7 Tips for Writers Drowning in a Sea of Unwritten Content
7 Tips for Writers Drowning in a Sea of Unwritten Content
The blank display. The big list of content to create. The excessive preference to cover beneath the duvet.
You’ve got so much writing to do.
But your lifestyles is packed full. You don’t have enough time.
So you get greater in the back of every day.
What’s worse, every different blogger you realize seems to don’t have any hassle churning out post after post after post.
Are you the best one that struggles with their writing workload?
Don’t believe it for a 2d.
If your largest problem isn’t always having enough time to write, you’re flawlessly everyday. Almost every blogger obtainable feels the equal manner.
Why Every Blogger Feels Short of Time, Most of the Time
Bloggers struggle with a loss of time even more than maximum writers.
We have lots of content material to supply: no longer just posts for our own blogs, however guest posts for other humans’s blogs, freebie incentives, ebooks, ecourses, social media updates, writing jobs at the aspect …
We have a heck of numerous distractions: social media, endless emails, feedback to moderate and answer, people to network with, and the inevitable and unwelcome techy complications that go along with jogging a blog …
We produce other work to do: either an afternoon activity – full-time or component-time – or an income move (like training, or creating data products, or doing customer paintings) that takes up most of our time.
So how can we get it all done?
Well, most bloggers genuinely don’t.
They lose momentum with their very own blog, posting so every now and then that readers flow away. They not often or in no way visitor submit. They don’t even make sufficient money to cowl their internet web hosting invoice.
Eventually, they quit blogging altogether.
Are you slipping down that path too?
Trust me, I get it. Overwhelm can weigh down your writing spirit. You can best fight to keep up for so long. And even as you battle on every day, the temptation to give up grows and grows.
And yet … some bloggers do manage to make a big splash.
They make the time to write down – plenty. They continuously learn and enhance.
They grow an target audience. They get observed. They make cash. It’s tough work, certain, however it’s fairly rewarding to meet your desires and live your goals.
So don’t let your weblog become yet some other abandoned, dusty nook of the Internet.
Don’t let your goals fade and die.
Here’s a way to regain control of your writing schedule and turn matters around:
Tip #1: Step Away from the Keyboard
When I’m faced with far an excessive amount of writing and a ways too little time, on occasion I have a look at my to-do listing, take a deep breath, and …
No, I’m not recommending this. 😉 Panic-based writing really isn’t a terrific idea.
But maybe you’ve visible this on your very own work. You glance at your writing to-do listing, immediately get a knot for your stomach, after which soar on the pc and kind as fast as you can on anything subject matter appeals at that moment.
You begin at a breakneck tempo, and also you maintain going with out pausing to mirror.
An hour later, you recognize which you hate the topic you selected, and you don’t have sufficient material for a submit anyway. Maybe you ought to simply exercise plastering a grin to your face and asking, “Would you want fries with that?”
A week later, you recognise you forgot a few important part of your content material calendar (which exists most effective in your head) and surprise if everybody observed.
Confession time: after returning from maternity leave and diving again into things, a month surpassed before I observed I hadn’t despatched out a unmarried trouble of my supposedly weekly e-mail e-newsletter … oops.
So don’t panic. Instead, take another deep breath, and step far from the computer.
Grab a pen and paper, and write down any of the following:
Regular writing commitments. Daily, weekly or monthly. Blog posts. Email newsletters. New modules for your week-by using-week ecourse. Ideally, use this as a basis for a content calendar, wherein you consist of a name (or as a minimum a subject) for every piece of normal content material over the next month.
One-off writing commitments. Guest posts. Email interviews. Individual client initiatives, in case you’re a freelance author. You might also need to merge this with your content material calendar or have separate ones: some thing works for you.
I like to devise on paper as it allows me awareness. Here’s what I’ve got on my plan for the next couple of weeks:
If you can’t get the entirety completed, discern out where ditching or delaying content material will do the least harm. Your blog will probable be exceptional with out a submit this week – but that visitor put up you’ve promised to an editor sincerely wishes to get in by using the cut-off date, otherwise you’re not going to be invited back within the future.
Tip #2: Stop Committing to So Much Writing
If you’re constantly struggling to fit your writing into the time you have got to be had … you’re trying to do too much.
Well, duh. You knew that already. Except it seems to maintain on going on.
If taking up too much is a recurring hassle for you, you want to paintings on pronouncing “no” – now not just to different human beings, but to yourself.
Chances are, you’ve already were given an excessive amount of on your plate. So even as you’re constructing your “no” muscle tissues, try the subsequent:
Ask for extra time with visitor posts or client initiatives (mainly if the scope has expanded beyond what turned into first of all mentioned – this gives you a good excuse). You certainly shouldn’t make a dependancy of doing this, however it’s better to be up-the front and renegotiate a deadline rather than omit it completely.
Cut down on how plenty you write for your very own blog or e-newsletter. You could both try this by posting and emailing less frequently, or by using writing shorter portions. If you’ve never requested your readers how often they want to hear from you, find out: by using blogging daily when they need two posts in line with week, you may properly be losing readers in addition to clogging up your writing time.
Reuse antique fabric. This may be as simple as linking to posts out of your archive, or it can mean dusting off an vintage submit, updating it, and republishing it. If you started out a weblog a while lower back, a lot of your readers probably have by no means examine some of your early posts.
Saying “no” may be genuinely hard, specifically in case you’re worried approximately lacking out on a potentially awesome opportunity, or in case you’re nerve-racking not to offend anybody.
But it’s how you say “no” that matters. Do it right and also you’ll defend your self from writing overload with out ultimate any doors.
How to Say “No” While Leaving Room for a “Yes” Later (on Your Terms)
A brief Google search will give you lots of recommendation on announcing “no” – however here’s one easy trick that works for me:
Whenever someone asks you to write a guest put up (or reply to interview questions, or take part in a podcast…) just respond like this:
Thanks a lot for taking into account me! I’m certainly busy right now, but I would possibly have a while in multiple months. Could you drop me a line in [month] and I’ll see if I’ve got area in my schedule?
This way, the onus is on them to bear in mind to ask you again (and frequently they gained’t). If you make a decision, belatedly, which you genuinely would like to take them up on that possibility, honestly email once more:
I’ve had a piece of time open up in my schedule, and questioned if you’d still like me to [write a guest post for you / be an interviewee on your blog / etc]? If so, just shoot me the details and I’ll be glad to help!
You can use this method on yourself too. Any time you’re about to take on a brand new writing commitment, prevent, inform your self you’re going to attend some days before committing, and placed a notice for your calendar to review at the suitable point.
Also think about how precious each finished piece of content material is. Sure, it’s critical to blog often, however if skipping more than one posts this month manner you may finish your decide-in incentive, that’s in all likelihood a good higher use of some time.
Tip #three: Use Your “Weird” Time to Sneak in Some Writing
Your existence might look nothing like mine. (Right now, a great quantity of my time revolves round younger children, mountains of laundry, and washing-up created in their wake.)
It’s a safe bet, although, that your existence – like mine – involves a few “bizarre time.”
Weird time (hat-tip to Naomi Dunford’s fab marketing newsletter for introducing me to the term) includes all those little wallet of time in which you’re caught expecting something.
You’re sitting in the vehicle, watching for pick out-up time at your youngster’s school.
You’re sitting inside the dentist’s ready room, awaiting your appointment.
You’re sitting on the couch, awaiting an advert wreck to end.
It’s easy to use bizarre time to turn through a magazine or stare into area or take a look at Facebook in your smartphone.
But nothing’s stopping you from the use of it to write down.
Sure, your wallet of strange time might be certainly small. But perhaps, on a median day, you’ve got a total of ten mins or so.
You should use that point to put in writing a bunch of ideas for weblog posts or define posts primarily based on previous ideas. Keep a little pocket book and a pen for your pocket or bag and also you’ll never have to stare on the clock to your dentist’s ready room again.
By the quit of every week, you’ll have clocked up a good hour of brainstorming and making plans – and that might be all you need to get returned on pinnacle of all your writing.
Multitask During Mundane Time
A no longer-too-remote cousin of weird time is mundane time.
Mundane time is the time you spend doing the dishes or driving in your day task or picking up the children’ toys or walking on the treadmill.
It desires doing. It takes your physical presence but now not always plenty of your intellectual presence.
Mundane time doesn’t gel nicely with writing – your hands are probable occupied – but it’s a super possibility to analyze greater approximately writing, running a blog, or commercial enterprise.
If you’ve sold any audio seminars or webinars that you’ve did not listen to, load them onto your cellphone or tablet so that you can fireplace them up all through your subsequent chew of mundane time.
Otherwise, just join some exact podcasts that help you together with your goals. I’m currently enjoying This is Your Life (Michael Hyatt), The Creative Giant Show (Charlie Gilkey), The Creative Penn podcast (Joanna Penn), and the brand new ProBlogger podcast (Darren Rowse).
Alternatively, in case you’re eager to apply this time to create, strive recording audio notes or outlines for blog posts using your phone or a digital recorder.
Tip #4: Ditch and Streamline Your Non-Writing Tasks
You’ve almost clearly got a few blog-associated tasks ingesting up what may be correct time – things like replying to emails, being energetic on social media, uploading posts, and so forth.
The common advice right here is to hire an assistant. And if you can have enough money to achieve this, please cross beforehand! But in case you’re blogging for ardour not profit, or you need to make money however are barely scraping collectively sufficient income to cover the website hosting invoice, hiring an assistant is probably a bit out of reach.
Set Expectations approximately Response Times
Set expectations – yours and different people’s.
With emails, you might want to consist of something in your contact web page along the strains of “I commonly respond to emails within forty eight hours” to permit readers recognise what to anticipate from you. That manner, you can reply to emails in a single batch, in place of dropping the entirety to reply each question because it is available in.
With feedback, keeping lower back from replying right away can provide your readers area to have interaction with each other, and you can discover which you construct a stronger network on your blog with a slightly “fingers off” method. People will examine not to anticipate you to reply proper away.
And trust me, you do no longer need to be checking Facebook and Twitter each few minutes. Followers do no longer count on an immediate respond, and the character of social media is such which you don’t have to reply to the entirety.
Just recollect, social media may be a distraction – and it pulls you out of the float of writing.
Get More Efficient
Have specific instances of day for sure obligations. You would possibly, for instance, study and respond to emails at eleven:00 am and four:00 pm each day. You might best cross onto social media sites throughout coffee breaks (set an alarm to move off after 10 mins, so that you don’t lose track of time).
And, on a social media notice, don’t unfold yourself too thin. Posting on 5 distinctive social media sites is needless – select the one or two where your middle audience is maximum in all likelihood to be energetic, and just use those.
Develop Processes for Repeated Tasks
You in all likelihood have all forms of duties which you do on a day by day, weekly, or as a minimum month-to-month basis. Even if these simplest take you a few minutes whenever, that time adds up.
A clear procedure not handiest saves you time, however it additionally prevents you from forgetting critical steps, and it way you can more easily quit the task to an assistant within the future.
For example, you may use the following:
Canned (template) responses for emails. If you find that readers e-mail you the same questions repeatedly, come up with a easy reaction that you may customize without problems. I use the Gmail extension Canned Responses for this, and I locate it beneficial.
Checklists for tasks such as sending out your email publication. It’ll save you time and assist you be steady. You’ll also keep away from embarrassing errors (like broken links that you forgot to check). Keep this anywhere makes maximum feel for you: I use the pocket book section of The Journal from DavidRM Software; you may decide upon Scrivener, Google Docs, or maybe a Word report.
Here’s the checklist I use for sending out weekly emails to my Writers’ Huddle contributors:
Copy closing week’s e-mail.
Change problem line.
Follow sample underneath for content.
Change ultra-modern seminar in footer if 1st Monday.
Schedule for Monday, 11:15 am Eastern.
Huddle emails pattern:
1st Monday – new seminar statement
second Monday – seminar reminder; in case you loved this seminar, you might additionally experience…
third Monday – this time last year…
4th Monday – this time & three years in the past…
(fifth Monday – mini-path to check out)
Tip #5: Focus on the Quality of the Result, Not the Quantity of the Writing
In the blogosphere, you could get stuck up in numbers without difficulty. Perhaps you find your self focusing on what number of posts you’ve written, or what number of phrases you’ve written … and that would be taking your attention faraway from what topics.
Would you alternatively write ten so-so guest posts that convey you twenty new readers each, or write one fantastic visitor put up that brings you hundred new readers (and the eye of a few huge call bloggers)?
Either manner, the numbers are the identical: you get hundred new readers. But writing ten posts – even ten hasty posts – probably will take you longer than writing one. Plus, pouring your coronary heart into that one great put up might be lots extra worthwhile.
When you’re setting your dreams, search for alternatives as a way to take less time however internet you comparable (or perhaps even more) rewards.
That may suggest the subsequent:
Spending three hours on a unmarried weekly weblog publish, now not five hours on 5 daily posts.
Sending out a month-to-month newsletter with excellent fresh content material, not a weekly one with more than one sentences and a few links.
Producing one wonderful ecourse as an opt-in incentive, in preference to a library of 5 mini ebooks.
Don’t get me incorrect; amount nonetheless matters.
Five visitor posts going up in a unmarried week will make greater effect than five posts going up across five months. But sincerely being prolific received’t be sufficient to make you successful – and doing so should without difficulty make you burn out fast.
Tip #6: Stop Waiting – Use Your Best Ideas Now!
Maybe you’ve were given some exquisite ideas that you’re sitting on for now … till your weblog is greater. Until you’ve got the right guest posting opportunity. Until you sense geared up to write them.
But by using ignoring the ideas you already have, you’re forcing your self to spend time coming up with even greater thoughts – time that could be spent writing the ones you already have.
So stop saving your pleasant ideas for some perfect future time. You can – and could! – have more remarkable ideas in the future. By using the high-quality ideas you have already got, you’ll stretch the intellectual muscle tissue for developing with new ones.
Plus, the ones big opportunities might not come at all until you’ve written the fine posts you’re currently capable of.
It’s most effective by using writing your excellent posts which you develop as a writer – so that the following time you have a splendid concept, you may make even greater of it.
When you’ve exhausted your best thoughts listing, it’s time to generate some greater. Try the subsequent:
Stop expecting the muse to strike. Intentionally brainstorm new thoughts. “Weird time” is right for this (see above). You may additionally struggle to allow yourself time to play around with ideas and research whilst you’ve were given hundreds of words to write … but robust thoughts make for clean-to-write posts.
Survey your readers to discover what they need to read. This might also nicely wonder you. One of my maximum famous posts, 7 Habits of Serious Writers, become recommended with the aid of a reader remark. I used the title phrase-for-phrase and stated them in the put up.
Revisit the thoughts you threw on the scrapheap. Even your so-so ideas may, with a bit little bit of paintings, end up some thing definitely unique.
Step #7: Become a Super-Productive Writer by means of Batching Similar Tasks
You in all likelihood already are aware of it’s a terrific concept to batch routine tasks together – replying to a bunch of emails straight away, in place of answering every because it is available in, as an example.
While writing is a bit extra innovative than many other responsibilities, you may still use the batching device.
The distinct degrees of the writing system – developing with ideas, developing plans, drafting, after which enhancing – can be complicated to do one after the alternative. Some contain more creative power (ideas, drafting) and different are extra analytical (plans, editing).
So, as opposed to starting with an idea, going straight from that into a plan then a draft, and so forth, do that week-long plan. (Feel unfastened to tweak the timings to suit you.)
Monday (am): Come up with 10 thoughts in your weblog and 10 thoughts for guest posts.
Monday (pm): Write outlines for 5 posts to your blog and 5 visitor posts.
Tuesday and Wednesday: Draft several posts over two days. Just pick out an outline you wrote the day before today, replica it into your document (or the WordPress editor), and begin writing. Having some thing down on the web page is a big mental increase.
Thursday: Edit your posts, looking for ways to feature extra value to the reader – e.G., by consisting of clean action steps, or hyperlinks to in addition facts.
Friday: Proofread and submit your posts – or in the event that they’re guest posts, publish them to the weblog editors.
Batching tasks like this could feel unnatural before everything (as an instance, while you finish the primary draft of a put up, you can feel the urge to edit it proper away), but regularly switching gears among unique varieties of responsibilities may be highly inefficient.
And think about it like this, how can you improve your productiveness except you try some thing that feels distinct? Doing the same things will cause the identical outcomes.
What Will YOU Do Differently This Week?
No blogger ever feels they have enough time to put in writing. (If you watched it’s unique for the massive names, check out this put up with the aid of father-of-three Darren Rowse.)
If you need to be extra effective, be more proactive.
Get focused in your dreams, look for cunning methods to achieve greater with much less work, and streamline your writing system as much as feasible.
You don’t need to strive each one of the suggestions above right away – however if you can get even one or of them implemented for your writing life, you’ll see a massive difference.
So this week, pick out one concept from the post to place into action. Write it down, commit to it, and overview how your writing’s getting into per week’s time.
Don’t allow weigh down drag you down. Get again on pinnacle of your writing.
And soon other bloggers will observe your writing output and surprise:
How on this planet do they do it?