During a discussion with a friend of mine last week, the subject of New Year’s resolutions came up and she told me that her big goal for 2017 was to finally give her blog the attention it deserved. My friend is a very smart and capable person so it surprised me that she was having trouble keeping fresh content on her website.
“I always start pretty strong, but then it fizzles out. I lose interest and can’t think of anything creative to write.” was she told me.
The funny thing about this conversation, is it followed an almost word for word exchange I had with another friend of mine, only she couple it with the excuse of not having enough time to write.
At this point, I have to admit that I am not a writing coach and I am in no way suggesting to have all of the answers for struggling writers, but I do know what has helped me; Commitment to Consistency.
Every book I’ve ever read about becoming a professional speaker has suggested publishing content, but it took years before I got myself to do it regularly. I would start a blog, stick with it for a while and then give it up. “No one was reading it anyway”, I justified.
That was before I read the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**Ck. In it, author Mark Munson made the point that the cure for writer’s block is 200 crappy words a day. It doesn’t matter if anyone reads it, crank out 200 crappy words a day and eventually, you will find something worth sharing.
I expanded this to 500 crappy words every day, which is the length of my blog posts and dedicated myself to cranking out 500 crappy words every day.
And then something interesting happened: I found my voice.
At this point, I have to admit that I’m not a great writer, but when I write, I write for myself, in my own voice. I write to solve problems that I’m experiencing and when I do, I almost always find a solution.
When I made the commitment to writing 500 words every day, I began to find reasons to write. I keep a list in Google Keep of ideas for future posts and when I have some white space on my calendar, I flesh them out in my mind. I’m, always the first one to admit that my writing is far from perfect, but by doing it consistently, I’ve found that my writing muscle has expanded to meet my expectation.
I shared with my friends that my cure to staying motivated to write has been to commit simply to doing it. To keep showing up and putting 500 words on the screen and then hitting post. They aren’t always great, but they are helping me solve my problems and I’m certain if they commit to being consistent, they’ll find their voices too.
If your goal for 2017 is to write, be it books, blogs or articles, it’s been my experience that when I made the commitment, I found the time and when I am consistent, I find creativity. Maybe your experience will be different, but I’d challenge you to give it a try.