Leviathan Ran. And Other Free Associations

There’s nowhere to run from a leviathan!

There’s a lot of chatter lately about how difficult it is to write a blog. After a while, a lot of people just run out of ideas and throw in the towel. Maybe this will help …

 Blogging is about writing, more than anything else. And you have to exercise that. 

This is a creative writing exercise. It’s called free association, and it’s a good way to exercise your noodle. It’ll help your writing no matter what you’re writing. Basically, you choose a number of seemingly random things, and put them all together into a little story that makes sense. Or sort of makes sense.

Ready, Set … Go

Last week, The Paper Bull engaged in a little word play with Wordsmith’s anagram application. He punched in a bunch of names and the anagram software mixed up all the letters to find new words.

So I’m Leviathan Ran. Course I’m also Nasal Hair Vent, which has got me looking at my nose with a puzzled look on my face. What did it all mean?

In a search for answers I stopped by Zen Habits to see what the Handbook for Life could tell me. I didn’t find the answer to the anagram riddle there, but if you decide to have a weekend without television, there’s a lot of great advice to be had and things to do to keep you busy. And not so busy.

Steve Roesler has some great advice on subtraction. Success, Authenticity, And All The Things You Aren’t seemed like it might be the angle I needed. Was I not Leviathan Ran.

Or not Nasal Hair Vent.

I needed another angle. So I wandered over to Antbag since Anthony recently won the Millionaire Mind book contest. Maybe he had some million dollar advice. Since winning the book he’s put out a WordPress theme and probably the most innovative productivity wallpaper you’ll see on any desktop.

He was obviously too busy becoming a millionaire so I didn’t bother him.

Nate Whitehill always has great advice. Like 5 Ways to Make your Post more Readable. Hmm … we’re way past the point of no return on that one here. But maybe I can salvage some readability with a couple bullet points:

And … Stop!

So that’s free association.

It’s a great way to  break through writer’s block or just stimulate your writing process. What you come up with doesn’t matter so much. It’s gonna be off the wall. And it should be.

What’s important is the exercise.

15 thoughts on “Leviathan Ran. And Other Free Associations”

  1. Hey Shane,

    Thanks for the compliments. You, sir, also have great advice. Sorry I haven’t had too much time to comment lately. I am up to my neck in projects, but I am still following your every word through my RSS! Your articles rock and I am proud to have you as a member of my community!

  2. Nate,

    Thanks for stopping in … I think we’ve all been pretty busy lately.

    I hope your “May is Marketing Month” commitment is paying off for your different businesses.

    Keep up the rock solid commentary on blogging and entrepreneurship.

  3. Free association is really a great way to find that “creative zen” and find inspiration. I do that quite often and it helps me a lot!

    I have to echo Nate’s comment: I’m proud to have you as a member of my community, and i’m proud to be part of your community! Keep on rocking! 🙂

  4. Thanks Jon,

    I always enjoy your blog. You’re top-tier, and it shows in your posts and the community around your blog.

  5. I am with Nate on that, “you have great advice to offer”. Keep it up mate. When I started this blog my biggest fear was that I would soon run out of ideas and I am not a natural writer. It takes me a lot longer than it would take you or Jonathan to make a post, I keep digging for ideas and have a couple of posts waiting to be published, so I don’t think I am doing too bad. I am one of those guys who has a head full of ideas and difficulty in putting them on them on paper.

    Looking forward to reading your ebook in the flight tonight.

    Take care and cheers.

  6. Hey Robin,

    You’re doing great as far as I can see.

    Try this exercise. Do some surfing and find different ideas and just have fun with it. You can’t get Reeses peanut butter cups without mixing up a little chocolate and peanut butter!

    It’ll help free up your thoughts and spark some new ideas or better yet, new ways of writing about the ideas you have.

    Keep up the great work!

  7. Hey Anthony,

    It really helps me to go off on a tangent and get creative with my writing once in a while. Always spurs on new ideas.

  8. Nasal Hair Vent – you’re lucky! “Ms. Q” leads nowhere and my real name isn’t much better.

    Robin Bal’s comment about not being a natural writer – you never know who is a “natural writer” (meaning I assume, that writing comes easily) if the reading is easy!

    I would guess that there are many bloggers who look like they just “dashed something off” but who spent hours crafting a breezy, casual post.

    Robin: have you found out that the more you write, the easier it is?

  9. Hey Ms. Q,

    Robin’s a better writer than he gives himself credit for … but we’re all our own worst critics.

    I know for myself, it gets easier and takes less time to write a good post the more I do it. But I have “dashing it off” days and “hours spent crafting” days.

    Neither is what makes a post great and I think most people would be surprised at which posts come quick and which don’t.

  10. Yep, we’re all our own worst critics. I’m pretty good at critiquing myself hehe

    Robin, I’m sure it takes me as much time as you to write a post buddy! 🙂 It happens more often that I have a “hours spent crafting” day than a “dashing it off” day, but the either way, I enjoy it! 🙂

  11. Well there ya go!

    I think Robin will get some good encouragement from that Jon. It’s not about how easy it is … just how easy we make it look 🙂

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