This is my 35th daily post since the COVID-19 quarantine began. A group of my colleagues initiated a blogging group that I have committed to. It’s called #BlogginThruIt. CheckTwitter, you’re welcome to join us. Maintaining a writing routine can be exceedingly difficult. I’d like to offer a few ideas of things that have worked for me in this blogging journey.
Find your spots. I find the best time of day to write is early in the morning before the rest of my house is awake. I can edit a piece all day long but to sit and compose, using voice to text in my case, I need stillness. Figure out when you do your best work and seize those moments. Avoid letting other tasks infringe upon them. If you’ve got kids, and writing takes place best when they are napping, do that. It’s unfortunate that the same machine that I use to write is also capable of delivering Twitter, Facebook, and Voxer. Don’t let your social media feed distract you, keep these tabs closed on your browser and turn off phone notifications for your favorite feeds.
Get small pads. I got this suggestion from the trailer for a David Sedaris Master Class on writing that I’m threatening to take but haven’t done so yet (those things are expensive!). I’m an inveterate note jotter. I’m good with follow up only because I write things down. Sedaris uses small bound notebooks (were they leather? couldn’t tell, I only watched the trailer). I seem to do fine with the pocket size spiral notebooks from Staples. I get them in bulk in varying colors. This way, the red one is for work notes, the blue one for writing ideas, the green notebook is for home tasks/grocery, and “to do” lists. The main thing, have something you can use to record the ideas that occur to you when they occur to you. Index cards. Junk mail envelopes (I like the slight heft of these). You can use your phone if you want. For me, I find there’s something organic about writing ideas down in my own cursive handwriting that is itself an act of intention. Whatever you use to record your thoughts, these are the ideas you’ll come back to when you sit down to write.
Keep your posts short. If you write a post approaching 1000 words, when they open it on their computer or phone, especially during this coronavirus, many people won’t read it. The typical attention span of a blog reader seems to be between 300-500 words. If I find I’m writing a post exceeding this, I break it up into two, three, or even four shorter posts. This piece is part of perhaps 4 pieces that were originally written as one long reflection on writing blog posts. Of course, if you keep them short, you’re more likely to maintain your momentum in writing every day.
Going to stop here and take my own advice to keep this short, more humble reflections on writing tomorrow.