'Every writer I know has trouble writing.' Joseph Heller
It's a busy life, isn't it? Sadly, there are still only 24 hours in a day, and you really need to sleep during some of that time, preferably during consecutive hours. Eating is also highly recommended, and you somehow can't do that while you sleep. The rest of the time is occupied with work, family, and various other responsibilities '- and the travel time between them. Even if blogging is your full time job, you need to find the time to do it properly. Emails and meetings, to name just a couple of necessary daily distractions, eat into your time. How, then, do bloggers manage to'_well'_blog?
Time management is everybody's challenge, not just for bloggers, but writers have unique demands imposed on them by virtue of the nature of what we do. Writing is a solitary occupation, and when people isolate themselves it is easy to succumb to distractions. Self-discipline, therefore, is the key to successful blogging. Master it, and you will have solved more than 50% of the headaches associated with this craft. Here are some reliable methods for meeting deadlines and staying on schedule with your blog.
At the end of each day, write a short list of what you must do the next time you sit at this spot to write. Then stick that list where you simply can't do anything without seeing that list first. You may already have that list pictured in your mind before you begin, but it is the perfect reminder of where you are in any given project, on any given week. Even if those priorities change overnight, or during the day, you have that list to refer to. Keep it posted throughout the day and see what progress you've made at day's end. Then, and this is important, make another list for the next day.
2. Keep an editorial calendar
You already know most of the benefits of an editorial calendar, but do you also post on it a list of future blog ideas? Jot down topics for future blogs whenever you think of one, or when you come across material that you think would make a great blog. Then, when you're looking for ideas, you know where to find them. You can even post URLs of sources for research, giving you points of reference when you sit down to actually write the blog. That is a great time saver!
3. Pull out your phone
No, I'm not suggesting that you call someone asking for help. There are several apps available for recording notes onto your mobile device, and there is nothing handier than keeping a record of your thoughts when you're too busy to write them down, or away from your keyboard. Using this method, it is entirely possible to compose most of a blog post on the go. The hardest part is deciding which app you'll want to use.
4. Dedicate time on your personal calendar
This is the hardest tip to follow, and the most crucial. Remember what I said about self-discipline? This is a way of regulating it. Devote a chunk of time on your daily calendar to writing. It may be three hours, it may be thirty minutes, but this is your time to write, and do nothing else. Turn off the internet connection, put the phone on mute, shut off the television, and write. Most importantly, stick to it! Seriously, it will feel good.
'The danger, as a rule, of having nothing else to do is that one might write too much.' T. S. Eliot
Are you a blogger? Do you have any secrets to adhering to a schedule, and getting the job done? Please feel free to post your thoughts here.
Gary Locke is a semi-professional hyphenate and the Content Editor for CommonPlaces. He has enjoyed a long career in theater and multimedia, and still hopes to one day drive the Batmobile.