My calendar says “Writing Time.” Every Friday at this time is blocked out to write. I like going into my weekend knowing that I have written something that will contribute to next week's newsletter and blog post.
I wish I could say it's as easy as marking off time on your schedule to write, and it will happen.
It doesn't always work that way for me. Actually, it rarely works that way for me.
Today I don’t feel like writing. I don’t feel like doing much of anything.
Everything seems to distract me. Do you know this feeling?
For some reason I keep writing because I have so many deadlines: this newsletter, content for a workshop, the upcoming Creative Content Camp, and the next lesson for the Art Career Success System.
I sift through the notes I’ve created in Evernote.
I have an editorial calendar, but I’m not inspired by the topic I’ve chosen for this week. Surely there’s something that’s more interesting.
Nope. Not this week.
What is this about?
Nothing catches my eye. Absolutely nothing.
I go through old blog posts. Sidetracked! But I find gold – not just in my articles but also in the comments. My readers share loads of valuable comments.
I decide that the blog posts are interesting and that I should work a little on my new book. (Oops! I probably wasn’t supposed to say that. Now the cat’s out of the bag.)
This is fun! I'm capturing all kinds of ideas as I stroll down memory lane in the comments of my blog.
I keep plugging along.
Hopping from topic to topic to topic.
I recall the post I wrote about doing the work even when you don’t feel like it because that’s what professionals do. They don’t wait for inspiration to strike. They do the work because that’s just what they do. [Tweet “Professionals don't wait for inspiration to strike. They do the work.”]
So I think, Hey! This is an article in itself. The struggle to write a weekly article.
And I start a new note in Evernote with the temporary title, “How This Article Happened.” I know that won’t be the title, but at least it has a placeholder that I can find.
I don't attach a date to it because I don't know when I will publish it.
I type type type in order to capture what has transpired to this point. I don't want to lose my thoughts.
Don’t you hate it when you are struck by a really good idea and then forget what it was?
Through this process – on this Friday alone – I have:
- Created a new article
- Added content to an upcoming module for my students
- Updated the outline for my new book (Yikes! There I go again!)
Now I’m ready to tackle that article idea from my editorial calendar that didn’t seem so interesting a couple of hours ago. This is the post that was the result.
Two Mondays Later
Apparently I missed (again) my Friday writing-for-the-blog schedule, and I’m writing on a Monday. It’s closer to my deadline than I’m comfortable with, and it’s now or never.
I dive headfirst into two topics and crank out about 1,000 words on each of them.
I am uninspired to finish either for this week’s article, as if I needed more proof that satisfaction with one’s work is hard won.
I return to Evernote to add more to this article that I started 10 days ago.
Then, out of nowhere, Boom!
I remember a personal experience that could be turned into a valuable piece of content. I am inspired and, almost effortlessly, this article is birthed.
Today I’ve worked on at least 5 articles.
One Month Later and The Big Lesson
Here I am – finally ready to share this. Here's what I want you to get out of it: Content, at least for me, doesn't come quickly and easily. I have to let it simmer.
MOST people have to let it simmer, especially if they want it to be worthy.
Creating content for your blog, newsletter, and social media is a process, and artists who think strategically will honor this process instead of having a let’s-just-get-this-over-with attitude.
Is writing difficult for you? Do you get distracted?
What are your biggest struggles around creating content (writing or otherwise) for your newsletter, blog, or social media?