiting for you to dissolve your blocks, break free of self-imposed chains and become the creative dynamo you were born to be.

    I like meditating. A lot. It always dissolves my writer’s block, and 1200 plus posts later on my blogs, I am still writing strong. You can become super prolific by meditating, which helps you obliterate writer’s block.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Michael.

    Ryan

  19. Great post. Staring at a blank screen can definitely be very frustrating. When I’m having one of “those days”, I start by adding something to that blank page to get me going. It could be an outline, title or idea I jotted down in my notebook, a favorite quote or an excerpt of an interesting article I’ve read that morning. From there the words seem to start flowing more freely.

  20. Guy Hogan says:

    This is something that I constantly tell my aspiring writers: That everyday life is full of flash fiction gold.

  21. excellent post! i often am inspired by photos – they can make a blog idea – and post – come alive!

  22. Mike says:

    It is essential to also take the breaks as well. Sometimes those breaks are just as helpful in terms of giving us the inspiration to return to “training” in the art of blogging. Even kung fu masters realize that no matter how hard they discipline their bodies, they know that sometimes a little break can rejuvenate the spirit to continue and return to learning. It’s the same with blogging.

  23. Sheyi says:

    I love the inspiration aspect of the whole thing.
    Without inspiration, one cannot get things done so well

    Sheyi

  24. Thanks for the inspiring post! You are right – you are what you think about. So it is better to think that you are this totally amazing blogger :0.

  25. Ah, yet many seem to think there is this secret red button they can push for unlimited wealth. It is all hard work. Inspiration comes when you are doing something you enjoy; or when you surround yourself (physically and virtually) with people who can inspire and encourage you. That is when Gong Fu becomes Tai Chi. :)