the blooki project

a creative tool for authors

Creating Content

Using Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer is a free Blogging Client from Microsoft. It includes tools to add images, spell checking, and other tools...


Don't Strive for Perfection... Yet

When you are initially posting content it is tempting to try to make it perfect at the first attempt, particularly as it may be visible to others. But it is much more important to get something down, even if it is flawed and full of errors. These can be corrected later.

If you donņt want the post to be visible until some future date you can change the date of the post (which defaults to today) to a future date to give yourself time to re-think, before it is visible to other users.

The act of getting your thoughts down and into your Blooki site will get you into the habit of writing which, like most things, will improve and become easier with practice. Grammar will start to come naturally so that it is right in the first instance, rather than having to be corrected later. Your vocabulary will gradually expand, particularly if you make a habit of regular reading good quality work as well as writing.

The Virtuous Circle of Content Creation

Blooki means you can add more content as it occurs to you, because you can work on it anywhere you have an internet connection, not just at home. Using mobile blog clients you can also post from your mobile phone or PDA phone. It is easy to add rough content while the muse is with you.

Comments add another dimension and stimulus to creativity. The comment itself might suggest a change or improvement, but it might also set off a new and productive train of creative thought. In this way Blooki is a completely new way of writing. Visitors to your site will be keen to contribute and see their ideas surface as increasingly polished text. But donņt forget to reward them by acknowledging them - the acknowledgements section automatically lists contributors.

Donņt feel that you have to initially add a post that fits into the narrative flow of your work. Undeveloped ideas can be posted as well. These will give you something to draw on during those periods when you lack inspiration. If you make them visible to users, fragments and ideas may also provoke comments which may help you to develop those ideas further.

Adding posts using Microsoft Word

Adding and editing posts using Microsoft Word 2007 is easy. Using Word means you can easily format the text, add pictures and diagrams, and use Wordņs powerful spell-checking and grammar features.

When you are ready to post to your Blooki, select the Publish option and choose Blog. The first time you do this you will need to set up your account in Word by entering the URL of your Blooki site, and enter your username and password. Be sure to choose SharePoint as the blog engine and instruct Word to use SharePoint to store the pictures.

You can edit existing posts by choosing the "Open Existing" option on the ribbon bar. Click on "Publish" when you have finished editing.

Posting using a PDA

Blooki means you can add more content as it occurs to you, because you can work on it anywhere you have an internet connection, not just at home. Using mobile blog clients you can also post from your mobile phone or PDA phone. It is easy to add rough content while the muse is with you.

You can make use of time which might otherwise be wasted, for example while waiting for a train, and you can also make use of very small amounts of time to add perhaps a sentence or an idea. Using speech recognition

Using the speech recognition capabilities of Windows VISTA it is possible to post to your Blooki without having to type using the keyboard. Using dictation it is very easy to very quickly get down ideas and thoughts. You can always go back and fine-tune the text later. In this way you can generate a large amount of content very quickly. Even faster than an accomplished touch typist.

Posting from a mobile 'phone

Posting from a mobile ņphone presents its own challenges because of the difficulty of entering text. One solution is to post an item using Text Message abbreviations and edit it later from a computer. The objective here is to get the idea down and stored on the server as quickly as possible, while it is fresh in the mind.

Although it might seem like hard work, it is well worth capturing a creative idea or observation as soon as it occurs to you. If you wait until a more convenient moment you will either have fogotten about it or, worse still, you will remember you have an idea but be unable to recall what the idea was!

Donņt be tempted to jot those ideas down later - do it now with your mobile! Finding Time

It is important to set time aside for writing. Even if there is only time for a sentence or two, it is progress, and will help keep the ball rolling. It is worth setting aside a specific time to write, ideally in the morning, or at least not at a time when you are likely to be too tired to even think about writing. This need not initially be a large segment of time - it may well become longer as you get into the swing of your writing.

You can also opportunistically make use of tiny amounts of time to jot down an idea or a sentence or two, or even a turn of phrase. You can use a physical notebook for this or a portable device, if you have one.

Writer's Block

Sooner or later almost all writers find themselves unable to think creatively. The ideas stop coming, the enthusiasm wanes, the blank page (physical or metaphorical) becomes an insuperable obstacle, and the muse deserts them.

As long as you are not in the unfortunate position of working to a deadline, you might choose to take a break and hope that when you return to writing the flow of ideas will have resumed. Another trick is to switch projects or try to tackle a completely different style of writing - if a novelist write a short story or a factual article for a magazine - if a technical writer have a go at fiction. Try not to allow the block to become a source of despair which further stifles creativity - remind yourself that it will eventually pass.

If you are stuck for ideas, we have a number of writing tools on Blooki that are designed to re-kindle your creativity (see the section on Writing Tools for more information). In the film "Finding Forrester" a young writer is helped to overcome his block by taking the title and first paragraph of another writerņs essay and continuing it - although in the story this backfires!

Other short-term techniques are to go for a walk or some other non-deskbound activity or listen to some music or watch a film. If the subject of the film is related to the writing task this can be an advantage. Another approach is to start writing whatever words come into your head, stream-of-conciousness style, without worrying about whether it makes sense floor wigwam the flailing banana.