Posts Tagged ‘writing process’
We all need a little push to get the creative juices going and, you know, write.
Two years ago a friend of mine came up with a crazy idea to blog every single day. It was a way to get both of us writing on a consistent basis. And it worked so well that every November I commit to writing and publishing a blog post every single day.
That experiment worked so well for me that I talked about it at WordCamp Portland last month. And guess what? The video from my talk, How to Blog Every Day, is now available!
Video of my talk, How to Blog Every Day, at WordCamp Portland
The talk lasts about 36 minutes, and is packed with ideas to help get you writing—either every day or simply every week. I’m embedding the video and the slides for you below (feel free to download and share). Once you’re finished watching the video, be sure to check out the extensive list of resources that were published with the original slides.
There was some great un-mic-ed discussion at the end of my talk during the Q&A, so and I tried to repeat anything that was said off-screen, but I apologize if there’s something you miss!
Thank you to Blaze Streaming Media for recording the video!
Want to blog every day and need ideas?
Here are two ideas that will help get you writing:
The Daily Post – A project from WordPress.com filled with ideas, prompts, and even writing challenges with the soul purpose to keep bloggers blogging.
Join a daily blogging challenge – Every once in a while an organization will start a month-long writing series where they will release prompts daily and invite bloggers to write about it. It’s a great way to give you ideas of what to write. You can either search out a new writing series or check out prompts from the archives of past writing events. For example, check out the prompts from Trust30 and Reverb11 to get started (links go to the archives).
If you’re interested in blogging every day this November (or any month), leave a comment with a link to your blog! I’m collecting a small team of daily bloggers and want to follow you, too!
Next up, the video from my presentation at WordCamp Seattle, How to Promote Your Blog Without Losing Your Soul.
Today I’m giving a talk at WordCamp Portland on how to blog every day. I wrote this talk based on what I learned from blogging every day for a month in November 2010 and November 2011 and I’m excited to share it with the Portland-area WordPress community.
Once I get a recording of the video, I’ll post it here. For now, here’s a copy of my slides and additional resources that I reference in the talk. Feel free to download and share this presentation as you’d like!
How to Blog Every Day
The secret to blogging every day is easy—just write. But the process of coming up with an idea is hard. Then it comes the excruciating part of putting words to the page, editing it, finding the perfect photo to accompany your post, and formatting it on your site all before you can press that beloved “Publish” button.
Oh, and if you’re writing every single day, you do it all again tomorrow.
Resources to help you Blog Every Day
Here are blog posts and resources I reference during my talk.
Where to buy my t-shirt
- I’m not a player, I just blog a lot from Raygun (unisex and ladies)
What I learned from blogging every day for 30 days
- 2010 recap: When Creativity Flows, Don’t Turn off the Faucet
- 2011 recap: NaBloPoMo Goals and Milestones
Examples of how to create a content or editorial calendar
- How to Put Together an Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing on Content Marketing Institute
- How to Create a Successful Editorial Calendar on Unbounce
- How to Create an Editorial Calendar on Spin Sucks
Tools to help you capture your ideas
- Favorite note-taking app that syncs with your phone, computer, tablet: Evernote
- Favorite tool that helps you start writing: 750 Words
- Favorite non-battery-powered option: a journal
Examples of different blog formats
- Standard: Today is Sunday
- Epic: Book Publishers are Not Tech Companies
- Response: How to be a Hipster and 500 Words or Less
- Single Paragraph: How to Impress your Customers and Create Lifelong Fans
- Photo: Nobody Tells this to Beginners and Picturing My True Identity
- Link Roundup: Musings on Adulthood and Ambition
Ways to beat writer’s block
- Choose a different topic on your content calendar
- Get inspired by going for a walk, watch a video, hop on Twitter, read something, talk with a friend
- Take a day off (it’s okay, but tell us what you’re doing instead of blogging)
- Help Me Be Fing Creative
Examples of posts I wrote when I had writer’s block
What to after you publish your blog post
After you have that out of your system, sit back down, and promote your blog post like crazy. If you need help, check out the presentation I did for WordCamp Seattle on just that: How to Promote Your Blog without Losing Your Soul.
Why I wrote this talk
I’m not expecting you to start blogging every single day. But if you only blog once every other month and really want to blog more, this presentation and ideas should help you get started. If you blog once or twice a week and want to start blogging three times a week, this will help you even more.
Blogging every single day is not for the faint of heart; it takes time, lots of time. Plus you have to strike a careful balance between planning what you’re going to post and letting your muse run away with you. However blogging every single day for thirty days straight will teach you more about your writing style and how you blog than you could from anything else. I highly recommend it.
If you do decide to blog every day for thirty days, please let me know, I’d love to help cheer you along!
Sunday Serial is curated list of the best blogs and articles that I’ve encountered over the past week. Sometimes there’s a theme, but most times there’s not. My goal with these posts is that I introduce you to at least one new idea that you may not have otherwise been exposed to. Enjoy!
The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar by Cyriaque Lamar on iO9
Read this because: Where else are you going to find 22 tips about storytelling from the brilliant minds at Pixar?
Here are a few of my favorites from the list:
#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.
#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
What I’ve learned taking photos every day at 8:36 p.m. by Buster Benson on GeekWire
Read this because: Could you commit to doing one thing every day for a month or even a year? Five years ago, Buster Benson (founder of 750 Words) decided to take one photo every day at 8:36pm. As he says, most of the photos are boring, but it also captures things like the day he and his wife got married, got pregnant, and the day their son was born.
I love this idea. I’ve committed to blogging every day for thirty days (twice), and learned so much about myself during the process, and mostly because I committed to it. But a year? Not sure if writing (and posting) a blog for 365-days straight is sustainable, but taking a photo. Yeah, I could do that. Could you?
5 Different Kinds Of Besties by Sydney Nikols on Thought Catalog
Read this because: I’d bet money that you have friends like this, and you might be one of my five.
The 5 traits of radically successful people by Alex Banayan on VentureBeat
Read this because: We all need a recipe for being successful, and this article is the latest one. Here’s an excerpt:
I have a crazy idea: success isn’t just about hard work. We hear about hard work all the time—it’s what Olympic champions talk about when they get to the top of the podium and it’s what the media credits as the sole force behind of multimillion-dollar Internet entrepreneurs. But there has to be something else in the equation of obtaining unimaginable success. What other traits tipped the odds in favor of the world’s most successful people?
What helped propel their careers before they had track records?
For the past year I’ve been fortunate enough to interview some of the world’s most successful people to find the answers to these very questions.
What did you read this week?
Ray Bradbury, an American literary icon, died today. He was the the man who made us first think about what would happen if we burned books and also the man who shaped the genre of science fiction that we know today.
…degutted, to become a non-book
I will always remember Ray Bradbury as a man of words. In the Coda of Fahrenheit 451, he wrote my favorite quote in the entire world:
All writers write because they need to, because their ideas are things that they can’t ignore.
These are Mr. Bradbury’s words, and they are my mantra as a writer.
Rest in peace, Ray Bradbury.
Every few months I take a look at my blog and start asking the following questions:
- How do I get more readers?
- Should I figure out what my blog is about?
- Should I redesign my site?
And the list goes on and on…
See here’s what I always forget – lamiki.com is not, nor was it ever intended to be, strategic to the level that a business blog needs to be. And while I have gotten jobs and business from my blog, it is not a business.
Your First Blog is Your First Blog
As I experienced this crisis last night and wept, dramatically, to my husband, he brought up a good point – your first blog is like your first AOL screen name, dedicated to whatever you’re obsessed with at the time and once you grow out of that phase, you get a new one.
My husband is smart. And, ironically, the name lamiki was derived from my first AOL name.
Goals are Great, but Make Sure You Want Them
Five months ago I outlined my goals for the year and my blog, twice. I also outlined a very detailed plan of everything I was going to focus on with my blog for the year. Things like guest posting, a redesign, and a tighter content strategy – things that are included in that first list and much, much more. (Did you know that I’m ambitious?) And then in March I set a new goal:
Now I have one achievable, measurable goal. One that does not require the content calendars that I love to create, yet love to hate. One “must have” goal every single month when it comes to my blog and everything else has been demoted from the “required” list to the “would be nice” list of things I want to do.
My blog is not a business. It’s a passion project created to give me a place to write and share how I see the world. There is no monetization strategy and if I decide that’s something I want to do, there will be a new domain.
In the end, we all have an enormous amount of stress and responsibilities that we juggle every single day. And if something in your life that’s supposed to give you pleasure and a break from it all starts giving you stress, you need to make a change.
Photo Credit: Snapies