A new acquaintance recently started to get into the habit of daily blogging, and she sent over some excellent questions to get my thoughts. Here are my answers (in case there are more writers out there considering the habit):
1. What is the greatest challenge you face when producing a blog everyday?
The challenge is just maintaining the energy and discipline to write in the evening. I typically write at night after work, when the creative resistance is telling me to go to bed, browse Twitter, read, or watch videos instead. Some people who write in the morning may not have this challenge, and the challenge really is not that great.
2. What is the greatest reward you’ve gained?
Writing has clarified and solidified my thinking on a great many things. I’ve become a clearer thinker and a more articulate lover and defender of the things I care about, from exercise to philosophy to fiction. Writing has also just opened up some great doors for me to contribute to causes I care about (republished articles at fee.org, for instance, or writings on the Praxis blog) and communicate ideas for people I want to build connections with.
3. How do you come up with your ideas?
Many of my ideas come from reflective and/or daydreaming time while driving, or else from an experience at work that makes me passionate or angry. I think about some kind of short insight about human nature, about work, or about the world, and then I start to flesh out a few sentences I might say around that idea. That’s how it starts. The key for me has been to quickly record ideas, whether through a selfie video or on a piece of paper.
4. Do you schedule your topics?
No, not really. Sometimes I’ll have a few days of topics in advance if I’m in a particularly generative mood one day. But even then, I’ll sometimes deviate from my loose schedule. I have a lot of ideas that go into draft mode and stay there. Maybe one day I’ll revisit them.
5. What advice would you give someone considering a month/year blog challenge?
Don’t pressure yourself to write too long, too completely, or too thematically. Reward yourself and train your mind for consistency above all else. If you decide to write a 10000-word post about politics one day and a 100-word post about your dog the next, that’s totally OK. The point is creativity, not perfection.
6. How do you live differently now as opposed to before you started blogging daily?
My days and nights are typically more purposeful. Alongside getting one beneficial habit rolling (writing), I’ve started a bunch of others (journaling, light morning exercise, recently Codecademy lessons). Doing the writing so consistently showed me that I can do anything if I am willing to work.
7. How has this benefited your professional life?
Writing has made me a much clearer thinker and much better prepared to express my ideas in meetings, in emails, and in public speaking settings. I don’t have to worry about being caught in an unarticulate state too often.
Writing has also made me more of an asset to my marketing team, with a better editor’s eye and more trust from my colleagues in my writing skills.
Finally, writing has connected me or enhanced my relationship(s) with coworkers and my professional network, allowing me to bond over ideas with cool people.
8. What have been some areas that you’ve studied that have produced great blogs?
Any area of interest can yield good blogs – and “studying” per se isn’t required. You can write about stuff you learn, true, but you can also write about things you experience. For me those things have included dancing, jiu jitsu, running, writing, working at a startup (work is a brilliant place to gain insights you can write about), watching movies, visiting places, going to events and concerts and plays, etc.
9. How much time do you dedicate to writing each day?
I usually spend only about 20-30 minutes or less on writing per day.
10. What resources would you recommend for how to write blogs and blog topics?
For blog ideas, use your life as your biggest resource. Pay attenion and always be prepared to write down ideas. Don’t look for “blog topics” – write about things you care about.
Photo by Gregor Meier on Unsplash