Posted in Blogging

Blogging: The things that help me to sit down and write

At the time of writing, it has been 3 months since I started this blog and there are still things I want to tweak and add to it, so it is still very much in its infancy, but I am enjoying this journey very much. However, it has been 3 weeks since my last blog entry which makes me a bit uneasy. Granted, I have been putting my efforts into renovating my house (at the flooring stage at the moment) and don’t have much energy and motivation to write in the evenings, but I also realise that I am somewhat off the tracks and need to get myself back on it. 

Not looking too shabby (floor included).

Now, I may have periods like these when I don’t, or can’t, sit down and write something, and I just need to accept that, but I hope I don’t leave it for too long, otherwise I fear this blog will turn into a lonely, inactive place like my Instagram account. Having said that though, leaving the blog alone for a week or two allows past entries to shine.

If you are blogging for the first time or suffering from a lack of motivation to write, I have noted down some traits in my routine that have helped me to knuckle down and write that you may wish to incorporate into your routine. I’d love to hear yours as well, so do get in touch and comment below.

I have created a list of topics and possible entries I want to research, reflect on and write about for the blog. This helps me to be a little bit organised but also adds a sense of excitement to get going. I also highlight the entries in the list in green to signify that the entry is finished, yellow to mean it is in the progression stage, and red to mean I have hit a wall with the research or writing. 

I often like to write a few entries in tandem. I’m not a big fan of multi-tasking, but I don’t think that truly applies to writing three or more blogs as you are concentrating on just one for 20 minutes, say, then switching to another for a certain amount of time when you feel you can’t write anything more substantial. 

Setting flexible progression targets for each entry also motivates me to get my ideas down on paper. For example:

Next entry for the blog – 60% to 90% or completion

Second Entry – 30% to 60 %

Third Entry – Start to 30%

Leaving a blog entry unedited or near finished at the end of your writing session, enables you to get straight back to where you left off the very next day with relative ease and not much motivation required. Creating these diving boards for yourself, I think, are crucial to maintaining good writing habits.

A lot is said about picking the right time of day to sit down and write. I usually write in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings if I have had a light day. If you have a lot of important things to do on a particular day, don’t feel guilty that you didn’t get around to sit down and write; it’s important to be realistic with your time management. Writing in the mornings propels me into having a great day. If it sounds good to you, or not, give it a try for a week and see if it boosts your mood and productivity for the day. 

Nerd alert! I often read different blogs and listen to podcasts and jot down and make a list of any useful vocabulary – nouns, collocations, idioms – I find interesting or seldom use day-to-day and productively in my writing. I then push myself to use these words in my blog entries to get me writing, but to improve the quality of it for the readers.

Speaking of readers, looking at the traffic your website gets, or lack thereof, can give you a real kick up the back side to knuckle down and get writing. I don’t really care about that side of the equation too much, but I know some of my readers like what I write, so I don’t want to disappoint them too much by my inactivity. 

Finally, Let’s talk about reward systems. What are yours? I have during and after rewards. I love to sit down with a nice, hot cup of coffee, Yuki (my dog) keeping me company, and listening to some good music. After writing for a bit, I take a short break and watch something on YouTube or surf the net. Reward systems are really important. They get you doing the task you want to get done. Excessive rewards and long rest periods can break your workflow, so resist those urges as best as you can.

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