Why I haven’t posted in a while (and what I plan to do about it)
Have you ever started a blog, a YouTube channel or a Facebook page with much enthusiasm and discipline, but found yourself slowly reducing the posts as the weeks go by?
The last time I posted on this blog was in August. It’s been over a month since I’ve published something, and that’s quite upsetting. About a year and half back, I could churn out at least one article a week. To go from that to this is not something I’m proud of. I mean, sure, I’m busier now since I’m working, but if I’m being honest with myself, I could have easily found out the time to update my blog regularly.
So today I’m trying to acknowledge all the “hurdles” in my way and what I plan to do about them. I believe these are common for any sort of content creator on the internet, so if it helps someone else out too, that’ll be quite a victory for me.
So what are the problems? I thought about it a lot and these were the issues I found to be true for myself.
- Not knowing what to write about
- Not knowing if anyone will like/care about it
- Actually getting down to it
Here’s what we can do about each of them:
Not knowing what to write about: Now, I have a few ideas about this but I don’t want to get ahead of myself here. I’m using a few articles I’ve read to solve this (like this one here and here) but I’d rather revisit this topic a few weeks from now when they’ve been executed fully. Once I nail down a system for this that works for me, I’ll share it with you guys. For now, you can check out some posts by other authors that I found useful.
Not knowing if anyone will like/care about it: Well, I don’t actually face this much myself – at least, not anymore. When I initially started blogging circa 2010 I was quite conscious of what I’d write, second guess myself and delete almost-finished drafts. The only tip for this one is to power through. That’s literally it. I’m not saying your writing will be perfect – or that mine is, for that matter. I’m just saying that if we can work past this mental block and keep posting, we’ll get better over time.
Actually getting down to it: So there are multiple things involved in posting a blog post. Here are a couple of them:
– Having an idea in mind
– Validating that idea and coming up with all the points falling under it
– Creating an outline for the post
– Writing the post
– Formatting the post
– Selecting an image to go with it
– Sharing it on social media and sending an email to your list
The list of taks can be intimidating at times, and it can seem unreasonable to do it all in one go. I’ve thought of publishing posts on particular days but when I got down to it, everything suddenly seemed to much. The thought of coming up with an idea and writing it and editing it and looking for a good photo was quite tiresome. Plus I had to do this all in time to share it at a decent time on social media.
So how can we make this less overwhelming? By breaking it down, of course. Even after writing hundreds of articles and posts in the past I still find it challenging to do it all in one sitting. And looking back, I’ve always had a system in place. Take DU Beat for example. We had our Monday meetings to come up with ideas for articles. Over the course of the next two days, we’d validate these ideas by contacting sources, figuring out our opinion on topics, gathering facts and so on. We’d then get writing and send it to the copy editors by Thursday evening. That’s when most of the editing was done post which the designers took over and put everything together by Sunday night.
So clearly, a process helps. I’ve come up with this process for myself –
Monday (evening): Come up with 2 potential topics of the articles
Tuesday (evening): Sketch an outline for the post – heading and main idea for each section
Wednesday: No blog work cause it’s a packed day at work
Thursday (morning): Write the post
Friday (morning): Editing
Saturday (afternoon): Coming up with all the material for the post (image, tweets, FB post and email body)
Sunday: Hit publish and share
I’ve even calendered myself for these in the coming weeks – if it’s on my calendar, I end up finding a way to do it!
This is my plan. If my experience sounds similar to yours, I’d encourage you to make one of your own. Let me know what hurdles you’ve faced (or overcome) while creating content of your own. I’d love to hear your experiences!