Putting more thought into branding

As much as you might want to focus on other stuff, it will always be worth putting some time into branding. It’s important to think about how things look to an outside eye and understand if you’re able to deliver your intended message.

I’ve always wanted The Daily Gemm (TDG) to be a space with writing and simplicity at the forefront and that’s what I focused on when I started posting to the Instagram account a few months ago.  However, I’ve realised that although the simplicity element works well on the blog, it doesn’t translate the same way on Instagram. I realised that I might need to do start doing things differently.

After giving it things more thought and thinking about the grand scheme and my future plans and aspirations, I came to the conclusion that I wanted the TDG Instagram account to represent my long-term plans as a brand, rather than just to represent this blog.

And so over the past week or so I’ve been coming up with ideas for how I could do things differently in a way that works for me.

One the first things that came to mind was more visual content and more colour. Currently the TDG feed is full of quotes from my blog posts in black and white. But it turns out the ‘just words, no pictures’ philosophy that I have for this site doesn’t fit for Instagram.

On one hand my grand plans for Instagram have come crashing down but on the other hand it taught me a lot. I’ve now gone back to the drawing board and spent time planning and creating things that I’m looking forward to sharing.

Blogging bit by bit

There are 2 ways of working.

The first is in batches, a couple of hours one or 2 times a week.

The second is bit by bit, day by day.

Many people find themselves picking one of the two ways thinking that it’s the best way of working.

But it turns out it depends on the work you’re doing and also the way you feel like working.

Last year I was focused on scheduling posts and there were times when I’d be scheduling a week of blog posts in one go.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been writing and publishing a blog post at the end of my day. At first it felt strange and I was frustrated that my batch blogging habit had fallen away.

However, from taking the bit by bit approach I’m enjoying blogging more. I spend moments of my day thinking about what I want to say and then I type it up at night. It feels like I’m creating a better writing practice because I’m clicking publish each day.

It’s not to say that the bit by bit approach is the best way of working. But what I can say is that it’s going pretty well for me right now.

 

In-flow

I’m experimenting with a different kind of way of writing. It’s less rigid and less forced yet still has a focus.

I’m writing In-flow, from a place where the words pour out simply and with ease. It makes daily blogging much easier and to be honest maybe it’s just a result of blogging daily for over 3 months.

It’s been over 200 days now, the writing habit is well and truly ingrained into my lifestyle.

But it feels good to be in a space where I don’t have to try so hard to come up with what to write. Every. Single. Day.

It’s more than what it is

This blog is more than just a blog.

It’s a daily blog.

It’s a writing practice.

It’s a come as you are space where I feel free to write as I please.

It’s a habit.

It’s a commitment.

It’s a hobby.

I’ve been blogging for years and but I never considered how I would feel about having a daily blog where the sole focus was on words. Turns out I love it, I could happily stop writing my lifestyle blog that’s how much I enjoy this blog.

It’s so much more than what it is. After over 7 years of writing online I’ve finally given myself permission to share my words in my own way.

I like a mixture of serious and silly. I can write about feeling afraid, the inner monologue and the importance of exploring yourself. But I can also write about creating a dream life and make up analogies based on cars. 

And then there’s references to Seth Godin, someone who has had a major influence on me alongside pieces that are about moments I’ve experienced.

It’s hard to summarise what this is but it’s definitely more than just a blog.

 

When you’re not in-flow

Having a daily writing practice means that writers block isn’t an excuse I can use.

There are days when writing feels a little more rigid and I suppose I feel ‘blocked’ but I don’t feed it because whether I feel in-flow or totally out of flow I still have to write and share something.

I think one of the easiest ways to loosen up and allow the words to flow is to write and it’s ironic because we’d usually do the opposite.

Perhaps the first 100 or even 500 words might be what you think of as rubbish but once you get past that you get to the good stuff. All of sudden you’re scoffing at that supposed ‘writers block’ knowing that you should have listened to Seth when he said:

Writer’s block isn’t hard to cure.

Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.

Seths Blog: Talkers Block

When you don’t get what you thought you wanted

My childhood perception of my twenties was that I’d be married or at least engaged, living in my own home and possibly have a kid on the way. But once I got to my twenties I realised that I used those things to escape from actually thinking about what I wanted to do with my life.

I don’t feel like an actual proper adult and I’m not sure I ever will but I also have no idea what that’s meant to feel like. However, I have had lots of experiences that have taught me useful things and allowed me to develop and grow.

Even though those things were challenging, they’re a big reason of why I can so confidently show up here on this site and write about overcoming things, offering tips or advice and writing about the dream-life.

My life isn’t what kid me thought it would be but I can count on 2 hands some of the things I’m grateful for. In not having the life I thought I would in my early twenties it’s forced me to confront the very things I was running from.

And because of that my life is much more interesting (or at least that’s the story I tell myself).

 

Less Seth, More me

I first came across Seths blog around 5 years ago and I remember thinking that I’d never be able to daily blog.

It amazed me that he was able to not only have something to post daily but something good.
I’d read his posts and be inspired or find myself reflecting on aspects of my own life.
At that time in my life I held the belief that some people were just better at things than others.

A couple of years later I found myself daily blogging for a month or so but the content was lifestyle/fashion based and in all honesty I didn’t have much going on in my life so it was easy to spend my days planning, writing and taking photos.

Fast forward a couple more years to the last few months of 2018 and I had so much going on that I knew I needed something challenging yet fun that was just for me.

I decided I would start a daily blog in 2019. Some may say that a new blog would just be more work on my plate but I knew it was what I needed.

When I started I had this idea of my blog being like Seths. He has this distinct way of writing that is so enjoyable that you don’t mind getting to read his words every single day, in fact you almost feel lucky to have the opportunity.

I wanted my words to have that kind of impact and I thought I needed to be more Seth when I wrote things or I’d ask myself how would Seth word this.

But then I realised I was taking away the opportunity for me to discover my own way of writing.

So now I’m being less Seth,  more me.

And so far that might mean longer posts, ideas that aren’t concise and introducing concepts that nobody has heard of but that’s all just part of the process as we all have to start from somewhere.

When you need to write

It’s somewhere between amusing and slightly frustrating when you spend all day anticipating writing time. From the the morning when you woke up to the early evening you’ve managed to mentally write a good few thousand words.

The expectation is when you get home and sit on the sofa, at a desk or wherever your chosen writing space is you’ll be overflowing with ideas for what to write.

So why is it that you sometimes find yourself with nothing to say when the time comes that you need to write?

I think it’s often the pressure we put on ourselves to write something good, meaningful or even life-changing.

But each day that I write I’m trying more and more to simply focus on writing, not because I need to but because I want to.

And in doing that I’m able to tap into thinking the same way I do throughout the day when the ideas just come to me in surplus.

No prior planning

It’s very rare that I write a blog post on the spot with no prior planning and minimal editing, I’m too rigid for that. I like to have that spark of an idea come to me which spurs me on to write and luckily I get it often.

I have enough thoughts and ideas to write at least daily but what I often find challenging is extracting the idea from my brain. Sometimes the final product is disappointing its like making a cake without a recipe and when you take it out the oven it’s flat, or burnt.

But I’m learning (and constantly trying to remind myself) that it’s okay if not every blog post turns out perfectly. Some days no one will read what I write and other days I’ll publish something that becomes my most viewed post.

Not every post can be absolutely perfect and considering I’m only on day 29 of daily blogging that is okay.