Blog for language learning?
February 18, 2007 10:09 PM   Subscribe

After reading this answer, I have decided to follow its advice to improve my written english. However I feel that I have nothing to write.

Don't misunderstand me, I love writing when I have to, however I have repeatedly failed to maintain blogs because of a perceived lack of things to say or write. My personal life seems so... dull that I can't feel motivated enough to write about it.

I guess that I'm not a 'dear journal' guy, however if it's not about my life, what I could blog about?
posted by Memo to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You could write fiction.

You could write about current events. Take an article from your city's major newspaper (or website) and write your opinion of it.
posted by watsondog at 10:43 PM on February 18, 2007

Google for "writing prompts." Here's some from
posted by IndigoRain at 10:57 PM on February 18, 2007

Your written English in the question looks fine to me, but I suppose writing more can help improve anyone's English. It sounds like you are looking for blog prompts. No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog offers some. Vox offers a QOTD (question of the day).
posted by PY at 11:04 PM on February 18, 2007

You could always do reviews (movies, books, whatever).
posted by juv3nal at 11:05 PM on February 18, 2007

Best answer: You could have set things that you do on different days: Monday, talk about food (a restaurant you went to, a recipe you like/hate/want to try, your favorite food for this season, etc). On Tuesday, talk about news (local politics, national, global, trivial or important). On Wednesday, talk about music or sports (ones you play, ones you watch/listen to, ones you hate or like or don't understand). On Thursday, talk about a novel or movie you read/saw. On Friday, talk about what you are looking forward to for the weekend. (or whatever)

Also - about maintaining a blog -- you could decide that you're going to do it only twice or three times a week to begin, on specific days. And that you HAVE to post something on those days, even if it's only a few lines and a picture. (This way you don't feel guilty about posting something short, and you don't delay posting "until I have something really good to write".)
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:19 PM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

Fictionalize your life the way you would like it to be. Keep parts of your real life but the part of reality where you go home and surf the internet until you fall asleep at the keyboard, change into something more exciting in the real world.
posted by JJ86 at 6:12 AM on February 19, 2007

I suggest you just write for ten minutes each day about anything, anything that comes to mind even if it's stream of consciousness. A blog may sound nice, but it's work. I would do this on top of that if you are really interested in putting up a blog.
posted by xammerboy at 6:52 AM on February 19, 2007

If you're not looking to blog, why not log into IRC every now and then and try to find channels with topics you care about? It won't be the most creative writing, but you'll have to think on your feet to write something and people will be forgiving if you make mistakes and may even correct you, if you ask.
posted by j at 8:11 AM on February 19, 2007

Do you take pictures, or do you want to? You could take a picture everyday (or every two days), and then post it and write a paragraph about where you were and what else was going on when you took it, what you like about it or dislike, what you'd do differently, etc. I think this would make an interesting blog and hone your writing skills at the same time. Describing features of your visual art and telling little stories about it will both prove very useful. You wouldn't need to buy an expensive camera -- people take great pictures with just their camera phones.
posted by sleevener at 12:09 PM on February 19, 2007

You could contribute to Wikipedia. There legions of editors are ready to pounce on your smallest mistakes...
posted by Harald74 at 12:46 PM on February 19, 2007

Write any documentation needed at work. Write recipes, a travel guide for your town. Write about anything that you have expertise in. Write letters to your parents about your day. (If you actually send them, you will have delighted parents.) Write your family history.
posted by theora55 at 12:48 PM on February 19, 2007

I started out writing with a book of photos that was designed as writing exercises. I think you were supposed to concoct stories revolving around the photos, but I just enjoyed describing them.

I've written professionally for more than a decade now, been the editor in chief of a newspaper, and had three plays produced in Manhattan, and, speaking from experience, that advice to "write what you know" isn't worth a damn. Find something you find interesting, learn about it, and use writing as part of your leaning process. For years I have thought about going to museums, finding one piece of art, and writing an essay about that piece, and then return again to select another piece. I find writing exercises like these to be enormously satisfying, and I end up a lot more knowledgeable than when I started.

So my advice: Create a little ongoing project that you can constantly return to and build on.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:46 PM on February 19, 2007 [2 favorites]

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