My blog Writing Fish appeared after two years of procrastination, oddly enough, because of laziness. It was Thursday evening, it was about ten o’clock, and I was tired. But I made a cup of coffee and decided to get a blog. Postponing blogging this time was impossible.
It was a real breakthrough. In previous weeks, I always put off a “blog project.” But something has changed. I no longer did this alone for myself.
Blogging Start With This Exercise
In my coworking office, I several times refused that I wanted to start a blog. But my procrastination also noticed people there. One colleague, science journalist Ellek Bal, once said: “I also want to start a blog, but I also can’t take the first step. And this is not surprising. You don’t have an audience yet and you don’t need to blog. That is why it is so easy to postpone, and not to do at all. ”
This conversation (and my plan to start a blog) could end. But Ellek suggested: “Why don’t we start the first blog for each other? If we write a blog to each other every week and agree on an hour to read each other’s articles, then we have a club for this. ”
Blogging: this is how you prevent procrastination
When I agreed with her proposal, I had no idea how effective the plan was. In the end, we continued to blog for about six weeks. Every Friday we met in a cafe, commented on each other’s blog articles and encouraged each other to continue.
But these comments and encouragements were not the most important part of our agreement. Much more important was the weekly deadline and the fact that I really had to write down the stories that I had in mind.
As a result, my blog plan ended up in a pressure cooker. When writing my first posts, I came across practical problems and ideas. For example, it soon became clear that I was not thinking very well about the subject of my blog. I did not stay close enough to myself.
Blogging: Get Close
First, I was going to start a blog about social interaction. In addition, I was blinded by a small success. I just wrote an article about the importance of communicating with strangers for de Volkscrant. This piece produced an extraordinary number of responses. Many people emailed me that the article inspired them. I thought a blog with a lot of similar articles would probably get good results.
But the day before I met with Ellecke (that Thursday evening at ten o’clock in the evening) I could not find inspiration for a new article on chat or social interaction. I was tired and really wanted to go to bed. Forced to a deadline, I asked myself: on which topic can I write a useful article in an hour?
I came across a topic that suits me much more: writing. As a freelance journalist, I’ve been writing tips and writing techniques all day. This is my biggest passion. Within an hour, I wrote an article with simple advice: you can often remove these 21 words from your texts. That same evening I registered the domain meldvis.nl (here I explain how to do it).
Blogging Challenge Yourself
A post about 21 words that you can remove better then went viral on Twitter. A year later, I gave my first written course in The Hague to followers of Writing Vis. And now this income makes up most of my income.
Without a six-week exercise with Ellek about writing a Fish Writing blog, you probably would never have taken off.
In short: if you have a plan for blogging, consider making an appointment with someone in your area. This is not even the person who also wants to blog, if necessary, arrange with your best friend or colleague, so that you unilaterally send him or her a blog every week.
Exercise: blogging for a one-person audience
Such a promise made your blog plan more specific. You will get answers to questions such as: do you really want this so much? Do you find the topic of your blog interesting enough and can you come up with enough prospects? Do you know enough about this? And perhaps most importantly: is it enough to have a blog to last six weeks (and, of course, much longer)?
How do you deal effectively with this exercise?
1 – Find the right blogger
Try to find someone who also plans to blog, then you can better motivate each other. Otherwise, choose someone with whom you have a good relationship, whom you do not want to disappoint. It makes your timeline more meaningful.
It also helps if your individual audience is interested in the topic of your blogs. If you have a blog about dogs, don’t post articles to the girl who hates, she has everything that barks.
2 – Keep the appointment simple
For example: send each other a blog of at least 400 words every Friday in a Word file. Keep your threshold as low as possible. Do not post blog articles online. You do not need to worry about the layout and design of the blog. First, see if you can turn the basics – writing articles – into a routine.
3 – Be honest with yourself
The intention is that weekly blogging makes you more passionate about your goal: starting your own blog. You notice that the weekly meeting disappoints you, are you delayed, do you always think about apologies and miss three of the six deadlines? Then be honest with yourself: maybe blogging is not for you, or now is not the time to start a blog.
* The latter turned out to be the case with Ellecke. She started a promising blog about the need to continue to study all her life. For this, she wrote down the web address www.delerendemens.nl. In the end, she did not have enough time to blog regularly. But she still received a small award from our experiment.