Writing can be a great way to release ideas stuck in your head, but it can also be overwhelming when you feel you have nothing to share at the moment. Personally, I try to blog three times a week because if I didn’t force myself to do it unless I had to, I probably would not do it at all. Pushing myself to write often and consistently has opened up ideas in my head that I didn’t necessarily know were there until I used writing as a medium to not only express my thoughts but as a tool for learning.
But what has helped me keep up a consistent practice of blogging over the last seven years? Here are a few things that I do to keep up my inspiration and idea levels from shifting to “empty.”
- Read other blogs and books. Daily, I make time to check out blogs I subscribe to through the app InoReader, as well as looking at articles on my phone through Flipboard. This gives me access to current ideas but also sparks something in my thinking, and I use my blog to dig deeper. I also have a ton of books that I have on my Kindle app that I read and use the highlighter function to capture quotes that I can go to later.
This process reminds me of the importance of content curation in the process of creation. If I only look to myself for ideas, I will run out soon.
I would also encourage you to read books and articles that challenge your views. It can not only push your thinking, but it can help you solidify an argument that you have toward an idea and give you what I refer to as a “360 Degree View” of an idea.
- Use your notes app. I have my phone with me at all times, but I have turned off all notifications. This has been better for my mental health and reminds me that I go to my phone when I am interested, not when my phone pulls me toward it. One of the benefits for blogging when carrying your phone around constantly is access to some type of notes app. It is like taking pen and paper with you at all times. When an idea pops in my head, or I get into a conversation that I would like to dig deeper into, I write the title “Blog” into a note, and then share a few ideas or quotes that I will explore when it is a good time to do so. Sometimes my ideas are written in the middle of the night and are incoherent, but most of them I can make some sense out of
- Fight through your drafts. A lot of people tell me that they have so many posts that are sitting in their draft posts that they started but just can’t seem to finish. Here is the thing; a blog post doesn’t have to have a final grand idea, but can be an exploration of thoughts and can be posted as a rough idea. When that happens, ask questions of the people reading your posts and see if the comments help you to finish the concept, or even sometimes, spark a new path to explore. Don’t let your drafts sit there…push through.
A few reasons I blog (in no particular order and not necessarily separated from one another):
- To share my thinking.
- To develop my thinking.
- To archive my thinking.
If I would have known the impact blogging would have had on my life, personally and professionally, when I first started, it would have been a no-brainer to start. It has helped me work through ideas and pushed my thinking through the art of open-reflection.
Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. Find a routine and work your way through the writing process. The effort now will lead to tremendous rewards later.
PS. Any bloggers out there that are reading this, I would love to know what your tips are that help you push through and blog?
Source: George Couros