How To Cure A Writing Hangover
At the beginning of March, I set out to post a new blog post every day until the end of the month. That would equal 31 posts for the month. 3-1 posts. That's a lot of original content to come up, write about, set images to and promote.
And as I got into the project, I found it harder and harder to meet my deadlines.
It was thrilling to attempt that much content - I even planned (and had) extra posts written, just sitting around as drafts as just-in-case scenarios that may have come up.
And I still failed.
Still, when thinking about it, I wrote a ton of words, but the failure to miss a publishing day felt much like a hangover.
I wrote about how to set and achieve goals, time management tips and how to improve your productivity by defining your passion, commitment and establishing discipline.
There were posts about how planning is a central cinderblock to success.
Again, I still failed.
It was an ambitious goal of mine, especially knowing my personal weakness. It was a fun ride while it lasted, a little too fun. And by failing - even by a couple of minutes as I did on Saturday (posting at 12:03 am Sunday) - I didn't write yesterday because of a writing "hangover."
Confidence Is Experiential: How Doing Builds Our Ability To Do It Again
even though research suggests that by announcing my goals, I had less of a chance to pull it off.
But there were a number of things I learned along the way that will help me continue the challenge, or in my next one.
For example, in trying to be something, I'm not - a more prolific writer - I learned the power of planning, outlining, and still fell short.
Yup, I'm a slow writer - slow in the sense that I like to churn ideas around in my head for a while, making it condense and solidify for great effect and flavor - it's a lot like making ice cream. If you go to fast, the ice cream doesn't freeze, too slow and the ice cream becomes too frozen, like ICED cream.
For me, my style is that I like to gestate an idea for days before committing it to paper. Thinking about the factors that will allow the story to have a solid foundation, timeline, and a complete arc to the concept takes me a while. Like a great pot roast is best at low temperatures and over time, my writing is like slow cooking.
Think about the foundations of your posts as needing to include:
Foundations of A Great Blog Post:
- WHO: Who is going to read this post?
- WHAT: What is the idea you're trying to convey?
- WHY: Why should they care about your post?
- HOW: How is the post going to help your reader?
Once these foundations are established, you can then go about shaping your article.
Thinking about your reader and what idea you have to share with them, as well as why they should care and how the idea/topic/concept will help them, will go a long way to helping you, the writer, stay on task and create something worthwhile.
Finally, it's awesome you want to share with the world.
Trying to make sense of those people and events around us, about our existence and what it means, are the motivations behind many artists and why they get into the arts in general.
But understand, the reader can be selfish. So tell them what they can benefit from and why they should care. It's by showing them your work, your process and that you're interested in helping them that will make the biggest difference in your writing.
Remember, enjoy yourself, but don't overindulge. It's not about you. If you make it about yourself, you may end up with a hangover of sorts.