Writing, on a consistent basis, is not an easy thing and unfortunately is one of those things that I have realized is completely different for each person. Despite having read many how blogs and books on how best to approach this, at the end of the day you need to find your own path.
A few weeks ago I started experimenting with writing a week’s worth of work at once as I proved to myself that I could do this from an airport when focussed on nothing but this for an hour and half.
So the process…
- Music – Not always required depending on the content, but it does provide something of a background that stops me from random internet surfing as yes, my brain does jump everywhere (which is probably evident) and I do sometimes find myself writing a post and then thinking – “Hey what was that cool scene in Searching For Bobby Fischer? How did that end?” – and off I would go. Something light, uplifting is good to keep the feel airy.
- Clothing – Yes, this is legit. There exists a 100% correlation between being comfortable and writing. I personally enjoy the no socks, sweat pants and super hero t-shirt variety. Tight clothes seem to constrain the words.
- Organization – This is the biggest piece and this is where in the past 4 months I have really worked to figure this one out. I use Trello for all my blogging and have broken things up into a variety of cards that start out as – “Individual Ideas”, “Blogs Shipped”, “To Do”, “Ongoing Series” and a few others. For blogging, “Individual Ideas” is the big one, where I have Trello on my phone, laptop and home computer. So wherever I have a thought, I stop write it down (usually a one-liner) and then go to it later. It’s a great system because A) I get over that “what was that idea I had” and B) it takes 5 seconds to write that one line down and come back to it later. Also, with Trello, I love moving the completed cards to “Blogs Shipped”. Best of All – Trello is free.
- Time – Over the past month, I have broken it down to 2 hours of time being needed to write 5 blog articles that are not technical. Technical articles and those that I reference take much more time, so these ones I schedule outside of the weekly schedule and drop in wherever I would like.
My worry at the beginning of this was that the schedule would become too formulaic or robotic, but I am finding it is getting me into a groove that if I do at a time when nothing else is going on, I am able to free up that weekly time for other pursuits.
I’m still perfecting the process with labels, et al, but it’s coming together. The ideas are not always perfect, but for now, it’s the writing and getting them out there that matters that I’m trying to focus on.
Want more? Check out my book Code Your Way Up – available as an eBook or Paperback on Amazon (CAN and US). I’m also the co-host of the Remotely Prepared podcast.