writing

30 Days Of Blogging

With this post I will have completed my 30 day Challenge, which means I have posted for 30 consecutive days.  Well, kind of.

I skipped two days because of family reasons, but even during those two days I was still writing.  I just didn’t have the ability to post them.  So I’ll take it as a win.

The reason I originally set this goal was to form a habit of writing.  I can honestly say that it’s worked.

In the last two weeks, writing has become like going to the gym.  I almost feel like I need to do it, and if I don’t I feel guilty.

Will I continue to post everyday?

Probably not.  I will continue to blog, but I will focus on writing longer and more in depth posts rather than just rattling a post off just for the hell of it.

Now that I have been writing consistently I’m starting to discover what I like writing about and what people find interesting.  I’m also realizing that what I like to write about and what people have read/liked are not always the same thing.  With upcoming posts I  will try to strike a balance between writing what I’m passionate about but also what will be engaging to you the readers.

The only way I can tell about what my readers enjoy is through views/likes stats, but I’m not sure these always paint an accurate picture.

So I will ask of you, what posts have you enjoyed the most, and what posts have you disliked the most?

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4 Things I’ve Learned From Writing Everyday

On Friday and Saturday I wasn’t able to post, breaking my 30 day challenge.  I’ve been back home for the last couple of days spending time with family.  It was as good of an excuse as any.

I didn’t fulfill my goal of posting for 30 consecutive days.  Oh well.  I found encouragement in the fact that this 30 day challenge has already created the habit to write.

On Friday afternoon while waiting for my family I found myself scribbling the some ideas down for a new post.  I didn’t have a computer, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to post that night.  When Sunday rolled around and I had sometime to myself I was itching to write.  I sat down and busted a post with ease.

Even though I broke my 30 day challenge I don’t intend to stop until I reach 30 posts.  I will continue to post everyday until I reach that 30 barring a catastrophic disaster.  What happens after that, who knows.

What I’ve Learned Writing Everyday

1. Writing 200 words a day is a more than reachable goal for anyone thinking about starting a blog:  At least 200 words per day was one of my guidelines for my 30 day challenge. This has been easy.  I’ve already surpassed 200 on this post and it feels like I just sat down and started typing.

2.  Only set a goal to prove something to yourself:  This should be obvious.  I started this blog to make myself a more consistent writer.  I didn’t start this blog to make money from affiliate links.  I didn’t start this blog to amass a huge following.  If my criteria for success was page views and passive income I may have given up already.  My average post may get 4 views if I’m lucky.  It’s very likely that you are the only one on the internet even reading this post.  If you do set up a blog, write only to prove something to yourself, it will make it a lot more enjoyable.

3. You can never run out of material: Never.  I guaranteed something happened in your life today that you can write a post about.  It may seem mundane, but it doesn’t matter.  Once you start writing you will make connections to other areas in your life that you wouldn’t have been able to see before writing.  I already posted this quote by Stephen King but I’ll post it again “I don’t know what I think until I write.”

4. Only write for yourself:  If you start a blog chances are your blog will be ghost town for at least 6 months if not longer.  If you start a blog don’t write posts that you think other people will want to read, write posts that you want to write.  Of course, this is a terrible strategy if you want to monetize a blog, but then again, you probably shouldn’t start a blog to make money unless your masochist.

7 Ways To Become A More Productive Writer

In the past year I’ve published over 100 short stories on Amazon.  I’ve also blogged from time to time.  This may seem like a heavy work load, but it’s not if you manage your time and stay consistent.  Here are few tips to help your writing output if you’re feeling stuck…

Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is time management method where there is work intervals of 25 minutes followed by 5 minute breaks.  I use this method every time I write because it helps me get into a flow.

My word count increases every work interval.  The first 25 minute interval I may only be able to get 200 words but by the fourth interval I’ll be up to at least 500 or more.  It also helps to have short breaks between working intervals to prevent burnout.

There are plenty off places online where you can download a Pomodoro timer, I use an app called Focus Keeper.

Get Disconnected

I use to block certain sites online, but now I just turn off the Wifi.  Getting lost on the internet is the biggest killer to being a productive writer.

It starts out innocent.  You go on the internet to do research for your latest post, but hours later your watching compilation videos on Youtube.  We’ve all been there.

Don’t give yourself the option.  Turn off your Wifi.  If you need to do research for your blog or book just make a note of it and do it after when your editing.

Also, put your phone on airplane mode.  You don’t need to be taking calls and texts while your writing.

Rough Drafts

Pick up a pen and paper and make an outline of what you plan to write.  Don’t go in blind.

  It doesn’t have to be a full on draft, just scribble down some notes so you have an idea of what you want to communicate.

For my short stories I write the general plot.  Usually it’s only a few sentences.  I also write down names of characters and describe the setting.

You will be able to save a lot more time and prevent writer’s block when you have somewhat of a plan mapped out.

Go For A Walk

I get the best ideas for stories/posts during or after exercising.  Why?  I’m not going to give you some bro science explanation because I really don’t know why.  It just works.

And it doesn’t just work for me.  It also works for Henry David Thoreau who once said “Methinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow.”

If it’s a good enough for Thoreau than it’s a good enough for you.

Free Flow, Avoid The Edit

Don’t stop to edit your writing.  Save the editing for later.  This is advice that I don’t always follow myself but should.

When you go back and reread every sentence you can’t get into a flow.  Achieving a flow state is important when it comes to being more productive as a writer.  You want nice bursts where your fingers are pounding on the keys and your mind is blank.

Get Rid Of Shame   

Being ashamed of your writing is useless and won’t get you anywhere.  Write as if no one will ever read it.  Write for yourself.

Second guessing yourself will interrupt flow.

Treat It Like A Job

Writing may not be your job but you should still treat it like one.  Set aside a part of the day that will be dedicated to writing and nothing else.  An hour will do.

Don’t wait for inspiration to strike.  Inspiration is amateur hour.  Just stare at the blinking cursor in the left hand corner till you’re so bored that you begin typing.  Some days your writing will be gold.  Some days your writing will be complete shit.  It doesn’t matter, as long as you show up.

You can also set word counts each day.  When your starting out it’s better to shoot low.  Steve Pressfield goes by “200 crappy words a day.”  The idea is to set a small goal to trick yourself to show up even when motivation is not there.