Earlier this month, I set out to write daily blog post here. It’s 13 days in and I don’t have 13 posts. Clearly the target is far too ambitious for me to tackle it with my sheer willpower alone. My daily structure has yet able to intertwine writing to be done on consistent basis.
All is not lost. Throughout this year, if I can learn anything about habits; it would be to start small and to be consistent. Hence, I’m recording the findings of my journey so far:
1. My writing time is in the morning.
It’s clear now that my productive hours of the day is in the morning. You would have the highest level of willpower and it is the most likely time for me to tackle bulk and hard projects. On the contrary though I can hardly do anything at night! Come 9.30PM and I would be freaking mad should I am forced to stay awake any longer. The challenge is though, to be able to fit this writing time in between running and Insanity (some body workout that’s also a project in itself) that I need to be doing. I figured now, looking retrospectively, that both writing and exercising can co-exist (sound like a true dove am I? Trying to avoid conflict!). I just need to fix the time allocated for both activity and decide: which one need to be done first? Currently I’m experimenting with both. Writing is the harder evil and exercising can become the rewards after a good work done. Then again, writing after exercising is more productive as I can let the sweat dry while writing. So, it’s not fixed now and you can do anyway you want, Ilham.
2. Solid 2 hours are required for producing a finished content.
I’ve read here that unless 2 hours are being invested for writing a post, your post is junk. Of course it discounted how efficient you are and the amount of homework that you have already done prior to start writing. But, it still strike me hard. I can write anything and just winging it to get by for the day, but it will hardly be thoughtful, not even to myself. I don’t want the writings to be unappealing. And my barometer is simple, the writing should be able to lift at least one person for it to be considered good (I’ll need to upgrade this level though since Simon Sinek criticized this line of thinking. You preparing just for one! For one! The level must be to low). Shut up Simon, I’m just about to inculcate writing here. Let me had the anxiety over perfection a little bit later, please.
So, let’s just say 2 hours are a good indicator of whether I am putting up somewhat acceptable content. It includes drafting from a theme title, figuring the post structure (is it a list post, again? that would be lame), main statements, writing it, proof reading, and lastly publish. This did not include advertising the post on various outlets, as I am still insecure. The big but here, is I don’t have 2 hours in the morning! Perhaps, a revision in my project statement is required. Should I be expected to produce daily anyway?
3. Insufficient System. Yes, system.
So I’ve got the period (in the morning) and the duration (2 hours within X days). The statement in it itself lacks specifications. I don’t really dread this as it would be the things which I would have to figure out along the way.
- What would be the best process of writing that will ease me into flowing state efficiently?
- Should I proof read longer? (I historically make hundreds of grammatical errors and sometimes they slip into the published post!).
- Some days wordpress is just suck and I can’t connect, what would be the alternative? (true for places with no Wifi connections as well).
- the blog is overly minimal, no Archives and oversimplified About page (which add some layer of mystery in it, don’t you think?), some times I don’t have tags and categories. I will admit this is not my focus but it will greatly impact the audience’s experience.
Like I said I don’t dread these as much. So there’s no answer for all of the questions. I’ve just begun and my focus should be only on getting the habits of writings in place before seeking for the illusive perfection.
4. Lack of centralized Topic Pool.
I realized early that everything around me can be used as inspiration for writing. I will diligently input the thoughts in my Iphone notes, and my Dream Book, but they were everywhere. For instance, the thoughts I get can be located in Finance. At other time it goes to Kick Ass Year note. I haven’t got the chance to scrutinize and make it centralized so I can just head to one reference. I know it’s tiny issue but when you are squeezing every minute of your time this become the hold-up when I struggled to decide what would be the best topics to be written for the day. I’m thinking of having a specific time just to do the filtering from all different sources. Squeeze in from the already packed weekend? Let’s see.
5. Compliance rate is 67% (8 days out of possible 11). What gives?
It certainly isn’t bad considering my rate in the previous months is so embarrassing I’d rather not to quote the number. My heart knows that I’m heading to the right direction. I like to feel the accomplishment however small you might see it every time I clicked the publish button. It’s my way to connect with my create zone, and helping in any small way to sooth and speak to anyone who cares to hear. So, I’m not going to reduce the frequency drastically yet, but I will need to settle at writing every other day. I felt in doing that, it would balance the quality (2 hours) and quantity (repetitive enough so I can exercise the writing muscle). Time to update my lift frequency.
In summary, there are definitely a lot of other points that I need to learn on but the points above are the most crucial for the time being. I know I just had to work my butt off, consistently over a long period of time. And, I must admit I don’t know my true-north with regards to writing, but it won’t stop me.
I just want to do it. Let me be me.