Yup, that’s me on top of a mountain.
I started this blog In early September 2015, and up until now, my last post was November 26th, 2015.
I essentially started up, did all the hard work, wrote some (hopefully) useful content, wrote a book, built an email list, built a social media following and all that good stuff – only to stop writing after not even 3 complete months.
Why did I stop?!
I received some great comments and ended up meeting some awesome new people in the process.
Well, it’s been a pretty wild (I use the term lightly) 6 months!
I have been BU-SY.
With web design clients hiding around every corner, weekly Skype meetings with other bloggers and one BIG project on the go; it’s safe to say I’ve had my hands full.
I have a very exciting announcement coming in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned to my Twitter for that! This will be game changing for bloggers and their readers alike.
But basically, the long and short of it is that I was swamped. I didn’t feel like I had time to write (even though I probably did) and for a short while, I could barely string a full thought together even if I tried.
Anyway – I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about where I went wrong, and how you can stay motivated to keep on writing!
When I stopped, I have to admit, it was largely because I felt overwhelmed. Maybe I had time, but I felt like I didn’t.
I felt obligated to blog, like I “had to” and therefore, I procrastinated until it was too late to do anything about it. I wanted to provide all this information, I wanted to make progress, and I wanted the blog to be a success.
So much so, that I didn’t realize how successful it was already becoming.
A lot of pro bloggers advocate making a blogging schedule and sticking to a routine. BUT if you’re not that kind of person, you’re just not that kind of person.
Feeling obligated or pressured to do something, isn’t the feeling most of us are looking for, and so it’s the most obvious deterrent when it comes to blogging. Aren’t we all looking for freedom? Whatever that means…
Some of us find the method in the madness and a set schedule simply isn’t going to work.
So find what works for you. If you’re a “by the minute” guy or gal, then do that. If you’re a “whenever I’m in the mood” person, then do that.
I always try to keep a list of potential blog topics available.
I find that deciding on a solid topic is the hardest part of any blog post. Once I start typing, I pretty much won’t stop until the post is done.
If you already know what you’re writing about, you’ll find that the words flow much easier.
Always keep an eye out for topics – they are everywhere. Here are a few examples;
Once you have a topic idea, try to write down at least 5 points you can talk about. I usually use the “Notes” app on my iPhone, but you should use whatever you have to hand.
Lay the title out, and then the 5 points (or more) in your word editor. Then go ahead and try to write a paragraph or more about each of those points – and voila! You now have a solid blog post foundation.
You started this for a reason.
Maybe it was to help others, maybe it was for your own peace of mind, or maybe it was just to get inconceivably rich on passive income (most likely; don’t worry, we’re all friends here).
Whenever you feel yourself descending despairingly into a blogging slump, think back to why you started doing this in the first place.
Whatever your reason, keep it in the front of mind and give yourself that self-motivational boost you need!
This is one of my favourites.
Everyone knows that going to the gym is easier when you have a gym buddy.
Why? Because you’re now accountable for yourself and, at the same time, responsible for motivating your buddy.
But, your buddy is there for you too.
When you’re at that point where you’re about to bitch out halfway through your set, your buddy is there to yell at you; then watch you struggle in pain, almost in tears, as you attempt to push out 2 more reps… no? Just me?
Anyway, it’s the same idea for a blogging buddy. You keep them motivated, they keep you motivated, and you both get stronger because of it.
Friends don’t let friends skip blog day.Friends don't let friends skip blog day. Click To Tweet
Like the sound of having a blogging buddy? How about having 20,000 of them?
Blogging groups on Facebook are a great way to adopt a new blogging buddy, or to work as a group as opposed to being alone.
You can search Facebook for relevant groups, or you can even make your own!
Sometimes I prefer to make my own, purely due to the control you have over who is in it. If people aren’t participating, or are being abusive, you can kick them to the curb.
So, I know I said earlier that some people just aren’t “schedule” oriented.
HOWEVER, some people are.
If you know that having a schedule works for you, then you should implement one. Spend 30 minutes or so deciding how long and when you want to write posts for.
Nothing is set in stone (unless you want it to be) and we all know life throws other obligations into the mix on a daily basis.
So write your schedule with a “this may change” attitude in mind.
REMEMBER: Consistency is important, but your personal life is important-er… Right?If you're not happy, your writing won't be either. Click To Tweet
I find that I write best when my mood dictates so.
I don’t know what effects it, I don’t know why this happens, but sometimes I just get in that mood. In fact, I have found that I can go 6 months without writing a thing, then all of a sudden crack out a 1,500 word post in an evening – weird.
I haven’t felt this mood for a long time, so I wanted to capitalize on it. Although, hopefully it doesn’t take another 6 months to come back…
If you don’t work on a schedule, you’ll find this mood will come up more often. When you try to force it, you’ll find it almost impossible to do so.
Take breaks from blogging.
And I’m not talking about having 15 minutes to grab a drink and look out the window; I mean literally days or weeks between even thinking about writing posts.
Writing is great. For myself and many others it’s a powerful release for the mind. But, you can also have too much of a good thing.
No matter how much you enjoy something, doing it too often and feeling pressured to do so isn’t going to make you want to continue doing it.
Make sure you write as often as YOU feel comfortable, and don’t get sucked into the over-ambitious schedules of the pro bloggers.
Take everything in moderation.
My final tip to get inspired and stay motivated while blogging, is to become the reader.
Go and read your favourite blogs, get excited about a topic, get angry about a topic – feel emotions. Then take that and use it to fuel your own writing.
This is actually what stirred me into writing this very post. I’ve known for month that I should write something, but had no motivation to do so.
Today I listened to a podcast (okay, so I was a listener, not a reader) that made me find my inspiration again. That podcast was by the BBR Show – I recommend you check it out!
Whether you’re a reader, a listener, a watcher or whatever – participate in other people’s work.
There are lots of ways to stay motivated, but at the end of the day it all comes down to YOU. Make sure you do what you enjoy and make sure you’re doing this for the right reasons.
So what now for the Tom Watts Blog?
I’m going to be aiming to write AT LEAST one post per month – but, as per my rules above, I’m not forcing myself to do it. If I’m enjoying writing, I will do it. If I’m not enjoying it, I will not.
My next post will be up in around 2 weeks (unless the creative juices are flowing before then) and will be about the launch of my new project #BlogAtom – so stay tuned for that!
Until next time, friends…
Leave me a comment if you found this motivational; and let me know what you do to stay motivated when blogging?
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