0825091Hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear a someone complaining how they just can’t get started writing, and cannot produce blog content consistently.  You know, the bloggers who put up a post every few weeks stating “I haven’t posted in a while but I’m going to get started really soon.” Maybe you aren’t that bad, but are you completely satisfied with your ability to routinely produce high quality content? If you are, go read something else, this post is not for you and your time is valuable. If you are not satisfied, I’m going to cover four ways to overcome writing laziness and blogging procrastination:

  1. Taking Serious Action
  2. Have a Routine
  3. Be Realistic in Your Writing Goals
  4. Pushing Your Flywheel

If you were expecting some dazzling new concepts or productivity tricks, I’m sorry to disappoint. It just doesn’t work that way. People have been trying to shortcut hard work and discipline ever since Adam had to pull the first weeds out of his freshly cursed garden. It didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work today.

Nike had it right when they said “just do it”. This is the downfall of most people no matter what the goal. They think, they plan, they prepare, they contemplate, they organize, they rework… but they never get around to “doing it”, doing it right, doing it consistently and doing it no matter how hard it is.

Why? Usually a combination of reasons: some are afraid to fail; some people won’t do something unless they are naturally gifted at it and it comes easily. Insecurity, procrastination, perfectionism and just plain old laziness are all enemies of action, in this case, writing blog posts.

You’ll find a common trait of many productive and successful bloggers is that they just simply “do it”. Start writing. I have numerous people who have been promising for months to get me an article for the magazine, submit a guest post or start their book project. It would seem they love the THOUGHT of doing it, but not actually doing it. They love planning for it and perhaps telling other people they are going to do it. Perhaps they lack the work ethic or are frozen by fear.

If that’s YOU, no worries. Today is the day you end all that.  At the bottom of this post I’ll give you some simple steps to get you writing on a blog post RIGHT NOW, steps anyone can do if they simply CHOOSE.

Take Serious Action

Why describe it as “serious action”? Many people are good at taking action but it’s not serious or productive action. It’s action in order to FEEL like you’re taking action. It might be planning, organizing, research, discussing, getting opinion… everything except actually doing what matters.

For example, I’ve had many sales reps who prepare, train, make lists, develop detailed plans, etc and never actually get out and SELL (serious action). They are busy. They are taking lots of action… but it’s not serious action. It’s “fools gold” that gives them an excuse or cover for that lack of real work.

Writing can be the same way. Many people engage in endless busyness – getting ready to write – but never actually get around to it. One more book, one more workshop, one more class, one more planning session, one more day and THEN the writing will begin.

There is only one way to get from Point A to Point B. Take a step (action). There is only one way to set an appointment on the phone and that is to pick up the phone and dial (action). There is only one way to stop being distracted by email and Internet, turn it off for a while (action).

There is only one way to write. Start writing. Take action. No secrets, no shortcuts, no tricks, it doesn’t get any easier. If you want to write a blog post there is only one way: start writing. Take serious action.

This is intended to be a revelation for you (it’s too obvious) as much as it is intended to kick in you in the butt and encourage you to do the only thing that will produce content: start writing. Take action.

Have a Routine

Once you begin to have some success with the single most important step (take action), you can do some other things that will help you take consistent and effective action. One huge benefit is to have a regular routine: time, place,  steps and environment.

Routines are boring but guess what? That’s the whole point! Routines remove distractions (turn off the email, the phone and TV). Routines prepare your mind and body (you acclimate to the process and subconsciously your body and mind get ready for what they know is coming). Routines make it clear to others what you are doing during that time and don’t interrupt you.

Routines allow your mind to be mulling over your writing ideas even before you realize you’ve begun thinking about it. It’s a kind of “background preparation”.  Let me explain. Have you ever gone to bed still working through a problem or solution in your head that you just can’t seem to figure out?  Then you wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning and suddenly the answer is crystal clear.  Your brain doesn’t shut down. It’s still working on things even when you aren’t aware of it.

Writing can make the same use background brain activity encourage by a routine. If you are in a constant cycle of idea-write-idea-write, your brain works on those ideas even when you aren’t focused on them in preparation for the routine writing session you’ve trained your mind to expect.  Voodoo? Nope… just the amazing ability the mind but you’ll never know until you develop some consistency and discipline in your writing. Pretty soon you’ll have more ideas that you can keep up with. Ask any successful blogger/author.

Be Realistic With Your Writing Goals

You have to set writing goals that you can actually achieve. I’ve been writing a lot, almost every day for years. It’s realistic for me to have a full day of other business activity and still write 1-3, sometimes four blog posts of 500-1000 words or more (this post will be almost 2000 words). Writing is like weight lifting. The more you strengthen your writing muscles, the more you can produce.

If you are a slow reader or a new writer, set a goal of 1-2 blog posts a week of about 350 words. As you get better, increase the word count until you reach a goal of about 800 words for a well written, useful post.  Once 800 words is no problem for you, then shoot for 3 blog posts a week, then 4 or 5 depending on your audience and topic.

Set writing goals you can reach with moderate effort. If you set them too high and fail, or have to wear yourself out to achieve them, you’ll soon find yourself back to the “can’t seem to get started” prison.

Pushing Your Flywheel

People want meteoric success in whatever they do, especially online. They want it fast and they want it big, preferably with minimal effort. In our modern world of “give it to me NOW, give it to me FAST, I deserve it”, we are easy prey for the mentality that success in life, relationships or business should be instant and easy.

That’s not reality. Nor should you want it to be. Success that is fast and easy for all, is no success at all. It’s just status quo. Think about it. If everyone could achieve blogging success fast with no real effort or process, then “success” would simply be redefined as something more than that.

That’s why, as a rule, “success” is by definition neither easy, nor fast. You have to change your mentality and expectations. Real success comes with time, discipline and consistent effort.

Do you know what a flywheel is? Here’s the official definition: a regulator consisting of a heavy wheel that stores kinetic energy and smoothes the operation of a reciprocating engine.

Yeah, okay… now in English. A flywheel is a large heavy disk. It’s difficult to get turning but if you keep pushing and pushing, it gains momentum and pretty soon it has a powerful spin that is easily maintained with just little effort. Think of rolling a snowball down a hill: hard to get going but a force all it’s own once it gains speed and size.

Picture yourself every day diligently pushing on a giant flywheel that represents your writing effort.

Each day you push on that flywheel by following your routine, taking action and writing; you discipline yourself to do the activities every day that will improve your writing skills (speed and quality), and with each action, even small actions, you nudge that flywheel, gaining speed every so slightly, day after day.

Early in your efforts, you push hard, and the wheel turns slowly but that is natural; don’t let it discourage you. With each nudge the flywheel picks up speed. As it picks up speed and gains momentum, the pushing becomes easier and the speed continues to build. Your little pushes each day result in great amounts of speed and force over the long term due to the “flywheel effect”.

Pretty soon, you’ll find an incredible energy and momentum in your writing and instead of being stuck, unable to think of a topic or get started, your biggest concern will be never having enough time to write everything you have planned. I know this firsthand. I have more book projects, lessons, and blog posts ideas than I could write in ten lifetimes. Every day I write a couple of posts and think of ten more ideas that get put on my bottomless list.

Push your writing flywheel every day. It works.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

For those of you who need a kick in the butt, or want me to hold your hand (which is okay if that’s what it takes), here’s those simple steps I promised:

  1. If you can’t decide on your topic, pick something you are passionate about and think of one aspect of it. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Don’t over analyze it or get stuck on this step. If you’re brain is locked up again, ask your spouse, best friend or a family member to request a topic for you to write about. “Ummm… personal finance – getting out of debt.”
  2. Write one sentence stating what you want the reader to know or learn by the time they finish reading. “I want the reader to understand why it is important to be debt free.”
  3. Now, write down three things you are going to discuss to support that idea. “One, it’s important in marriage; two, it’s important to your emotional health; three, it’s a good example to others.”
  4. Now start writing about those three things.  JUST DO IT. Write. Take action.
  • Summary paragraph
  • A paragraph on why being debt free is important for my marriage
  • A paragraph on why it’s important for emotional health
  • A paragraph on why it sets a good example for others
  • A closing paragraph that contains a word of encouragement to the reader

Amazing… there’s an outline and it materialized because I TOOK ACTION.

I’m not trying to get you to write a prize winning blog post here. I’m trying to get you to feel what’s its like to TAKE ACTION and “just do it”.  It is this same step of faith that is required each time you write for your blog. You have to type the first word, the first sentence… that’s usually enough to kickstart the process especially once you’ve beefed up your writing muscles.

Start writing. Take action. You know the “secret” now.

PS: WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ME? Ask here. Want to book me for training, speaking or business consulting? Go here. If you benefitted from this post, would you be so kind to share this post with others by clicking one of the SHARE buttons?

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