It can be overwhelming and stop some people before they even start. I’m related to each of these ideas, but I’ve been able to beat them up in order to publish a book and several blog posts both for my own blog and as a guest blogger/contributor to various sites. Even with these experiences, I in no way believe I am a great writer and those doubts still creep in. How can I get over this doubt?
Writing and Blogging: Start With Why
As with everything I do, I need to know my purpose. With writing, I rarely write for other people. It is not about them. Don’t get me wrong. I hope people enjoy my work and find value in it, but external validation isn’t the reason I’m doing this.
Writing and Blogging: Generating Ideas
Because my writing is mostly for me, this part is fairly easy for me. I write about the things I am trying to solve in my mind or the things I am experiencing at that moment. Student participation, assessment, educational research/philosophies, equity, learning: these are all complex topics that no one has an answer for and there is no right way to deal with them. Writing about these topics helps me clarify my current situation and reveal areas I may need to further educate myself in, which will lead to another post trying to work on these ideas.
I would also like to think about how to implement these ideas. Did things go as I hoped or is there room for improvement? This does not mean that sometimes I am not at a loss for inspiration. When that happens, I’m happy to receive suggestions. Once, I was asked how to use wallets. I realized I hadn’t fully documented it, so I wrote a post about it. Ideas are everywhere. I just stop qualifying people who are worth writing about and just write.
Just start hitting the keys. Stream Awareness works well for me. I don’t read as I go or edit. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation. You can waste a lot of time trying to determine if a comma is required or not. I just write. I didn’t do this when I first started writing and I lost a lot of good ideas.
Since I’m going to edit a section and try to make it perfect, whatever that means, an idea will pop up in my head about what I want to say next. Oftentimes, by the time I finished editing, the idea was gone, or I couldn’t phrase it the way I originally thought. That was always very frustrating for me. Writing is about ideas. You can edit later.
Now, I get all my thoughts out and go away. My wife usually reads initial drafts and asks me what this person is all about. Usually, my answer is that I’m not quite sure until I go back and read what I wrote. I take her suggestions and re-read my work, reorganizing, editing, and adding those annoying breaks. I practice this process several times with each piece. As you start to write more, you will gain style and there will be fewer modifications. It is just a matter of repetition.
Writing and Blogging: Sharing the Work
Blogging is a great thing. It’s easy to set up your blog and share posts on social media. It can be frustrating and disheartening when you share a piece and don’t get feedback or interaction. That’s when I get back to my goal and remember this is for me and if others find value, it’s even better.
Guest blogs for Teach Better or other established sites that already have a following can help with work sharing. I contribute to Teach Better, School Rubric and hope to create a couple more sites very soon. I have found that reader engagement is much higher and there are more comments with articles posted on these sites. It is a win. Sites get content to promote, and you get feedback on your ideas.
If your goal is to publish in an educational journal, this is a little trickier. Due to the large number of applications submitted, understand that most proposals without comments will be rejected. Don’t take this as a judgment on your business. It’s just the way it is.
I’m not going to lie, it still hurts when you write a piece you’re proud of and get rejected. you are not alone. Everyone in that magazine has been rejected from it at one time or another. If you continue to develop ideas that need to be shared, send them in and try not to take them personally if the work isn’t accepted.
Get a bog or book to publish
This was the best professional experience of my life. I know every publisher is different, this is just my experience. In March 2020, the search for a publisher began. I had no clue as to what this entailed until AJ Bianco prompted me to send my work to Corwin.
The first part of the process is writing a prospectus for your business. Who is the target audience? What is the book market? What is the competition? Provide a table of contents with a summary of each chapter and a writing sample. The handout consisted of seven pages plus a writing sample. I took this handout and emailed it to the provisioning editor which I thought would fit the job better.
After some meetings, suggestions, modifications, and emails back and forth, we signed a contract a few months later. We had about six weeks from signing the contract to complete our first draft, which was more than enough time that we wrote most of these ideas. It was sent for peer review, after which we had six weeks from the time it was returned to write our final draft.
They need a better name for her because it wasn’t final. There was photo editing to make sure the numbers were accurate high enough for printing. We’ve gone through and made sure all quotes were fair use or have permission.
Finally, we went to copy editing. Every step of the way working with professionals better than me on this. The whole process took nearly a year and at the end of it, I know the product is vastly better where it started. This is a big task, but worth it if you’re prepared.
Writing and Blogging: Do What’s Right for You
There are many ways to share your work. Choose the platform that suits you. Just because you see someone else writing a book doesn’t mean that’s what you have to do. If you are happy with blogging, keep blogging. If you have an idea that you are passionate about and have more to say than it fits into a blog, write a book.
writing about you. Don’t write for other people because that would be a chore. Write to clear your mind. Write to work on your ideas. Whatever you do, share it because others can benefit from your experiences.