During the early days of my writing career, I ran across a cartoon of a boy staring out a classroom window. The caption read, “The problem with being a writer is that when you’re daydreaming, no one believes you when you say you’re working.” I’m sure most writers have felt that way many times.
The problem is, writing your blog does take time, and part of that time is spent “thinking.” With the holidays upon us and the craziness that goes along with the season, many bloggers may be wondering, “How can I find time to blog?” The answer to that question is, “You won’t.” Time isn’t lost, so therefore, searching for it will get you know where. The secret to achieving your writing goals during busy times (or anytime, for that matter) is to not find time or make time, but to TAKE time.
If you’re old enough to remember “Conan the Destroyer,” recall the scene where the princess asks Zula (played by Grace Jones) how to get a man. Zula’s response was classic, “Grab him, and take him!” That’s what you’ll have to do when you’re ready to blog — TAKE the time. The remainder of this post will offer tips on how to do that.
Everyone gets 24 hours a day. It’s what we choose to do with it that makes a difference. First of all, eliminate or save for special occasions things that do nothing toward helping you achieve your goals:
- Video Games
- Non-research-related Internet surfing
I almost never watch TV, but I do like certain sporting events, so those are the only programs I watch. I schedule them into my work plan. I rarely play games but I do find myself caught up watching hilarious YouTube videos too often. If you have a weakness such as that, use it as a reward and set a timer. Then, it’s back to work!
Knowing what to blog about has helped me tremendously. Develop a flexible editorial calendar for your blog. It sure beats staring at a blank screen. Looking through images spurs my imagination, so if I know the general topic for the blog post I’m planning to write, I’ll browse through iStockPhoto or some other image source and often an image will stick out that helps me narrow my topic down to a specific item. Then, the writing part of the blog comes quickly.
Master “half-writing.” When I get a solid idea for a blog post, either through research, reading, or browsing through photos, I’ll go ahead and start the post and save the draft. Sometimes I only write a sentence or two. Then I let it swirl around in my subconscious for a few days. When I sit down to actually write the post, the words seem to just flow. Sometimes I have three or four blog posts in draft form, waiting for me to finish them.
Keep your notebook handy. Jot down ideas as they come to you. Write snippets of your posts as you think of them. I kept a travel blog during a recent 16-state trip with my daughter. We crammed so much into each day, there was no way I’d remember everything I wanted to blog about, even by the end of the day. So, I jotted notes about the highlights and posted them each night from the hotel room.
When you do sit down to write, turn off your phone and any other gadget that may interrupt you. Close the door. Disconnect your Internet cable if you have to. Make sure the dog has gone outside and has food & water. I have to give my dog a rawhide chew before every writing session to keep her entertained, and sometimes I hold her on my lap. I know, it’s my fault for spoiling her, but when I’m ready to write, she seems to know to sit still and that it’s not play time. In other words, do whatever is necessary to take your writing time.
If you have ideas that help you take the time to blog, please share them with the rest of us!
Until next time,