It has been two weeks (almost!) since I wrote a post on this blog. That's the longest break I have taken in the last year. Although I wouldn't really call it Writer's block or Blogging block, I do think it had something to do with my online presence.
This doesn't mean I have been idle in the blogging space. Oh no, I have actually signed up to be a Write Tribe Pro Blogger, where this cool bunch has decided to blog consistently, every day, for a year. Maybe more. Who knows?
But, ah, I was clever. I know that I cannot do justice to this blog with the daily writing challenge, so I smartly signed up my Fiction blog, since I dabble in flash fiction and micro-fiction, most of which is under 100 words in length. Of course, the real smartness of the move will be revealed if I actually manage to complete a year of blogging daily. Ha, that's going to be something!
In order to do this , though, it requires a fair deal of management in the time and writing areas. So, today, I will share how we can balance our writing and social media roles together with the mundane demands of life, work and everything else!
It's actually do-able, if you work around a schedule. I find that I write best between 9.30 and 10.30 pm every night. I don't know why, but it's true. Perhaps the silence of the household, after sending everyone off to bed, is a good booster. Or maybe the fact that the dishes are done and the kitchen is sparkling clean, so I can now reward myself with some time to write, could be the reason.
Either way, find your groove. Pick a time and write daily/ nightly at the same time. I'm guessing some curious writer gnome is watching and sending me creative vibes every night. Hey, who am I to complain?
This is a common concern, am I right? You feel that panic kicking in each time you sit and stare at the blank screen or notepad, racking your brains for an idea.
That's why we have prompts, my dear bloggers.
Search the web. You'll find thousands of them. If nothing else, pick up a book and flip through it. A phrase will catch your eye. Use that as a prompt.
Organise your Writing
If you're anything like me, you will constantly have four or five tabs open in your browser while writing a post. Wordcounter.net is a great website for people like me, who write to prompts and have to abide by a specific word count. I draft the whole post there and simultaneously open my Wordpress Dashboard, where I copy paste the draft.
Next, I open the tab for image search. There is great value in adding an image to your post, especially since it draws on the interest of the reader and also makes it Pinnable!
If you are writing for the same weekly challenge, then you can save time by copy-pasting the template for future posts. Adding a generic statement at the bottom, such as 'I am a Pro Blogger' also frees up the time it would take to type out that statement each time.
Don't edit while you write. Write without thinking and without stopping. Always make time to go back and check the draft for grammatical errors, run-on sentences, spelling mistakes and other typos. Think three times, before you hit that 'Publish' button. Remember, you're building an audience for the writing. Let not a carelessly-worded sentence bring you down.
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|Image courtesy: Shutterstock|
An integral part of blogging, in my opinion, is the idea of networking. This was especially brought home during my first-ever Blogging meet, in Goa this July. I was able to connect to a fair share of bloggers, mainly because I had followed them through their writings and interacted with them on their posts. There is a certain human connection that is established when you do this.
It makes the blogger feel wonderful, knowing that he/she is being read and acknowledged.
So, as much as it is wonderful to get a 'Like' via Facebook or Wordpress and an RT via Twitter, it is infinitely more heartwarming to get a comment that appreciates what you have taken time to create.
Sometimes, nothing helps. You just can't get the wheels to turn in your head. No problem. Go out for a walk in the garden or down the street to get some milk. Carry your phone or camera along. Snap away when the mood strikes. You never know what it takes to kick start that inspirational bunny within.
Get off Social Media
As much as I advocate networking, I don't really recommend it when you are in the thick of the writing process. Social Media Distracts. Let's be very very honest about this.
This was probably the hardest part of the challenge for me. Yes, I admit it. I am a Social Media junkie, more specifically, Facebook, Whatsapp and to a certain extent, Twitter. Thanks to the Wordpress for Android app, that adds its fair share of distractions as well.
So, what do I do now?
- I turn off my Smartphone when I am writing my blog posts. I don't get distracted by those 'pings' every single time someone comments on the blog. Hey, I jump in excitement when I get fifteen 'pings' at a time after two hours of not being connected to the Net. Yeah, that's your bonus :)
- I keep the tabs closed on my browser. You know that niggling need to check Facebook in between your writing? Yeah, stop doing that. You want a break? Go for a walk. Grab a cup of tea. Pick up a book. DO NOT OPEN that Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest tab.
Make time to visit other blogs
So, you're overwhelmed with all the writing, the editing, the sharing and the responding to comments. I get that. Hey, we also have lives in the real world to consider. That shirt is not going to iron itself and the stove is just not going to turn on magically and heat up that pasta, no matter how hard I wish I had Harry Potter's powers. Nope! Not going to happen.
So, if I can make an hour's time to write everyday, I can surely find another hour to visit other blogs daily?
- If you have a Wordpress (WP) account, just add your preferred WP blogs to the Reader there and visit them from within the app.
- For blogspot blogs, get the Feedly app. This has a very good interface and helps you click through to the blog and comment as well.
- Make sure you follow the 'No Social Media distraction' rule here as well. Turn off those tabs when you are blog hopping. When sharing a post that you like, share them through the blog's page directly and hop straight out of Twitter/ Facebook/ Google Plus.
All said and done though, don't get bogged down by the guilt. There will be days when you just cannot do it all. Moments will come when you want to throw in the towel and not write. That's okay too. Just remember, we're in this for the ride. Let's enjoy it for as long as we can.
Happy Blogging, everyone!
Have you taken up a Blogging Challenge too?
Do you have any more writing tips to add?
❤❤ Feel free to share your valuable comments and suggestions❤❤
Labels: blogging, Fiction writing, Social Media, Social networking, Spicy Saturday Picks, tips, Useful Tips, Write Tribe, writing