Tuesday, November 17, 2015

10 Ways to Beat Blogging Procrastination

I raced home after work to take care of the dog and go to my (unusually early) hair appointment. From there I went to pick up my half of the farm share. I wrote a post but found it totally uninspired (and it was illustrated with a horrible selfie). I couldn't do that to you.

So I checked BlogHer to see what the November writing prompts were. Meh. But I kept poking around and found "75 Writing Prompts to Avoid Blogger Burnout."

Ironically I chose "10 Ways to Beat Blogging Procrastination" because if there's one thing I know, it's procrastination.

1. Plan. I know that it is easier said than done. Here we are more than halfway through November, and my plan is basically WIP Wednesday and Farm Share Friday and nothing in between. I'm getting to it! Next. Really.
2. Write When Inspiration Strikes. When you think of a good idea, write it up and put it in the can. Some people will tell you to keep a notebook of ideas, but I think if you've got something in your head, get it all out. Use it when you need it. (Unfortunately because I fail at #1, I usually need whatever I can get out of my head!)
3. Prewrite. It's probably unsurprising that I would recommend the same techniques I recommended to students when I taught writing. Sometimes what you most need to do is untangle your ideas and there are lots of helpful techniques for that: clustering, free writing, brainstorming. (If you are unfamiliar with these techniques, you can google most of those and helpful writing centers at colleges and universities across the country have explained them.)
4. Schedule. Sit down at the same time every day and do your post. Just sit there in front of the computer, open a composition screen, and go. (If you mostly blog about your works in progress, be sure to schedule your picture taking too.)
5. Promise. Tell yourself you can have 15 minutes of fun if you do 15 minutes of writing first. Then when the 15 minutes of fun are over do another 15 minutes of writing. Use a timer.
6. Ban Perfectionism. Perfect is the enemy of the good. And "done is good." Yeah, just look at this pile of doodoo.
7. Change Your Attitude. If you think you have nothing interesting to say, you don't. Believe! If you think writing is too hard...well, you know what things you are thinking that block your progress. Take a good hard look.
8. Do It First. I took this project management training eons ago, and one of the tips they had for getting things done that you were putting off (for me it was always phone calls) was to do them first. Your success was supposed to propel you through your day...or something. Another approach is to schedule the hardest tasks for when you have the most mental energy.
9. Time Yourself. Ages ago, I read the Slob Sisters book Get Your Act Together. They pointed out that it only took about 15 minutes to unload and reload your dishwasher. "Ridiculous!" I thought. So I timed myself. They were right! Do you know how much easier it is to do something you know will only take a short time? (That's how I got myself to go on a roller coaster at Six Flags once: the whole ride lasted for 45 seconds. You can do nearly anything for 45 seconds.)
10. Change Your Environment. If you can't get to writing if you're at home (because doing dishes, say, is more enticing than writing a dissertation) go somewhere that will eliminate the distractions. When I was freelancing, I'd go to a coffee shop (seriously unique, I know. I was the only one!).

Well, I hope this helps you get to your blog. Or gets you through November. Or me. Getting me through November would be good too!


Pamela said...

Great tips. If I have more than one idea, I will write a draft and schedule it to post in the future, so when I don't have a topic, there is already a post. there are days when my head is empty and I haven't made enough progress on any project to post about it.

Brigitte said...

Great tips. But for me my blogging mojo always depends on my crafting mojo. Nice progress on my stitching usually means a new blog post.

Robin in Virginia said...

I like your tips. They can be used in daily life activities; they don't have to be just limited to writing.

Berit said...

I enjoyed this post! I'm sick and pretty bleh, so reading about things like simple steps which produce proactiveness and accomplishment was very lifting!

Bea said...

I could use a few of these. Thanks!

Julie said...

Enjoyed reading your tips, thanks.

Margaret said...

Been reading but not commenting -- sorry! There was a terrible accident not that long ago around here that involved a car being on a rail. No way would I ever take a chance by going across a track like that. Yikes!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

I am a terrible procrastinator! I have all the best intentions of doing things straight away but I have to be in the right mood for certain things. Yesterday was an amazing correspondence day, I wrote cards and notes I have been putting off for ages and paid the woman at the Post Office's wages for a couple of hours with the amount I spent on stamps!

For my blog I have six scheduled SAL posts thoughout the month so that leaves me three free form posts to slot inbetween. It keeps me on track nicely.