I'm sitting in my living room. The television is on and I've decided to not eat any dinner tonight. Work was as taxing as ever and I'm just not in the mood to write. (I wish I looked like the guy in the image above haha. He looks like he's ready to blog.) I started a blog because I wanted to learn how to improve in my ability to do deductive reasoning. But, I had no idea where to begin. What would the name of the blog be? How would I manage my other life responsibilities along with finding time to write? How could I create content that I would be excited to write about, even if no one was reading?
When I began the blog, I realized that I would need a lot of discipline and the WRITE tools to get the job done. Get it? Write instead of right. Whawha. You know you laughed. Jokes aside, I wanted to take a moment and distill 3 of the lessons I have learned in trying to put together a blog. If you enjoy the read, subscribe to the blog for more posts like this one.
1. WRITE ABOUT A SUBJECT YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT
"Yeah, Yeah. I know that already, let's get to the good stuff" you may be thinking to yourself. Notice that I mention to write about things you are passionate about, not things you are knowledgable about. It can be easy to feel like these two are one in the same, but they aren't. You may have years of technical expertise in a certain area, but that may not breed passion. Interest can be perceived as passion, but I don't think that's enough to sustain writing about a subject week after week. So here are some questions I used to help me navigate what I could be passionate about:
What get's you excited and engaged?
What do you enjoy researching?
What do you enjoy telling other people about?
Knowing what you are passionate about will help you so much. When you are passionate it will be more enjoyable to research material. It will also help you to stay committed to writing.
2. START WRITING AND SHARING WHAT YOU WRITE - NO MATTER HOW GOOD OR BAD
It probably isn't going to be really hard to start writing. You can begin writing in any word processor or electronic notepad. You don't need anything fancy to begin. The challenge comes when you have to actively share the contents of your writing with others. For myself, these were some of the fears that I had about sharing my writing with others.
Fear of loss
Fear of process
Fear of outcome
I had the help of Brendan Burchard in identifying these fears. I tried to not ignore this element of the writing process and I suggest you don't either. It is probably one of the main reasons we don't take action. I recognized that I had these fears and they needed to be addressed. When I say a "fear of loss", I mean that I am afraid of losing credibility or face with others. I don't enjoy the idea that others will look at my writing and think, "Gosh, he is ignorant and sloppy with his writing."
My fear of process felt very tangible. What type of font will I use? What type of style will I adopt? Will I ever find my voice as a writer? How long long should the blog posts be? How do I get the blog published on a site? The list goes on and on.
But, of all of the fears I had, it was my fear of outcome that weighed on me the most. Even now I have no clue how my blog will shape my life. What types of backlash or hate may I expect to receive if I keep exposing my writing to various people? Will anyone even care that I am writing? What if I don't meet my own expectations?
Don't allow your fears to prevent you from sharing what you write.
3. SCHEDULE A TIME TO WRITE OF AT LEAST 15 MINUTES A DAY
Ok, so writing out a schedule is always challenging for me because I have so many things that I want to do, but often, what's on my calendar, are items I have to do. Do you have this problem also? I have found that the more writing I do, the more planning I have to do.
When I don't schedule a time to write, I almost guarantee myself that I won't end up writing during the course of any day. I think that happens because I don't really consider myself to be a writer and even though I spend considerable amount of time writing, I don't ever feel like the process flows for me.
Scheduling 15 minutes is a good practice because 15 minutes isn't to daunting and leaves you plenty of time to invest in other activities. I schedule at least 15 minutes around a blank 1 hour block because usually what happens is, once I start writing I want to edit and write a little more so I can complete posts. So usually 15 minutes turns into about 30-45 minutes.
I always think, "If it's not on your calendar, there is no forward motion towards the task." I really think this piece of advice will help you a lot if you are thinking of writing a blog.