Monday 20 January 2014

The "Blog Cos You Want To" Club

Want To No.3: Leave a List Lying in Limbo

Maybe it's time for another meeting of the "Blog Cos You Want To" Club? How's the blogging been going for you in January? It's been busy round here, and I've been finding myself with a little less time than usual for thinking about what I'd like to post. Usually I enjoy flying by the seat of my pants - wake up, do something, write about it - but it doesn't always work. Yesterday something came up, I had to go to it, I didn't have time to write. So, with that in mind, I'd like to suggest a bit of thinking ahead.

 I know lots of you do plan, and there are plenty of very pretty, printable blog planners out there to help: but there's planning, and there's actually opening up that new post window and putting it all together. Something non-seasonal, something timeless, something just sitting there, ready to go when you need it. Leave a list lying in limbo.

Some years ago now, when I started blogging, there was a trend for posting "bucket lists" or wish lists. I had a go at writing my own - 49 Things, I called it. Not really a bucket list, more a "rite of passage" note: not things I desperately wanted to achieve, more an everyone-has-to-think-about-doing-that-once-in-a-lifetime. I'm going to revisit that list and post it here so that you can make it the starting point for a list of your own. Go on - open up a new post, paste this is, and then take a few minutes to tailor it to your own life. Pick and choose what you want from it, add some ideas of your own, then highlight the ones you have done and - here's the thing - do not publish it this week! Or next week! (unless you really have to). keep it for half term, or when you have the flu, or any other time when you need something fast. Save it up. Just don't post it yet. Promise?

Here it is, then...
49 Things: My Life in a List
I have (or have not - yet)
  • Kept a friend for more than twenty years
  • Made my own jam (lots of it, in a Little House kind of way)
  • Sewn a quilt
  • Learned how to tap dance
  • Ridden on a tandem
  • Walked up the outside of a volcano
  • Found or sent a message in a bottle
  • Crossed the equator
  • Slept in the open air
  • Appeared on Live TV
  • Been locked in overnight - or long enough at least for it to start getting scary
  • Seen the Terracotta Army in China
  • Admired the Crown Jewels in London
  • Looked at Paris from the heights of the Eiffel Tower
  • Caught a glimpse of the Northern Lights
  • Visited a penpal
  • Tracked down a long lost relative or friend through the internet
  • Set my heart on something and worked tirelessly to achieve it
  • Driven from one end of my country to the other
  • Flown in a hot air balloon
  • Built my own house
  • Found a beautiful fossil to take home and keep
  • Gone to a school reunion and enjoyed it
  • Met an idol
  • Been photographed with someone famous
  • Held a stranger's hand just because they needed me
  • Had a handsome man buy me champagne
  • Partied through til breakfast
  • Won a bet
  • Found something valuable and make sure it is returned to its rightful owner
  • Sold something I made myself
  • Had an interesting part of my body pierced (or maybe a tattoo?)
  • Dyed my hair a crazy colour
  • Gone out on the town in an outfit I've made entirely myself
  • Spent far too much money on something I've never worn
  • Spotted a ghost
  • Discovered a peacock feather lying on the grass and take it home
  • Been recognised for some kind of community service
  • Judged a competition
  • Won a competition
  • Started a Mexican Wave
  • Taken part in some kind of endurance event
  • Scored an own goal, figuratively or otherwise
  • Discovered disappointment, but found a way out of it
  • Got something published
  • Seen my name in lights
  • Taken up something new and discovered that I'm good at it
  • Asked for my money back
  • Been treated as an emergency
There you go. Copy and paste it - just don't post it. Yet!

WHY WILL THIS WORK? Well, obviously, to start with you have the satisfaction of knowing you have a post in reserve. That gives you more time to plan something else. But there's more to it than that. The big, clever bloggers talk about the "takeway" - what you give your readers, what they get from reading one of your posts. If you post a quick list, your readers can post it too. You'll have given them something they can use themselves. They might even thank you for it! And there's more - every time you post something like this, with your answers, you reveal a little bit of yourself. And that's what we all want to see. We read because we want to know about the person behind the posts: why not tell everyone if you have climbed a volcano? You never know what conversation it might start...

Are you with me? Blog Cos You Want To..


helena said...

yes I have climbed a volcano (in Vanuatu) it was amazing. Great list and I will do as you suggest

Linda said...

Great list Sian! I'd like to have a go at this too:)

Karen said...

Like you, my blog posts come up without much prior planning, though I did download a blog calendar that I'd like to use this year. Right now, I'm "buried under" in purging my paper craft supplies. It's the biggest overhaul I've ever attempted, and it seems overwhelming at times. Nonetheless, this list is a great idea, and I'm printing off a copy of yours to remind me to get to it once things have cleared up here.

Carmen said...

All my blog posts are seat of the pants jobs :D It probably shows!

I have bookmarked this post and will definitely come back to it... though I fear I really have not done an awful lot reading this!

Sandra said...

I'd really like to get my act together this year with my blog, and funny as I've been looking at blog planning downloads this weekend.

I'll certainly download this list ... Although I've not don many :)

scrappyjacky said...

Kept for future reference!!

Jennifer Shaw said...

A fun list to read and a fun idea for a post! I usually blog by the seat of my pants. I post what has recently happened. I love the idea of blogging with the idea of giving your readers something to take away. Very true that it is fun to learn something new about who we follow.

Jo said...

A great post and a great list, I love the idea. I've been doing well this year, I've been snapping away on my phone and uploading a draft to my blog almost immediately so I've got a few posts in the bag now :)

Jane said...

will definitely have a go at this

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

I'm a blog on the fly kind of girl. I do have ideas in mind that I want to blog in any given week/month, but it doesn't always happen. I like your list and was wondering, as I read through, how many (and which ones) already applied to you. Will look forward to you sharing that, at some point in the future.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

That is a great list! I try to plan ahead a bit for my posts but it's a bit haphazard at best for me. Lately I've been reading back through my posts from pre 2009 and thinking of reposting them with some editing just to have some fall back material

Miriam said...

What a great list! When I first started blogging I did a list '101 things about me'...I think I'll re-visit that at some point. I mostly blog by responding to memes or challenges. I'm not really a proactive blogger... Maybe it's something I could think about this year. As always, a great post Sian.

debs14 said...

Hmmm what an interesting list, I wonder which ones have been ticked off?

Lou said...

that is quite a list you have there! I like it. For me blogging has to fit in around everything there's no planning (you can probably tell :) )... if I plan i'll put myself under pressure and then nothing gets done lol! xx

Larry said...

Love the list. Now, how many have you ticked off I wonder?

Melissa said...

What a great list - of course I've been published & recognized for community service & appeared on live TV & sent a message in a bottle . . . well, I can't tell all my secrets now . . that will have to wait until I need a post someday! :>)

Abi said...

What a fun prompt Sian! You always prompt me in the right direction! Thank you for the inspiration!

Jimjams said...

Lovely post - fascinating list too. I've tried to plan my blogging ... still meant to be starting a new plan for 2014 and yet ... !?! I like joining in with a meme though but never seem to stick with them after the initial enthusiasm wears off. Hey ho - the joys of it being my blog I guess :-D

Lisa said...

great list and yes, I could tick off a few including the volcano - in the Philiipines - and what a good idea. I have a few regular posts a month - more like obligations from DTs etc but the rest can be few and far between which makes my blog a bit dull tbh. I must do as you suggest and drop the odd post down when I'm inspired - just to have, just in case.

alexa said...

A wonderfully varied list, Sian, and I am sure we have all got something to mull over, reading yours! I would put the Northern Lights on mine too but now that the sun has gone quiet and we may be entering another 'Maunder Minimum', my chances seem to be receding!

Susanne said...

I do love a good list post - yours looks very fun. I think nearly every blog post we post tells something about us. That's just one reason why I like blogging better than any other social media.

Sarah said...

Great list. Great idea. Could tick off some of these - including having a friend for over twenty years who has already commented on this post! And, incidentally we got back in touch via the internet and blogging. If you're wondering, she went up a volcano in the Philippines.

Sheena said...

Really interesting post Sian x
I have a bucket list I keep on my phone so maybe I should turn it into a reserve blog post x

Cheri said...

Interesting list. Perhaps even more interesting would be just how different mine would look! Definitely will be adding this to blogger for future use!

Sandie said...

Great list Sian, I have done a few of those and I have others I'd put on my own list. I will take up your idea as it will help keep me on track with ideas I have and things I want to do this year. I achieved quite a few things last year but have to remember them as they are not recorded in any ordered way. Thanks for the 'takeaway'.

Anonymous said...

These days my thinking ahead is more thinking back. I've written a number of posts that, for one reason or another, didn't work out quite the way I wanted. Or something appeals to me in a half-baked kind of way. Instead of abandoning those ideas, I save them in a "draft posts" document. I've dressed it up with a table of contents so I can quickly see what I have on hand. If I'm lucky, I find something ready-made to fit a prompt or a photo. Sometimes I might have to do a bit more work--refining or adding to the original idea. Other times a draft post prompts an entirely new idea. Whatever, those saved ideas are blogging gold as far as I'm concerned.

Lisa-Jane said...

I definitely need to get more organised with my blog and have more pencilled in. Need to sort out my list of what layouts I've blogged too! Wondering about a sort of bucket list now though too.... hhhmmm....

Unknown said...

I want to blog. i just can't seem to find the time and the energy to type up a post. But you might see this pop up from at some point :)

Anonymous said...

A great list Sian! It would be interesting to know what you've crossed off. I can see a few of yours that I could cross off.

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