Setting Aside the “Writing TripTik”

Have you heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect? It’s when someone overestimates their ability to perform a task because of ignorance. It’s not being able to accurately measure how good you are at something because you don’t know enough about that thing.

I’m halfway through a writing course.

About two months ago, I was determined to become a better writer this year. I was telling people that I will write 300 blog posts in 2021 to help me weed through all of my bad writing. I started off fairly strong.

I’m now out of ideas.

Well, not exactly; I’m unable to complete ideas.

When I get an idea, it’s unable to take root in my mind. By the time I’ve sketched out a mental map of where the idea can go, it’s fizzled away and becomes flat.

Do you remember CAA’s TripTiks? My mother would always order them before we set off on a family road trip. The flip-book-style maps would remain tucked away between the passenger seat and centre console for most of our journey. When we’d get lost, we’d sooner ask for directions than look at the maps.

Each page of the TripTik was dedicated to a section of your road trip. It would highlight things like construction zones and hotels along your planned route. When you reached the end of the route outlined on one page, you had to flip it up and over the spiral-bound to see where you were headed next.

I’ve been staring at the cover of my “writing TripTik” for a while now. I’ve started carrying a small notebook in my front-left pocket, where I’ve kept a pen for as long as I can remember. It’s useless when there are no ideas to record.

The writing course hasn’t given me any ideas for topics to write about but has gone some way toward helping me flush out ideas by reminding me of mind maps. Instead, it’s bringing to light all of the things that I should be doing in order to be more successful – measured in views – as a blogger. I need to start using more power words, contractions, and conversational language. And, I need to be more active on social media (once I find the right microblogging platform for me) in order to promote my writing.

But, writing is more enjoyable when it’s treated like a TripTik. Besides, there are always signs along the side of the road.


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