[how to keep on blogging]
A blog used to take me days and days to finish. My process is 12 steps, which I think is a funny coincidence. I’ve never been in a 12-step program but if you discover one for procrastination, let me know.
Ok, here’s how it went:
- I had an idea, usually when I was supposed to be thinking about something else.
- I jotted down some thoughts for the idea on a napkin or the notes app on my iPhone.
- I came back to the idea another time when I was supposed to be working on something else. I either decided that nobody would be interested in it, or that maybe a few people might actually like it, and I should proceed.
- I wrote a very crappy first draft.
- I got disgusted and abandoned it for a day or two. Or weeks.
- I came back and revised it for a few hours. (Repeat this step a few times.)
- I printed it and read it out loud to myself.
- I tweaked it some more, then ran spell check. My favorite thing is when it catches a fragment and I can hit “Ignore Rule.” Because I love fragments!
- I cut and pasted the “finished” (ha) blog text into my WordPress dashboard.
- I previewed the blog several times in WordPress. Because I’m a visual person, I often tweaked the text just based on how it looked on the blog. I also tended to notice other mistakes I didn’t catch before because I was rushing. Every time.
- Finally, I got tired of the process and decided to publish.
- I found more mistakes after it was published. Nearly every time.
This was a tiresome process but I’ve stuck with blogging for a couple of reasons, the most important being that I started it. You can’t just abandon a business blog, especially if you’re a writer. Also, I kept thinking it would get easier. And not too long ago, it actually did. I recently wrote two blogs in 30 minutes each, from concept to completion. It still took some time to upload and review in WordPress, but I didn’t need to do much tweaking.
I asked myself why it was suddenly so easy and “heard” this answer:
I was passionate about the topics.
They were based on my immediate experience and I had a strong opinion about them. I’m usually not forceful in my opinions but with a blog, you can take a stand and then sit back and let others debate it in the comments section. You don’t have to be right; you just have to be able to express your thoughts. That frustrates some critics of blogging, but my blog is not journalism, research, or rocket science. Each post is just the beginning–hopefully—of a conversation.
Another answer could be that I just had a few moments of grace or inspiration. That explanation is OK, but the other explanation gives me hope that blogging will continue to get easier and be more rewarding.
What’s been your experience with blogging—or what obstacles have kept you from starting?
Photo Credit: Karin Dalziel (karindalziel) on Flickr