The 20-Minute Blogging Challenge

Photo by katerha.

This is a piggy-back post because it was inspired by this post (which, in turn, was inspired by an article entitled 13 ideas if you are thinking about blogging).

OK, there’s a gazillion “tips on how to blog” articles out there on the internets, but this list/article was one of the most fresh, original and inspiring that I’ve ever read.

That said, Tip #3 makes me go ZOINKS!

“Force yourself to hit publish after 20 minutes.”

Ugh! Really? Let me just tell you, that fills me with shock and terror. The idea of hitting the “Publish” button after just 20 minutes? But, but, but…there will be typos. There will be unfinished, ill-formed thoughts. There will be no pictures (cause I gotta pick the absolute, bestest picture from hundreds).

Still, the fact that it terrifies me makes me think it’s a great idea. And let me explain why.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I have not posted anything on this blog for a while?  Well, much of that has to do with the fact that I am rewriting NSLA, NSFA like a crazy, maniac obsessive-compulsive writerly person. This is the 15th or 20th rewrite, but it feels so much different this time.  Why?

Because this is the indie publishing draft.  The one I’m going to submit to Kirkus Indie Reviews.  The one that I’m going to send out to advance readers. The one I’m going to make available on Amazon and open up to Amazon Reader Reviews.


This weekend I read an article in the Summer 2012 issue of Brain World Magazine that probably explains it.  The focus of the article, entitled The Tortured Artist by Contessa Schexnayder, is to highlight new research that might explain the link between mental illness and creative thinking. In the article, Dr, John Baer (a cognitive psychologist at Rutgers University) mentions something called The Sylvia Plath Effect.

Ever heard of it before?  Me neither.

Shuffle aside all the psychological whosits and whatsits, it boils down to this…women’s creativity tends to be depressed (much more than men’s) when they are writing for money OR when they know the work they produce will be evaluated.

What do you think about that?

To me, it feels absolutely true and real and accurate.  It also feels like the classic Catch 22 that plagues too many talented writers…but perhaps it affects women more than men. I have no motivation to create stories and hide them away in a drawer.  I want to connect.  I want to entertain. But neither do I love myself or my writing so much that I think it is perfect and wonderful and must be read by every single person in the world. And what if people hate it?  What if even one person hates it and makes it their personal mission to post bad reviews everywhere? Or, more likely, what if readers who are not my Mom read it and think, Meh…not wonderful, not terrible, could have been better.

I know what many of you are thinking…just publish the gall-darned book already.  Put us all out of your misery.

Soon. I promise. Before the end of the summer.

But right now I am scared and sick with worry and this is causing me to ignore my blogs (and eat too much and claw at nothing in my sleep). So I’m going to try this 20 minute challenge on both my blogs. It’s one way to flex my writing muscles and get past that perfectionist inner editor who keeps screaming, “You’re gonna make a fool of yourself if one single word is misspelled.”

What do you think?


2 thoughts on “The 20-Minute Blogging Challenge

  1. I’m proud of you.

    I spend hours on my stupid blog posts and the truth is that people can’t tell the difference, I’m sure. They’re reading fast and not seeing anything spectacular. And there are still typos. I never get rid of the typos.

    I’ve put up a couple of posts since I wrote that one. I’ve written them in twenty minutes and then spent another twenty finding the picture and posting the posts.

    Very interesting about the Sylvia Plath Effect. I know it’s true in my case.

    But enough about that…you’re going to publish before the end of the summer? Really? I’m so excited to hear that.

    • Sally, yes I’m planning to publish NSLA, NSFA before the end of the summer…but the rewrites are so painful! To be honest, I had hoped to get it launched by July 11 – my Grandmother’s 100th birthday (she passed away a few years ago, but it seemed like a wonderful and momentous date). Missed that goal by miles. I’m only up to page 45 out of 180 on the rewrite. Alright, enough whining. Here’s the new plan. I want to get the rewrite complete and offer free “advanced reader copies” before the end of August. You know….just in case you’d be interested in reviewing my novel. *big cheesy grin*

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