Everyone gets writer's block every so often. But in my case, I get a good dose of it every two months, almost like clockwork. (No snarky comments about how I must have had it for almost a month due to my lack of updates here...)
You see, I am the chairperson of a car club that produces a bi-monthly newsletter. And being that the editor of said newsletter is my dear old Dad, I can hardly slack on my chairpersonly duties, so I must always produce a chairperson's message.
You would think this would be easy. I have almost complete creative freedom. I have almost no limits when it comes to space (although sometimes, if Dad's lacking contributions, he'll ask me to beef it up).
However, it's not easy. The lack of constrictions means lack of guidelines, which often makes it hard to narrow down a purpose to my writing. The two easiest issues are the one just before our National Meet (promote, promote, promote) and the National Meet issue itself (recap, thank everyone who helped, preview next year). Anything in between... not so much.
Part of the problem is that I've been chair for so long, I seriously can't remember when my term started. Hey, no one else seems to want the job. Like most other clubs, we have a hard time getting volunteers for the board of directors and other jobs. My dad, the aforementioned editor, is also treasurer and handles membership and the company store. And he's pretty much the person everyone goes to for everything. (I like to say he really runs the club; I'm just the pretty face.) So with that said, it means I feel like I've said everything 50 million times. Remind people to renew memberships. Ask people to recruit new members. Beg for volunteers. Beg for input ("this is YOUR club...").
Which leads me to the other problem: I get next to no feedback. Even when I write a message specifically designed to solicit feedback, I get nothing. In the midst of unpacking our new house, I stumbled across an old issue of the newsletter from 20 years ago (no, I haven't been chair THAT long...), in which the chair asked the membership some thoughtful questions about the direction the club should take, whether we should try to grow in a more truly national direction, and whether or not we should move our National Meets around more. These questions are all very relevant to our club today, so I put them forth in my chairperson's message. I got... one response. And no disrespect to the person who responded, but he was a fellow board member and I already knew how he felt because this had all been a topic of discussion in several board meetings.
I've tried the "ripped from the headlines" approach - I once wrote one inspired by a car magazine I read while sitting at the dealership during an oil change. I've tried commentary on the news from the car world. I've even tried the dream sequence once. I've tried serious, I've tried humorous.
So this time, I feel like I actually wrote something inspired. I encouraged members to use our social media outlets (which are way underused... we do have an "older" membership, but there are plenty of members who are on social media). And instead of just saying "hey, Tweet at us!" I actually GAVE IDEAS. I pitched social media as a way of being an active club and having that fun camaraderie we all find at National Meets in a virtual sense year-round. If people actually read and heed, well darn it, our social media could start to be really fun. And some of those fans/followers that aren't already members might just become members...
Cross your fingers.
Does anyone else have this problem? Do you have something you have to write on a regular basis and struggle with ways to keep it fresh? I'd love suggestions.