My Training for Blogging, or the other way ’round (DOG EAR)

My Training for Blogging, or the other way ’round (DOG EAR)

y model train blogs seem to be popular. Every layout I visit knows I’m going to blog them. There is always a running joke about who is getting blogged this time. And then there are all those “On Sheet” pieces I write for another Facebook group, talking the this and thats of model railroading operations.

I just checked tonight – there are 667 blogs (not including this one) on my site about trains. Thank goodness it wasn’t one less or it would set off some of the denominationals out there. But think about that – nearly 700 blogs about what is generally pretty much “My buddies got together. We ran our toy trains. Someone goofed up”. I mean, after a while, they would all be the same. So how do I make them different?

It’s all in the telling. Sometimes I write as if I was there driving a real train. Sometimes it is a straight report of events. Or a critique of something bad that happened. Occasionally it might be a fake newspaper piece, or an accident report. It might contain a hidden joke that the operators will know. Like snowflakes, these 667 blogs are all different in various ways.

So how did I learn to do that?

About twenty years ago, my sister (following our co-written book, Don’t Jettison Medicine) ask me to write short pieces on medical news, cures, and interesting tidbits. She would send me a list of thirty or so topics and I’d write them out. I’d get paid a nice amount for each good one, and occasionally watch a less-than-good one get crumpled. That’s writing.

And, like with the train blogs, the point was not to sound like a medical journal but to think of something funny or interesting of poignant to say in my short piece (generally three to four short paragraphs). I would do about three or so a night and then take a walk, thinking of the next three or so.

And that’s interesting. As I find myself driving him after a session, I realize that I’m doing the same thing. How should this be written? Point-of-view? Ironic? Hysterical? Observational? Critical? And how can I write about someone and not insult and anger them too much (occasionally I have, even when considering this). But really, each of my train blogs are different to a degree. If you’d like to check this out for yourself, you can find the entire list HERE.

So that’s how I write short and sweet for today’s attention spans. Hopefully someone will find a use for this information. Write well!