Friday, August 5, 2011

ROL: 1 Rule For Breaking Bloggers Block.

ROL (Return on Life) is about making small incremental changes that can greatly enhance quality of life. ROL is a qualitative measure modeled on the quantitative measure ROI (Return on Investment). This week's ROL is the only rule you'll ever need to break blogger's block (stay with me, I won't lead you astray).

You haven't been able to post to your blog all week. You've tried everything: Looking out the window, reading other blogs, walking away, staying put and you got nothing. Never fear. In this case you only have to remember 1 rule:
You have no rules.
It really is that simple. It's your blog, do as you see fit. You make the rules, you can break the rules. For example:
A Blog Should Be Well Organized, With A Beginning, A Middle and an End.
Yes, a blog should be well organized with clear linear thinking. At least that's how a blog should be when things are moving along. When you're out of topics or can't string together 5 words to make a coherent sentence, try something different. Start at the end and work to the beginning. That technique is used all the time on 1 hour TV dramas.  Better yet start in the middle, like the 1st page of a four page letter didn't get into the envelope. Why not write the intro and body and have your readers write the conclusion. Mix it up. Remember:
You have no rules.
A Blog Should Be Easy On The Eyes.
It's hard to entice readers if your blog creates eye strain. Concepts should be short, sweet and properly punctuated. It's a good thing Edward Estlin Cummings never wrote a blog. eecummingsdidntalwaysusepuntuationandoccasionallyarrangedhispoemsinshapestomakehispoint.  e.e.cummings didn't seem overly concerned about the rules. It's also important to blog in measured tones. In line with a texting convention, WRITING IN ALL CAPS IS CONSIDERED THE SAME AS YELLING.
NO ONE WANTS TO BE YELLED AT, SO IT'S A BAD IDEA TO PUT EVERYTHING IN CAPS. Except of course if you can't find a way to communicate your thoughts. Find a topic that makes you want to yell and SCREAM TO YOUR READERS.

You may be thinking the title starts with the words "1 Rule" and there is more than one rule listed. Note: Italics are used to convey something important.
You have no rules.
But I Don't Care About Blogging.
Hey Barry, you say ROL is about making incremental life changes. You don't expect me to pick up on your Social Media Meshugas and start a blog? What does any of this have to do with me?

Many of the bloggers help tips I have read also apply to life in general. Just as bloggers occasionally reach an impasse, life sometimes get stalled. When that happens, remember:
You have no rules.
This isn't license to drink and drive or internet date jr. high schoolers. That's dangerous,anti-social and criminal. Still, many of the rules we all choose to live by are nothing more than self-imposed limitations. In many cases self-imposed limitations are good. Self-imposed limitations are indicative of adult behavior. But sometimes it's good to act like a kid. So when you find yourself stuck in a rut, change things up. Don't self impose a couple of limitations. Everything will be okay. The sky won't fall. You'll be back in gear.

What do you do to shake things up? Any rules that need to be broken? Please feel free to share your thoughts.


  1. "This isn't license to drink and drive or internet date jr. high schoolers. That's dangerous,anti-social and criminal." That is priceless, mate, truly - so true, and a great way to say it. :)

    I love your idea of starting at the end and going from there. I haven't tried that myself - though I've come up with the last sentence as I write a post before, but never started at the end. Interesting concept, and will have to look at trying that sometime. :)

    Cheers, sir!

  2. Danny,
    Thanks for stopping by. As I was lining up the post, I didn't want anyone to think breaking or changing rules is the same as abandoning responsibility. Thanks for the support and guidance you offer those of us in the early stage of whatever it is we do.
    Be well,

  3. Barry,

    Being responsible, I see. :-)

    I enjoyed this post. I've tried the "starting at the end" trick for writer's block. Seems to work well for strategic planning and project management, but not writing. At least, for me.

    I'm the type who likes to find my way through the underbrush once I've left the well-beaten trail, just to see where it will take me.

    Sometimes, I end up in the bog, but sometimes, on those rare and gleaming moments, I find nirvana.

  4. Nice blog. This is good for a Newbie like me. I hope you can visit my blog and I will appreciate if you can leave a comment to help me improve it. Thanks.

  5. Vena and Ferdinand,
    My apologies to you both. I have moderation set for posts older than 30 (60?) days. There isn't anything someone posts that I can't zap so I don't believe in moderating. Sorry for the delay in getting your comments up. Vena, like you I try to push through for paydirt at the end. I think it's important to realize that while you owe yourself and your readers good stuff, not every post is going to be the Great American Blog Post. Sometimes it's wiser to get in, get out and live to post tomorrow. If it's not even that good, just don't hit publish.
    Welcome. I'm a newbie, too. This blog is only 6 months old and this post was a tongue in cheek homage to the grrrreat blog, For Bloggers By Bloggers. I'll check you out, you should check out For Bloggers By Bloggers. Thanks for stopping by.