Blog Clog — What To Do When You Just Can’t

by | Mar 1, 2020

Stuck with your blog submission?
Just can’t find the right ideas or words?
Everything you write feeling inauthentic? Well, whether you like it or not it’s got to be written.
So here’s some things to consider while trying to get a blog up when you really ‘think’ you can’t.

Not The End Of The World

  • No one is going to hold a mediocre blog against you.
  • No one cares if your latest insight of the fellowship is 20% less mind-blowing than the previous four.
  • For all you know, your seemingly ‘meh’ idea could be someone else’s ‘aha!’ moment.

Hold Yourself Accountable

  • You should’ve started way before the deadline, not two days prior. The point of the month-end limit is not so that you only start thinking about what you want to write when the fellowship team starts sending reminders. Start sooner.
  • (But if you’re a Master Procrastinator who works best under the pressure of the eleventh hour) get someone else to hold you accountable.
  • Peers are too nice, that won’t work. Your co-fellow is just going to tell you to take it easy on yourself, like you would tell them.
  • Text a mentor, an older sibling, a parent, anyone who has clout over you. If you’re not holding yourself to making good on deadlines, get an authority figure to do it for you.

Read Blogs By Other Fellows

  • It shouldn’t take you more than fifteen minutes and God alone knows what lightening bolt of genius might strike you.
  • You don’t necessarily need to be inspired by what you read. As long as you have a reaction, that may be a good enough starting point.
    • IF alumnus wrote about your organisation with a completely different experience from your’s? That’s worth penning down.
    • The politics of a field story making you uncomfortable? See where it fits into your field and write about it.
    • Loving a story-telling tactic another fellow used? Use it! (Footnote with inspiration credits wouldn’t hurt, though)

What Do You See Around?

  • The point of the blog is to reflect on your fellowship experience. This includes the new field — Kishanganj, Bhuj, Kolkata, wherever you are.
  • Things might seem mundane to you because you experience the place every day, but it be could be new and interesting to a reader.
    • What about your field struck you first? How is it different from home?
    • Is your field easy to navigate for outsiders? Why / not?
    • What cultural quirks do you find yourself picking up? Is there something cultural you didn’t understand before but can see the logic behind now?
  • Find these and build a story. It doesn’t have to be path-breaking. It can just be nice enough.

What’s The Story Of Your Organization?

  • What is your organisation doing in this space?
  • What are some challenges they face?
  • How have they learned to grow through these challenges? Why is this growth important?
  • Who are the people behind the projects?
  • What is their relationship like with the community? How do both parties see one another?
  • What is your relationship with the community so far?

Who Are The People In Your Community?

  • Catch hold of your organisation’s founder / your supervisor / a co-worker and ask them their origin story.
  • Walk down the street, find a community member and journal their usual day. Better yet, sit down with someone who thoroughly doesn’t understand what you do and record your conversation with them.
    • What were the kind of questions they asked? What were their reactions to your answers?
    • Were their concerns valid? To what would you attribute the disconnect in thinking?
    • What was the outcome? Who changed whose mind? What could you have said to have convinced them better of your cause?

Conclude with how you think this conversation will impact your work from now on — have your convictions only gotten stronger or have you found a nuance to consider on the field?

Research Ka Kasht Kijiye

  • Observed something interesting on the field? Find anything and everything ever written about it. Some possible avenues:
    • What’s the government doing in your particular space? Center v. State’s performance?
    • Look for newspaper articles if you don’t have access to JSTOR and the likes.
    • Ask around if someone in your organisation has interacted with relevant public operations.
    • Ask around among your community members, who will most likely have insight.
  • What are some model organisations working in your space?
    • Are they public or private organisations — whose money is it? How does that impact their work?
    • Where do they work? Is this field more or less challenging than your’s?
    • How did they come to be model examples? Were there some disasters they managed to avoid / overcome?
    • What can your organisation learn from them? Are they replicating their model? If yes, how; if no, why?

Just. Write. Something.

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