For many of us, it can be a constant struggle to keep up with the ongoing demands of content creation. And when we struggle, that’s when the excuses start to creep in.
We say things like, “I’d like to write more, but…”
Maybe we don’t think we’re good at writing. Maybe someone told us a long time ago that we couldn’t write, and we’ve been carrying it with us all these years.
Or maybe we think we don’t LIKE to write. Maybe we tell ourselves that writing is a chore and there’s a million other things we’d rather be doing.
Or perhaps we don’t think we have the time. There are a million things to do when it comes to running a blog, and sometimes writing just doesn’t make it to the top of our priority list.
For those reasons (and plenty more), we hold ourselves back from writing more.
But here’s the thing–for the most part, blogging IS writing! And it will be pretty hard to make a go of this profession if you’re not willing to write. A LOT. And if you get stuck in the mindset of “I’d love to write more, but…”, you’ll never be able to build the kind of blogs you’re capable of creating.
Luckily, the secret to writing more is pretty simple.
If we want to write more, all we have to do is write more — and stop letting the “buts” get in the way.
Writing is like a muscle. The more we work it, the stronger it gets. So the more we write, the easier it gets to continue to write.
But just because the key to writing more is simple doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy.
There’s no way around it — if we want to write more (and become better writers), we have to practice. Being a great writer who can crank out content isn’t a skill you’re born with. It’s a skill you develop.
So how do we practice? How do we learn to write more while maintaining (and upgrading) the quality of our writing?
Schedule Separate Brainstorming Sessions
Brainstorming is a key part of writing. But even though it’s an important part of the process, it can also be a huge distraction that keeps us from actually writing. That is why it’s important to separate our brainstorming sessions and our writing sessions.
Schedule a regular time (whether it’s once a week or once a month) for brainstorming. During that time, you can brainstorm all the different ideas you have for blog posts and content. You can even take it a step further and start creating outlines for each post — what points do you want to make in the post? How do you see it being structured?
Keeping brainstorming separate from writing is super helpful. Then, when we sit down to write, we have a working list of ideas to work off of and we don’t have to come up with ideas for what to write about.
All we have to do is write.
Set a Time (And Intention) to Write Each Day
If we want to write more, we need to allow the time and space for that to happen. That is why scheduling writing time is key to writing more.
If we don’t schedule writing time, it’s easy for other things to get in the way. We can get stuck answering emails, dealing with house issues, working on other areas of our business, … The list of potential distractions that can keep us from writing is literally endless. If we don’t carve out time during the day to write, at least one of those distractions will stand in the way.
It’s also important to set an intention for our writing time. Maybe you set the intention to write for 30 uninterrupted minutes. Or maybe you set the goal to hit 500 words in an hour or tackle two sections of one of your outlines from your brainstorming session. Whatever it is you want to accomplish with your writing time, set the intention to help keep yourself on track.
Keep Your Blog Posts Focused
When we have a lot to say, it can be hard to rein it all in. But a major key to writing well is to keep each blog post focused on one topic.
This is something I struggle with SO much! When I first started, I used to try to cover a million different things in every post. But the end result was always a confusing mess. Once I made the shift and started following the “one post, one topic” rule, I saw a huge improvement in my writing. Because I felt like my writing was getting better, I felt inspired to write more.
If you find you’re trying to cover too much ground in a single post, look at ways to separate the ideas into different pieces of content. The more focused your blog posts, the better they’ll be — and the more inspired you’ll be to write.
Stick to Sounding Like You
When we’re writing, the best thing to keep in mind is this: we don’t need to sound like anyone but ourselves.
We might be tempted to try to sound smart or overly knowledgeable about what we’re writing about, but that a) makes the writing process harder, and b) can make us sound inauthentic.
Don’t worry about sounding smart. Just worry about sounding like yourself. Get all of your thoughts out on paper. Write like you speak. If something sounds off, you can always go back and revise it later.
Ask Someone to Edit
Sometimes, we’re so close to our writing that it can be hard to see areas for growth (and growing as a writer will make writing more fun, which will make us want to write more!). Which is why it can be super helpful to get an outside perspective.
Having someone else read a few of our posts and give us feedback can be invaluable. They might be able to see trends we can’t see or give us insights we might have missed.
The key to success is finding someone who isn’t afraid to give you real, honest feedback. If you ask a friend who says, “This is perfect!” because they’re afraid to hurt your feelings, you won’t get much out of the process.
It’s also important that you find someone who will edit your piece, not someone who just points out grammatical errors. There’s a difference between a content editor and a proofreader. A content editor will give you valuable feedback on how you can improve your writing and how you can better express your ideas. A proofreader will point out where you used a comma when you should have used a semicolon.
While proofreading is certainly helpful, it’s working with a content editor that will really push you to grow as a writer.
The Best Thing You Can Do to Get Out of a Writing Rut
If you feel like you’re stuck in a writing rut or want to write more but aren’t finding success, there’s one thing you can do for yourself that will completely change your writing game.
Read. Read voraciously. Read every day.
The best writers in the world are the ones who read. It’s hard to write and output a ton of content if you aren’t putting a ton of content in.
Reading exposes you to new ideas, new ways of thinking, new ways of phrasing things. All of those new ideas and ways of thinking and phrasing will infiltrate your brain and make it easier to write great content.
Just to be clear: I’m not talking about blog posts here. Sure, you can read other blog posts, but if you want reading to change the way you think and write, you need to read books.
Books are more fleshed out than other types of content, and your brain interacts with books in a different way. They can help to inspire different trains of thought and help you write better content — blog posts included.
So go to the library, download an audiobook, re-read your favorite paperback from college. Whatever you do, READ. You’ll be shocked by how quickly those creative juices start flowing (and you start writing amazing content).
Writing doesn’t come naturally to all of us, and it can be a struggle to find the time, energy, and motivation to write more. But the more we work our writing muscles, the better and stronger they become — and the more awesome content we’ll have to show for it.