Oh! You clicked on the headline? Great! Thank you… now, here’s a confession — there’s no secret. If you’re still looking for one. Good luck! And let me know when you find it. Not that I’m looking for it… but I sure would be curious to know.
Writing is hard work. It takes time, effort and a lot of courage to sit your butt down and slog away. You need to grow a thick skin to make it as a writer. Yup, you need to get good at ignorance.
I’ve been posting every day for the past 31 days. Without fail. And it hasn’t been easy. Each morning I would get up mulling over the topics I could potentially write about only to get my routine and other people’s agenda (emails, text messages, phone calls) get in my way of thinking. And yes, writing.
By noon, on most days, I’m already exhausted!
I do a lot of writing at work at well. And obviously, work comes first. Right? Or so I thought. When I reassessed my priorities, I noticed that I’m letting one of the most highly valuable and creative activity (writing, duh?) slide away. What could I have done differently? Perhaps getting up early is an option. But getting a good solid sleep has become important too, considering my grueling schedule.
So, after a week of blogging here’s what I did — I reorganized my day to have my writing my blog post jumpstart my creative engine and the rest of the day. And boy, did it work? One small change led me to stay consistent and raised my self-esteem a notch higher. I mentioned self-esteem because the #1 reason a writer ought to be doing is writing. Something that I haven’t been able to do for the past decade. As you may know, I’m not really proud of that.
Going back to the blogging everyday challenge that I took up this January. You would be surprised to know that there wasn’t any challenge. I didn’t accept any. Nor did anyone challenged me. I just took it upon myself and stuck with it. Just like that. For no apparent reason. Nobody put a gun to my head. I just told myself to write something. Anything. Significant or otherwise, doesn’t matter. Just show up and say something.
And that is it.
After a month, I can honestly say that there are no secrets to writing a blog post every day. All it takes is a healthy dose of self-reflection and a little push.
But I’ve had a few observations that I wanted to share with you. This pertains to what’s really stopping us from writing every day. Of course, the principles are universal and can be applied to anything that you’re really passionate about.
- Challenge: finding the time. You won’t “find” any. You will have to make time. Prioritize the things that are important to you. I’m struggling with it still. And, after having studying productivity and peak performance for the past decade, I’m convinced that the most productive people know and focus on the things that are important to them. Period.
- Ideas: how do you find them? You don’t have to. The problem is that we’re all focused on discovering that one idea that will help you to write that “epic” blog post. Ideas are dime a dozen. We know that. But no matter what ideas you have, big or small, you have to put it out in the open. Without judgment or care. Putting yourself under pressure wouldn’t help matters. You’ll only develop cold feet and end up not writing anything than writing something.
- Writing to impress. You don’t have to. Some will like your writing. Others won’t. That’s natural. And totally normal. If you question your capabilities as a writer. Good! You should write anyway. Thinking about writing wouldn’t make you a writer. But writing will. Your self-limiting beliefs are good for nothing. They’ll only degrade your thinking and evolution as a communicator and human being. The ones asking “who the hell you think you are?” can go to hell. You’re not writing for anybody but yourself. If there’s anyone you want to prove it to, that better be you. Stop caring about people caring about you. Set yourself free.
Here’s the solution to the challenges above (although I’ve done my bit to explain them but what the heck?):
- Write anyway. You talk every day, right? If you do, writing is no different. And remember, what you write is not as important as the act of writing itself… at least when you’re starting out. Keep showing up.
- You can set yourself free the moment you stop writing for others, but for yourself. It’s a journey towards finding your unique voice. That takes time and you can’t ever find that voice unless you’re all alone. Deep focus. That’s what you should care about. The likes, fans, and followers will come along. But you have to keep going.
- Should you blog every day? Probably not. But if you do plan to blog. Pick a number and stick with it. No matter what. Blogging everyday surprisingly works for me because I don’t believe in writing epic posts. My posts vary in length and that’s deliberate. And I don’t care what people would have to say about that.
- Quick tip. Capture your thoughts and make it as easy as you possibly can. I have the WordPress app handy and often use the Notes app to jot down my thoughts. Significant, mundane or anything in between. If it interests me or grabs my attention. It goes into the apps. My next step is to write a few bullet points and then elaborate here on the WP app itself! (You can’t go more minimal than this!)
Phew! That’s a boatload! Apologies but wanted to get it out of my head for you. I hope you’ll find it useful. Remember to keep your process simple. And think less. Just do.
For the record: this took me exactly 32 minutes to yank out. And crossed the 1,000-word mark. And who gives a damn? I wouldn’t care. Onwards!