As you may be able to tell, I do not post daily here yet. I sadly do not have the time to fully fill up two posting schedules and keep up with my staff writing, but I do plan to handle that problem when I start working from home. But I have posted every single day for almost 18 months at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.
When I first started, I posted daily because I had so much I wanted to talk about. Once I made my way through that initial gush of ideas, I still wanted to keep up the momentum. The trick to daily posting is to stay ahead – schedule posts in advance so you have a little breathing room.
Scheduling posts ahead is much easier than it sounds. In the beginning while I was building up my blog, it just meant writing two or more posts a day. I wasn’t very busy and blogging was a fun, new hobby, so I would find myself scheduled ahead by 3 weeks or more. Once online work started picking up, I actually had to get serious about it or I would lose my padding.
That is when I started my new rule, always have at least 5 posts lined up no matter what. If I wake up in the morning and have less than 5 posts in my queue, I don’t allow myself to do anything else online until that problem is solved. That is very motivating since I always want to check every email I’ve received. Thankfully I rarely allow it to get to that point. If my queue is diminishing, I usually spend a weekend day catching up and then some so I will not have to worry about it immediately.
Playing Catch Up
Here is how I catch up and post ahead:
1. Brainstorm for 1 hour each month. Every month or so, I simply sit down with a pad of paper and a pen at my kitchen table. I then spend up to an hour simply writing down every single topic that comes to mind. I write down everything – even silly ideas that may never amount to anything.
2. Edit the list. When I am done brainstorming, I usually have a list of 50 or more topics. Out of those, 25-35 are usually useable and about 10 of them get me excited enough to start writing right then.
3. Set aside time to write. If I don’t feel like writing for a few days, I force myself to schedule a sit down time and type up something. Those posts usually start out forced (like this one), but end up with me typing as fast as possible to keep up with what’s coming out of my brain. I then go back when I am done and clean up the beginning. It’s like a forced jump start. For some reason, that works for me.
There have been a few times where all of the willpower in the world can’t force me to write. That is usually when my padding gets dangerously low and I scare myself into action. I have no idea what I will do if that inner push ever goes away.
How do you get yourself to write? Do you schedule your posts days ahead?