Blogging Local, Regional and National Events and Holidays

tree in 4 seasonsThe Telegraph reports that Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno hangs upside down to get the creative juices flowing again when he has writer’s block. Writer’s block is sure to paralyze you at some point during your blogging career but you don’t need to try inversion therapy if it doesn’t appeal to you, as the cure for writer’s block is also the cure for procrastination and perfectionism.

“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” ― Hilary Mantel

Consult your calendar

Do you follow the solar calendar whose dates indicate the position of the earth on its revolution around the sun or equivalently the apparent position of the sun moving on the celestial sphere? This calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months leap day is added to February every four years. The year is, therefore, on average 365.25 days long.

Or do you follow a lunar calendar based on cycles of the lunar phase? As there are about twelve lunations (synodic months) in a solar year, this period (354.37 days) is sometimes referred to as a lunar year.

Take a look at your calendar and note the upcoming local, regional and national events. There you will find a way to chart your course out of the writer’s block maze.

I live in British Columbia, Canada and follow the Julian Calendar. The next special occasion for me is summer solstice AKA National Aboriginal Day.

June 21 marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and simultaneously marks the beginning of winter in the southern hemisphere. On summer solstice every year Canadians celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of the nation’s Aboriginal peoples (the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples).

National Aboriginal Day events are held in every region across Canada and vary from region to region. Most National Aboriginal Day Events include (but are not limited to) gatherings with educational booths, traditional food, traditional contemporary music, dance and singing, sports, the cutting of a cake to honor National Aboriginal Day and Sacred fire extinguishing ceremonies. National Aboriginal Day announces lineup of performers (cbc.ca). To view some interesting images check out Flickr Hive mind.

calendar collage

Fortunately, every day is a Holiday and every month is a National event month somewhere in the world. That means no matter which calendar you follow, every one contains all you need to prompt you break through writer’s block by blogging about local, regional, National and International events, occasions and Holidays. Do some background research to prepare, then celebrate a special event, take lots of photos and blog about your experience.

“Green was the silence, wet was the light,
the month of June trembled like a butterfly.”
― Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

If you still need a kick-start to get get you blogging mojo back, June is:

Discussion

What do you do to break through writer’s block?

Have you tried holiday and/or event blogging?

Related articles found in this blog:

37 thoughts on “Blogging Local, Regional and National Events and Holidays

  1. Let’s see– I sometimes encounter chopping block when I’m out chopping firewood… : P

    I do run into writer’s block, but it’s usually while I’m writing a post– struggling with how to explain something, or structure the post, or condense it down and make it more concise.

    I know every day of the year serves as the designated day for multiple observances: National Potholder Day, National Wear A Gorilla Suit Day, etc, etc. Come to think of it, many of these “feasts” would make excellent blog post topics. Or at least memorable ones… : )

    P.S. Let me know when you’re gonna wear your gorilla suit, and I’ll wear mine… : P

    1. Hello Mark,

      I love the way you picked up on how these National (silly and strange) Days could inspire memorable blog fodder. Today is: Wrong Way Corrigan Day: July 17. I’m unfortunately unable to participate in Take Your Houseplant For A Walk Day also on the 27th as my houseplants are all very large shrubs and trees. However, did you know that Barbie-in-a-blender Day is July 27th? http://freeculture.org/blog/2004/07/12/barbie-in-a-blender-a-celebration-of-free-speech-and-fair-use/ Freeculture.org, an international student movement for Free Culture has organized the “National Barbie-in-a-Blender Day” Campaign to support free speech rights.

      Your comments always make me smile, Mark. You have an uncanny way of submitting comments when I need a boost. Thanks so much for being you.

  2. I’ve blogged on Christmas in my area –for last 2 years.

    Now I guess when I get to it….to blog about our city’s flood. I live in a mandatory evacuation zone. The disaster has been Canada’s most widespread in the last few years. The Calgary 2013 flood.

    1. I immediately thought of my nephew his wife and baby and you as you all live in Calgary and as we have been glued to the TV screen. What a disaster! Where are you residing now Jean?

      1. My home is in a mandatory evacuation zone since it’s downtown. I will have to return in a few days to deal with a soaked storage locker located in the basement of our condo building.

        Yes, on the night of when the Bow River crested, I could hear the roar of the swollen river waters. The park-bike-ped. entrances were blocked off by police. My neighbourhood was under police surveillance before evacuees were allowed to return after we got electrical power again.

        1. I’m so sorry this has happened to you, Jean. I lived in Alberta (Big E) for many years re: the North Saskatchewan River. What an astonishing event this Bow and Elbow River flood has been and what an awful impact it has had on so many people. We’ve been keeping on touch with family by phone. Thank goodness they were not in the downtown area too.

  3. it always amazes me how many events occur in a month…on a few occasions, i have used those random phrase/word search generators. does not always cure the writer’s block but you get yourself laughing at the funny ones and learn new vocabulary words as well. ☺

    1. Hi There,
      I found myself laughing at some of them too so I know exactly what you mean. I may take a peek at what the month of July features as celebratory events.

  4. I don’t have writers’ block, but I do have bloggers’ block sometimes; I get an urge not to blog and just stop and write privately and not share this writing with the by and large anonymous world of the blog readership. I keep a small poetry blog going which has a readership of three people, I don’t publicise it which suits me, but I am a bit perverse like that. So writing about externals like public holidays and events is an excellent idea.

    People who blog about food have a huge number of ‘special days’ created round food to draw on for ideas. We have all the seasonal foods, the traditional foods and recipes associated with public holidays, and we have increasing numbers of ‘made up’ days, too. Some friends of mine and I created one which we called ‘International Scone Week’. It was a sort of joke, but it has taken on a life of its own now. On a personal note, I am much fonder of the natural prompts that I derive from being outside, the changes in the plants in the garden, the wilder places too and the seasons, but that is my personal preference.

    1. Joanna,
      It’s so interesting that you bring up the difference between writer’s block and blogger’s block. Thanks so much for doing that. Writing for yourself is one thing and writing for an audience is another.

      As you know I’m an introvert and though blogging has assisted me to become more communicative it has not changed my personality type nor did I expect or want it to. By and large I am a private person. Part of my income comes from contracted writing and I never suffer from writer’s block. I’m focused on deadlines and the subjects are prescribed.

      I’m a private journal blogger first and foremost and I never suffer from writer’s block when it comes to journal blogging. I have been keeping both a private personal growth journal and a private dream journal for years. http://thistimethisspace.com/2010/11/09/benefiting-from-private-journal-blogging/ The most important aspect about remembering dreams is understanding that they give us useful information, provided that we are prepared to truly analyze what they mean and then act on that information. It’s in my private blogs that I feel free to write poetry and prose and post artwork, etc. I have conversations with myself in my journals and I don’t always have enough energy to make that shift to either blogging tips blogging or personal blogging after I’ve poured my energy out there.

      Seasonal and traditional foods are a primary feature of every public holiday and it’s always interesting to visit foodie blogs to see what’s on the menus.

      I’ve never used writer’s prompts but I may in the future. Like you I find natural prompts are all around me when I am am outdoors. As soon as I walk out onto my deck gardening metaphors come to mind.

  5. Sometimes using prompts helps me. Trying to put up a post around a prompt makes me think it over and after a few times of it, I find the writer’s block tends to go away. Sometimes though, a break is what I need. Like the other comments above, I don’t always tell my readers. Most everyone is so busy, they don’t notice if I’m not around for a short while.

    Nancy

    1. Hi Nancy,
      I liked your writer’s prompts reviews. Though I haven’t used writer’s prompts I think they could be useful and I do intend to experiment with using them though it may not be in times when I’m feeling blocked.

      Actually I don’t suffer form writer’s block as much as I suffer from exhaustion that leads to blogger’s block. See the conversation with Joanna above. Our business and my contracted work are time consuming and sometime I’d rather not blog. I’m just too tired to get it together and create a post worthy of publication.

      As far as tell readers that one is taking a brief break goes I don’t recommend it. I don’t think it’s necessary and in my early days I found that simply activated content thieves and sent spammers into high gear. I have enough of that bad stuff to cope with already and returning from a short break to deal with even more would be counter-productive.

    1. You are so conversational and so entertaining that it’s hard to believe you ever run dry. Your readers are faithful and funny too, so I don’t doubt that they are there for you if and when you take a break.

  6. I bemoan the lack of moon information on calendars and in diaries. Although I probably don’t need it as it’s obvious when it is either new or full moon. The tides change, the dogs bark more at night, people are grumpy and cantankerous. Approach of full moon and solstice probably explains my current irascibility.

    I do occasional posts about ‘events’ – invariably me moaning about something. There are too many ‘Days, Weeks, Months’. it devalues the concept of marking something important. How can you compare National Gingerbread Day (for example) with World Environment Day, International Women’s Day, Adopt an Animal Day? And to only take one day out of 365 to consider such important issues is depressing in itself. *Grumps off*

    1. There are excellent moon phase lunar calendars online and here most printed calenders do have symbols for the phases of the moon on them.

      I have read your descriptions of the special events in Gibraltar and Spain with interest. I don’t identify with or relate to anything Catholic. Your article about the Romero pilgrimage was an eye opener. We have nothing like that here at all. May Day celebrations do bear a common theme. But I also recall a strange celebration you recounted with some folks wearing strange cone head hats and carrying a martyr effigy on a stick from place to place. Great blog fodder for sure!

      1. Semana Santa. Holy Week. Where the penitents dress up like KKK. Very spooky. Still haven’t got around to posting my pix of one of our local events for that. The floats are superb though, absolutely stunning.

        Romeria is good. But, we don’t get into it, we just watch. Next month the virgin goes to have her annual paddle in the sea, another local festival that is seriously good, I’ve posted a couple of times so unless I am around I won’t bother with that. The true believers walk all the way barefoot although increasingly there are less of those.

        Catholicism, Islam and Judaism are all around me. Not my choice, but I wish to respect my neighbours wherever I am and be aware of their important days. Whatever my personal views are. At some point I will do a post about religion here in Gib because it is interesting. Especially the Judaism, but that may be because we live in the Jewish quarter, however we also know Catholics and Muslims. We probably know atheists and agnostics but they/we never bother pronouncing that. My block is multi-national – at the last count I think it was ten nationalities for 15 flats.

        1. That’s the one – Semana Santa (Holy Week). The cone head and KKK outfits in your images blew my mind. The whole concept is a strange one to me. I just googled it and apparently, it’s Mexico’s second most important holiday season of the year, behind only Christmas, and runs from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. I missed it when we were in Mexico as we were there during the winter ie. after Xmas and before Easter.

          The virgin going for a paddle in the sea sounds like a great photo op to me. In fact my imagination is running wild. Will there be another procession down to the sea and then a launching of a wooden or plaster Mary statue in a wooden boat?

          There are a wide range of religions in Gibraltar and it’s good to know that people dwell in peace there. From this distance it sounds like a multicultural melting pot. And, it sounds like you two have been received with great friendliness and hospitality. Granted it’s not likely that I will ever travel to Gibraltar, but I’d be interested in reading more about the local, regional and national events there and seeing more pictures too.

          1. http://wp.me/p1XwsS-tX

            is the last virgin goes to sea post that I wrote, it was while I was still on blogger so the pix are small but will blow up

            I would say that Semana Santa is Spain’s biggest event, but basically in the Christian church, Easter is the most important event anyway, so that figures.

            Off to write a post about the famous Gibraltar summer hours ….

  7. I have helped others set up blogs and warned them of what I call “the blogger’s burden”, the expectation of others or of your own self that you will write both frequently and well. Here’s my guide – if I am having difficulties putting the words down, then it is a sign that I am not saying what I really want to say. My muse when I feel the compulsion to overcome difficulty in writing – music. Oh yes, and red wine too.

    1. Hi Jim,
      I hear you. When I’m struggling to find the right words it’s usually because I’m not into the work. The topic is not holding my attention or I can’t hit on a topic that does “speak to me”. When that happens it’s time to shift to another activity. When it comes to making a shift, music, red wine and the time to enjoy them fully are excellent ideas.
      Thanks for suggesting them.

    2. I have deleted or closed out Word when a blog is just too much effort to write. If I have to force it then I probably don’t have anything to say.

      I don’t worry about posting every day any more. I used to post every Friday just to have one regularly scheduled post every week. Eventually it got to be forced and I didn’t feel I was writing anything worth anyone’s time most of the time.

      Now I try to write or start several blog posts over the weekend when I have time. Then during the week I can edit or finish the posts and have a few things to post during the week.

    3. Same with me. If the words aren’t flowing, I can pretty much bank on that I am not telling myself the truth, so I am not writing what needs to be said. My muse demands music or a walk, which pacifies the internal editor so truth may be spoken. Wine doesn’t hurt either!

  8. This is a great idea. My calendar has lots of things written on it these days, seems there is some kind of holiday every week. Thanks. Annie

    1. Hi there,
      I have been accumulating as many ideas about breaking through writer’s block as I can and I’m happy to know you like this idea.

  9. I generally don’t do holiday blogging, but I will occasionally include event based blogs. However, getting over writer’s block for me usually involves getting up, putting on a pot of coffee, then kicking back and appreciating all the beauty in the world just outside my window (or while sitting on my porch). A slice of cake doesn’t hurt either!

    1. Hi Kerwyn,
      Canadians have fewer holidays (minimum annual legal requirement 19 work-free days ie.statutory holidays) than workers in other developed countries do. In 28 European countries workers have twice as many statutory holidays as Canadian workers do.

      Surveying Canadian employees from a wide and diverse range of ancestral roots to discover which days were their special holidays and why and what their opinions on statutory holiday were produces interesting results. Everyone is happy to have traditional statutory holidays off with pay. Most surveyed want more paid holidays – period. A significant number would prefer the flexibility to celebrate other days as replacements for traditional holidays.

  10. Who knew there was so much going on in June.

    I get over writer’s block by doing some other creative activity–drawing, collaging. This allows me to approach the creative process and the block from another angle.

    Hugs,
    Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy,
      A change in scene or activity can do the trick for me. Like you, I use art, usually collage and abstracts as a way to break out of the paralysis of writer’s block. Sometimes I choose to wallow in the nothingness and just rest.

      Hugs

  11. I am still waiting for the return of my eleven days since the UK switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1752. If I had that, I’d probably be able to catch up with all my work. ;-)

    1. Hi David,
      That made me laugh. :) Holidays and special events provide lots of opportunities for photographers to take pictures of people celebrating. We aren’t photographers but my hubby will take lots of pictures on National Aboriginal Day.

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