Today I would like to write about the fact that I have not been writing for quite some time. As a matter of fact I am by far not the only one to stop writing after a while.
Blogs tend to get ignored and forgotten
When you surf the web you come across them all the time. They lay at the side of the browser road and die of neglecting like the zombies do in the walking dead series when they have deteriorated to far: Blogs and websites.
They are usually being started with much enthusiasm and often with a high pace of output. There are many posts when you start from the very first post. Then after a few posts you realise that the author tends to skip a day or two. Then the next post is week later, two, three, then it is a few months and then … well, actually sometimes the pace comes back on. Not daily but a few posts are being written again. Usually someone thought „hey I can do better than this!“ and started to get into the habit. Only to loose it again all too often!
Why I have neglected this blog
Here we go, you guessed it, this is not a rant about someone else, it is a mere observation which describes me quite well. So why have I neglected the writing? Why did I start off all charged up with enthusiasm only to loose it all to quickly? I can only assume why this is the case, but I guess I am close to the truth.
The problem is that the initial output is usually based on the fact that I write at a time where I feel it is great to do so. That might actually be during the day when I have other things to do. But since I figure within a few days that that is not the way to do it, I start pushing the writing to something like 20:30 at night. Guess what: Really bad idea!
I am moving the writing, which is supposed to be something where I want to focus on a topic and work highly concentrated, to a time of the day where I have barely any real energy left. How is that supposed to work out well? You would not go on a trip from Sweden to Sicily in Italy with a car running low on fuel, would you?!
The obvious thing to happen is that you start feeling the burden of writing against your inner energy level warning. That is impossible to keep up for a longer period of time. The first thing to die is the enthusiasm (now you are down to weekly posts) and it is followed by his buddy motivation (welcome monthly posting).
The plan to tackle writer’s block
Since I am training myself differently this time around, I hope to do better with the posts in my various blogs. The key seems to be that you form a habit for your writing. The writing needs to be an essential part of your daily routine. As advised in many publications, seanwes.com was the latest I came across, one needs to connect the writing, which is supposed to be a natural thing during the day, to an existing habit or repeatedly present thing during the day. In my case: After breakfast.
So for a while I have started doing a writing training with lots of files in my diary so far, where I learn to write and pay attention to things. But the most important thing is that I do it at the same every day. Saturday and Sunday are usually a bit different, actually a bit later, but I do write just after breakfast.
As I have learned there are so many things to stop you. You name it, I have been stopped by it. The Wordpress looks mediocre? Work on the theme and ignore the writing. The topic is not perfect yet? Think about another one. Bye bye writing. The Words sound lame. Edit the texts while writing and time is over before you notice it.
So what helps is to get your topic ready before you actually start writing about it. Plan your outline for the text. Templates help with that. In case you need to research things, plan ahead and research before you sit down to write it up. Need images? Get them first, or decide to get them after having finished the text but not while writing.
Write down your ideas in an outline and let it sink in. You will subconsciously work on the text already and notice that you will be ready once you get to sit down to write. Your outline is great to dump into your document before you start. This prevents you from fearing the empty screen.
Show up daily, no matter what happens
Well, I have not spent months so far, but I do have noticed one thing after a doyen days of writing at the same time: It gets easier and you do not feel like having to work hard against yourself to start the process of sitting down and typing.
The daily routine has helped a lot. During the weekend (it is Saturday right after breakfast while I am typing this) things feel a bit different from the Monday through Friday routine but I am getting there as well. It is like brushing your teeth. You do not think about it anymore, you just brush a few times every day. And yes, it is often after a meal.
Train your writing like a professional athlete
What I have learned so far is the fact that my writing has improved in terms of speed. In addition to that I get into the zone a lot easier already. It does not feel like the annoyance anymore which it used to. The brain says: Ah, okay, it’s that time again. Alright, let’s go. Before the training it was more like: Oh dear, typing again? Alright, I guess I have to. But should we not rather pay attention to this … or that … or? Shut up brain! A brain is smart. It knows when it has lost it’s fight and will accept it’s fate after all.
Outlets and opportunities
For me this is a chance: I have a few places to start working on in terms of my writing. You are here at the first location. There is my interior design blog Stilheimat or my Gin Tonic Blog. With my buddy Dennis I am currently working on promoting the idea of uiengineering. Many areas that need texts. So with variety to write about, a daily routine to keep me going and the help of friends who I have asked to tell me to keep going, I am certain that there is enough to get me writing regularly. Not all of it will be public, but I will have something to do every morning.
See you tomorrow
The best thing by the way, is the fact that you have a big fat tick on your daily to-do-list right after breakfast. How is that for motivation? Looking forward to writing here and for you soon.