Hello Blog, long time no see …
You need direction like a plant needs water … bad. I mean, you’ve done alright as a cactus, but I’ve been known to kill those as well. Like a withering plant, you need sustenance. In the land of Blog, that equates to quality content, consistently posted.
So I ask myself … why am I struggling to so hard to publish on a regular basis? Well, if the scads of self-help books and websites that I’ve perused over the last year have taught me anything, they’ve taught me exactly what I’m doing wrong. No, let’s put a positive spin on that, let’s call it:
“3 things you can do to make sure you get your blog out regularly.”
1. Take reasonable bites.
Wet your toes. I know that it’s more romantic to jump in with both feet but I’ve found that, for me, baby steps work better for most endeavors.
Besides, not all of us are great swimmers, but with time and practice we can be.
I had all these ideas that I was going to have Playlist Tuesdays, and Instagram Wednesdays, Cat Pic Fridays! I was going to create custom illustrations for all my posts (Illustrator, yes… I do dabble)!
You can probably tell that this hasn’t exactly happened, yet …And I try to remind myself that I’ve never actually done this whole blogging thing before. Maybe someday I’ll be set up to do daily posts, but right now the goal of one a week is plenty.
2. Remember, doing something is almost always better than doing nothing.
I prefer to wait until I feel really motivated to do something before I start to do it. It’s not a great way to get things done. In this case I’m not saying write (or do) with abandon, but don’t let fear or ennui rule your behavior.
I really didn’t feel like writing this blog post. I don’t consider it the most artful thing I’ve ever written. This is no “Orange Is the New Black” of blog posts. Et cetera, et cetera. Yours doesn’t need to be, either.
Which segues well into my next point:
3. Skip the perfectionism.
I like to wait until everything looks or feels just right. This, however, does not glean great results. It brings things to a grinding halt.
For me, perfectionism is a cyclical bully in which I
1) set unrealistic expectations that my experiences then fail to live up to, resulting in great disappointment; and
2) try to avoid feeling disappointed–not by adjusting my expectations, but by avoiding future experiences which might result in disappointment (which, with my standards of perfection, are pretty much all of them).
No wonder I’m having such a hard time finishing any blog posts!
There is a great book by Alice Boyles called The Anxiety Toolkit with an entire chapter devoted to perfectionism and how to deal with it. I highly recommend it to anyone who experiences anxious perfectionism, or anxiety in general.
One of the methods she recommends for getting things done in spite of perfectionism is to shift from performance focus to mastery focus.
She defines performance focus as “when your highest priority is to show you can do something well now” whereas mastery focus is “when you’re mostly concerned with advancing your skills.”
For instance, instead of focusing on putting out an earth-shattering blog post that will win accolades and be featured on Slate.com, I can focus on developing a successful blog site with content that people will find useful or entertaining. In order to do that I need to hone my writing and content-creation skills, and I can’t do that unless I’m actually putting up blog posts in the first place;
neither can you, so get to it!