Commitment to the writing practise

My favourite thing about this blog is that I’m driven by my commitment to writing more than anything else.

If I write something that gets 1 view, I’m just glad that I committed to writing something another day.

If I write something that gets 102 views, I’m glad that a bigger number of people got to read my words. That is a bonus on top of me committing to sharing something for another day.

When I started this daily writing practice it was not only because I wanted to challenge myself and wholeheartedly commit to something new.

I’m committed to doing the work as a priority, anything that comes along with it is secondary. That mindset makes posting daily 101 times easier because I’m not focused on getting my numbers up or having the most likes, comments or views.

Out of office

It’s getting to that time of year when the Out of office goes on with an automatic reply that goes something like:

‘ Hi, I am currently on leave until 4th January and will respond upon my return. If urgent please contact name@company.com in my absence.’

However, for daily blogging there is no break or time off unless posts are pre-written in advance.

And sometimes that can be challenging when you want time to plan what direction to take things in the future or just want to take a break.

There is no out of office for daily blogging and once you start you commit to never being able to take time off.

It can feel daunting but it isn’t all bad because there is so much to gain from committing to a writing practice every single day.

300 and counting

Last week, I noticed I was getting close to 300 followers, a few days ago I reached 300 followers and now I have surpassed it.

I don’t allow myself to pay too much attention to the number of followers I have on this blog. Followers doesn not equate to views, likes or comments and overall watching the numbers go up (and and in some cases down) has little benefit.

However, it’s nice to know that there are over 300 people who came across my site and thought it was worth following.

But what makes it even better is that because there are no pictures, I know that you are simply here for the words.

Hold yourself to it

When you tell yourself that you will do something, it’s quite easy to just not commit. Afterall, there is nobody else that knows and nobody to hold you to it.

On the other hand if you share your aims or goals with others, you have to be willing to accept being called out of if you don’t follow through with your words.

If you write a daily blog, you don’t have to declare that it’s a daily blog, you can simply hold yourself to it. Make a promise or commitment to yourself that you will publish one post, every single day.

But maybe you think it is better to tell people, maybe you need others to hold you to your words and struggle to do it yourself. I don’t think thats a bad thing and in some cases a group of people that hold each other accountable is a great thing.

However, when it comes to some things, you shouldn’t become reliant on other people reminding you of the commitments you made in order to get things done.

Daily blogging isn’t always easy

…but it’s worth it.

In a recent post I shared some thoughts about quitting daily blogging and I laid out some plans for what I would do moving forward.

At the time I thought it was a good idea and I thought that it would make things easier.

But in the weeks that followed I really started to enjoy daily blogging again. The writing process had become less difficult than it had been at the weeks prior.

Now, looking back I realise that the changes I planned to make wouldn’t have made things easier, they’d have remained pretty much the same. I’d have gone from posting short blog posts daily to posting slightly longer posts a few times a week. As much as daily blogging doesn’t always feel easy there is something quite special about making a commitment to posting everyday.

There is something special about the way I choose to see the world because I know I have to write something, even if it’s only 167 words.

The best thing I’ve ever written

When you’re sharing your words online everyday there is very little pressure for what you post to be the best thing you’ve ever written.

If todays words aren’t particularly good, I know that I can always write something better tomorrow or the day after.

Sometimes what I consider to be my some of my best work doesn’t gain the numbers that I think it will or should. Other times, the stuff I’m pretty indifferent about ends up becoming the most popular.

I’ve written posts that I thought were my best at the time only to look back months later and realise it could have been so much better.

And so the idea of my best work is pretty flexible. If in 20 months of daily blogging, this post was the best thing I’d ever written, I have no doubt that I’d change my mind a few months later.

Reminding myself of all this makes blogging every day so much easier.

7 Reasons to quit daily blogging

I’ve been daily blogging on this site for 22 months now, almost 2 years.

It’s something that I enjoy doing and I love that I’ve created a space to share my thoughts on various aspects of life and my experiences.

However, I’ve recently started thinking about what changes I could make to this site and how I can make it better.

One of the first things that came to mind was posting less. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve found myself not enjoying posting so often. I began thinking about how much I could improve the site if I was no longer sharing a new piece every day and I relaised that maybe it’s time for me to quit daily blogging.

Perhaps you’re in a similar position to me or maybe you are just curious. Either way, here are a few reasons to quit daily blogging:

  • You’re no longer enjoying it
  • Your audience is overwhelmed
  • The quality of your content is decreasing
  • You’re posting out of habit rather than because you have something worth sharing
  • You want more time to work on other projects
  • You’re not happy with your content
  • Posting daily no longer feels beneficial

The beauty of a blog is that you can create your own schedule. You might quit posting daily and realise that all you needed was a break and so maybe after a month you’ll go back to it. However, you might also realise that you’re much happier posting less.

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.