Writing about writing; maybe this is cheating slightly when it comes to creating a blog post but writing everyday is a habit that I genuinely have managed to incorporate into my daily life over the past few weeks so I feel qualified to chat about the damn thing. Full disclaimer though – I have been unemployed for the past few months so truthfully time has been on my side. I recently found part-time work and a regular writing gig but I’m confident I’ll still sit down at my laptop at least once a day and not just to check Facebook.
Create a topic list
When I set aside time to write I don’t want to waste the first 30 minutes deciding exactly what I want to talk about. Over the years I’ve created a lengthy list of topics that I refer to as soon as I’m ready to write, meaning there’s little time wasted. I add to this list at least once a day, normally in the form of an actual headline e.g. ‘Real women who inspire me’. Even if I don’t know what I would discuss in the post, I take note of any catchy titles straight away – no matter what time of the day or night – because otherwise I WILL forget. For this reason I keep the notes on my phone, meaning I can add to this ever-growing treasure trove whenever creativity strikes. Some of the titles might not come to fruition for months or even years, but when I’m ready I have those ideas in the bank.
Use a mobile device
Once I’ve got a few ideas I know I want to work on, I set up a draft post from my laptop and pop in a few bullet points to get me started. Then I will write a brief introduction and to be honest that’s all I do at first. The next time I’m sitting on a bus, waiting for a prescription or on a coffee break at work I’ll open up the WordPress app on my phone and just start typing. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about blogging it’s that the ‘little and often’ approach works for me. A few hundred words over lunch, a few more whilst I’m waiting on the oven preheating and before you know it I have the raw materials of a blog post written just waiting to be edited. I wouldn’t recommend writing an entire post on your phone because it’s tricky to upload photos and check for grammatical errors, but it’s great for stream of consciousness style writing on the go.
Set a timer
I’m so easily distracted by social media that I can have a whole day at my disposal to type up a blog post and get absolutely nowhere with it. However it’s amazing how much I can get done when the clock is ticking. I like to set a timer – normally for around 20 minutes – put my phone waaaay on the other side of the room and close all tabs on my laptop. I promise myself that all I’m going to do during that time is write. Normally I end up totally engrossed, on a roll for another 10 or 20 minutes and finishing an entire piece of work very efficiently.
Identify your wasted time
My ‘little and often’ approach to writing means I look at my day and try and find the times where I’m sitting doing nothing, I’m bored or just have some time to kill. For me it’s normally the 15 minute break I get at work. I sit down with my coffee, grab my phone and before I know it I’ve rambled for a new hundred words on WordPress. Other key times for me are when I’m on exercise bike at the gym, when I’m waiting for my coffee to brew or in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. Once I identified theses times and started utilising them it just became a habit, and now I couldn’t rack up a decent word count without them.
Do you write everyday? What are your tips?