Maybe you love the idea of blogging but the idea of writing on a regular basis seems daunting. Have you ever started a blog and abandoned it? Or told yourself you'd blog weekly and then, whoops, 4 months go by? I get you. Today I want to share a few ideas for writing consistently whether you're writing blogs, articles or the great American novel.
1. Keep a notebook (or notes app on your phone) nearby at all times. When inspiration strikes jot it down. I can't tell you how many blog outlines I've created while running on trails. They may be inspired by a podcast I'm listening to or just come together when I link two separate ideas I've been mulling over. They always go in my notes app and they eventually show up here.
2. Set aside a Creative Think Day once a quarter. Every three months (or more often if you're lucky) hammer out as many ideas as you can possibly think of. Don't feel overwhelmed--we're just talking headlines or key concepts. No need to stress over the finished product or what your five points will be. You're just gathering stones.
3. Put yourself in your readers' shoes. What are their pain points? What can you help distill for them? What are the consistent questions you get asked both online and off line? This is your starting point. Your writing should be of interest to you but it should always have deliverables for your audience. You are serving them.
4. Take the ideas you've aggregated and plug them into an editorial calendar. And just like that, you've got a plan for the next several months. The next time it's time to publish a post, you're not starting from scratch. You already have an idea you've been mulling over. Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
5. Read up. Ideas come to those who are voraciously digesting other people's thoughts. A ton of what I write comes from an idea that I formulated after reading other people's work. Samuel Johnson said, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
6. Sit in the chair. The least sexy of all the tips--sometimes you just have to sit there until you create something. The disciplined habit of showing up is half the battle! If you want to write consistently you have to make it a priority. Sit there until you create something. Listen to Maya Angelou: “What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’”
We all wrestle with what to write from time to time. Having a strategy in place to combat those times will always help you get pen to paper. Do you have your own tips for overcoming writer's block? What is your biggest writing challenge? I'd love to hear what you work most to overcome and how you do it.