On Fire


I recently tweeted that I'd lost my testing mojo. I didn't feel inspired to write. It seems some other people feel the same way. Yet others are still cranking out superb posts each day, week, month. Others have been quiet recently, but that might have nothing to do with losing their mojo.

I think my mojo has returned though. I think I'm back on fire. I've certainly had little problem writing this post. I also jotted down a few hundred lines this morning at about 5:30 am when my son kindly woke me and insisted I prepare him some breakfast,. Whilst he rapidly consumed his shreddies I blasted down some notes. It didn't take long and it felt right. Mojo. Back on track. Then we played Thomas the Tank Engine and he used me as a human bouncy castle.

I know why I'd lost my mojo, which in turn prompted this blog post. I'd been ignoring my (RSS) reading list.

It had become so large that I'd had a mild form of information overload. So I stopped reading it for a few days. Since ignoring it I'd done little reading about anything. Just a couple of books on hip-hop.

But in ignoring the feed I'd actually not addressed the underlying problem. Information Overload. So I've started dropping some subscriptions instead of ignoring my feeds. It's been difficult but I've managed to get the feed down low. And in reading a manageable amount of posts I'm feeling inspired and fired up to write again.

It's interesting how many people come up with ideas about testing and even more interesting, to me anyway, is how they actually get these ideas online. Some of the conversations that happened off the back of my mojo tweet indicated that some people just sit down and write, then publish;
some people sit down, write a little, come back to it and build on it over time;
some people, like me, write almost all of it, but then come back to fine tune and amend it, usually after a good nights sleep.

No doubt there are countless other ways of coming up with ideas and then getting the writing down. I know this topic has been discussed a few times on the writing about testing community (http://groups.google.com/group/writing-about-testing).

So go on, tell me why you sometimes lose your testing mojo (if you ever do), what you do to get it back (if you ever do) and how you manage your writing.

And by the way, if you are a blogger then you might be interested in this competion from Eurostar Conferences

Photo Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/spiritual_marketplace/

7 Replies to “On Fire”

  1. Annoyingly, I usually get inspired to write when I’m most busy in my job, probably because there are a lot of interesting things going on at the time. So I usually end up taking time out for 5 minutes during these times to type out some thoughts and email them to myself, then I can form them into a blog post later. The other time I get inspired is when I’m walking to work, which is also annoying because I can’t write any of it down at the time.Usually if I sit myself down and say “right, I have time, I’m going to write a blog post now”, then it just ends up being forced and not so great. So my usual tricks are:- Read other people’s blog posts, hopefully have some kind of opinionated reaction to them, and write my own post based on that reaction.- Email a friend in the field about some topic I’ve been thinking about, or tell them a story or explain a concept to them. Then put together the ensuing conversation into some kind of blog post. – Decide that I need “more mad analogies” and set myself a writing challenge, e.g. can I somehow liken testing to milking cows?

  2. Hi Trish,Thanks for leaving a comment.I suffered the same thing that I was getting crazily good ideas in less than ideal places. I now carry around a small notebook and pen and also have my phone’s voice recording set up for fairly rapid recording.I like your usual tricks. I find the same thing really, getting inspired from other people in the industry.I like the ideas of emailing people about topics and getting a discussion going. I need to do more of this.Cheers for commentingRob..

  3. not lost my mojo, just way too busy to blog or post. Catching up on the the blogs and reading blogs like this from others in the same situation helps so hope to be writing again soon

  4. I can totally relate. My blog roll has aggregated, been pruned, and grown over the years. Initially I used RSS primarily for sports news, then I started looking at news that would be devotional help, then I thought hey I’ve seen these blogs on X site I’ll add these technical blogs. In the last month I’ve started pairing down the number of blogs for each category to the ones I really read. Its been tricky, but I only have so many hours in the day to read, especially as I seem my interests sliding into a more technical phase.I can totally relate!

  5. Hi Tim,Thanks for commenting. It seems like a fairly common thing for people to be getting information overload.There are just too many sources of information and not enough time.Good to hear you have a mechanism for getting the right information to you :)ThanksRob..

  6. Hi Rob,My mojo comes and goes – partly workload related and occasionally it’s like the buses – nothing for a while and then 2-3 at once. I usually have lots of ideas on the go (or maturing in the background) – and usually have a notebook with me to jot ideas down (not just for blogging but other test-related ideas.) So the ideas are there but sometimes take time to percolate. Right now I’m on holiday so the writing muse is making a racket!How do you manage your twitter overload? Do you use lists or some other method?

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