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.
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.
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.