As the years go by, I actively and consciously learn more and more about myself, specifically the way I work.
Years back I used to write monthly todo lists, I didn’t realise it at the time but I was mimicking things I’d seen other people do. Sort of like people that are organised and productive write todo lists so that’s what I’ll do too. I was doing the behaviour without any true intention so it didn’t really make me the organised and productive person I aspired to be.
I then discovered MuchelleB on YouTube who I’ve learnt a lot from. She inspired me to write structured weekly todo lists which I’ve been doing for a few years now.
But lately I’ve found myself needing something else.
And so I started writing daily todo lists.
I’ve been using post-its which are great because you can’t fit a lot on them.
I’ve been using them at specific points in my day where I find myself stuck for what to do or how how to spend my time in the most caring/helpful way. I’ll write 7-10 tasks and work through them for the rest of the day or even just a few hours.
I’ve found that when I’m more intentional about what I’m doing in smaller sections of time, it’s much easier to be disciplined. In contrast, when I I’m working from a full week’s worth of tasks day to day, I end up just doing what I feel like doing rather than what needs to be done.
And the purpose of this post is to serve as a reminder for when things aren’t working well that you might just need to do something a little bit different.
Towards the end of 2020, I wrote a post sharing how I’d planned to stop daily blogging. Not long after, I changed my mind. I’d realised that I wasn’t ready to give up daily blogging yet because I enjoyed it and it challenged me. I also felt proud knowing I’d committed to something challenging that I didn’t have to do.
If you’re a super keen reader of this blog you’ll be aware that over the past few months I’ve become incredibly inconsistent with posting daily. As time went on it got worse until November 2021 when I stopped daily blogging altogether and only published a total of 7 posts.
I’ve never been hard on myself for skipping a day here and there but when it’s a regular thing, there’s clearly an issue.
The issue is that I’ve been doing something I no longer want to commit to. I used to wonder how long I could carry on daily blogging for without actually considering that it’s okay for me to just stop.
In 2022, I’ll be dropping from 7 posts a week to 3 which feels like I’m making things way too easy but I also think it’s okay to not put too much pressure on myself. I guess I just realised that I didn’t want to daily blog anymore. However, I’d identified myself with being a daily blogger so much and expected that I’d do it for much longer that it’s been difficult to admit that I want to stop.
Prior to starting a daily blog my biggest worry was figuring out what to write about.
Daily blogging might seem daunting but once you figure out the kinds of things you want to share it suddenly becomes much easier. Below are 4 ideas for daily blogging that are wide enough that you won’t get bored and narrow enough that you can explain it in a short sentence.
A photo a day
Each day take a photo and share it, that’s it. You don’t need to explain the context behind it, you don’t even have to edit it. The title of each post could be a name for the image or a title that says something about your day in 10 words or less.
Share something that you’ve learnt, each day. It could be a few sentences on how smiling at other people increases your happiness or maybe sumarrise a few key points from an interesting article you read.
Comment on the news
Make each post about something you’ve seen in the news and share your opinion. You don’t need to be an expert in the area you choose to write about but you do need to share something thoughtful that is worth reading.
Each day share an idea. It could be related to one specific or just life overall and it doesn’t have to be new. Some examples are ideas on how to better care for the environment, fictional characters or improving your life.
Each of these daily blogging ideas are great starting points. Each one will force you to pay more attention to life as the moment you have to take a photo or comment on something, the more you start paying attention.
Taking breaks will always be necessary. However, when you commit to doing something every single day, suddenly taking a break becomes a little more difficult.
As much as you can try and make up for it the day before or the day after, it’s not quite the same as maintaining consistency.
Once you’ve stuck with something as a daily habit for a couple of months or even a few weeks, the thought of missing a day and losing that streak isn’t particularly tempting.
And so it becomes easier to not take breaks.
But as great as it is to be consistent and build daily habits, you never want to apply so much pressure that you won’t let yourself take a break even when you feel like you need it.
Shortcuts might be enticing but you can’t escape doing the work.
Write more than a post a day
You’ll have days when its easier to write so take advantage. I’ve had days where I’ve written a weeks worth of posts which is a stark contrast to the days where writing a single post feels as difficult as nailing jelly to a tree.
Dedicate a set time in your day to write
If you make it part of your routine it’ll find it’s way into your subconscious and then you’re set. My writing time is the journey to and from work. It’s around 90 minutes daily and I find it easier to use that time than make time before or after work to write. Granted I can and often do write at other times in the day but never as consistent as I do on my journey to and from work.
Don’t aim for perfection
You have to put more importance on having something to publish instead of it being perfect. I often refer to this blog as a writing practice because that’s what it is a place for me to practice writing. It isn’t a place for me to be perfect. I understand that perfection is a falsehood. Focusing on trying to make every piece perfect is a waste of time when you can just write something better tomorrow.
That’s all you need to successfully daily blog. There’s no trick to it. Sure, it might he hard to come up with ideas sometimes but the more you do it the easier it gets.
And sometimes the best thing is to say nothing at all.
Because if someone isn’t willing to listen but is willing to argue and disagree you’re probably wasting your time and energy.
But other times the reason to say nothing is because you can’t quite find the words. You’re talking in phrases, stumbling over words and not quite making sense.
Maybe you need a moment of rest, a moment to not speak (or write) or make a grand statement about what you’ve discovered about life.
I’m in the mood to say nothing today but since I committed to saying something daily this is all I have to offer.
For some the idea of posting daily might be a strategy to make the numbers go up.
For me, posting daily isn’t a strategy it’s a personal practice. I like knowing that I can do it because 2 years ago I’d have declared it almost impossible for me.
I actually think that it’s easier to remain consistent with daily posts rather than picking 3 days a week.
But what also helps is I force myself to look at life differently as a means to have something to write about that is more than just ‘here’s what I did today’.
I’ve heard that having more content on your site can help boost your Google rankings and in most cases if you have more content you’ll also have more views.
I can post daily because I write short posts. However, if I was writing 800+ word essays daily postings wouldn’t be practical for me.
In terms of strategies I think a lot of it is down to why you blog and what you care about.
If you’re making a living from your site (or trying to) you’re much more likely to follow the rules.
I feel like anyone that blogs daily has this mental space that they go to when they’re writing.
For me I tap into my inner monologue. It’s always running and so I simply stop and pay attention to it for long enough to write a hundred words or so.
For the most part it’s easy to do, to pay attention to my thoughts and write about them.
But sometimes getting to that place isn’t so easy because we get caught in trying to be perfect or underestimating our own abilities.
The amazing thing is that, no matter how you feel you always have access to that place.
I have a habit of focusing on the bigger picture. I’m trying to see if it’s possible to come up with 365 blog posts in around a month.
The fear of failing is real. But at the same time it doesn’t really mean anything if I miss a day as the only person I’m doing this for is me.
But I’m reminding myself to take things as they come. The longest journey starts with a single step. A daily blog starts with the promise to show up and the discipline to say I’ll post daily, I won’t promise it’ll be perfect but I’m willing to show up and share something.
In the 7 years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve had multiple sites but never ran more than one at a time. I was always starting over every 18 months or so with this idea of how the new blog would be ‘so much better’ than it’s predecessor.
I found myself struggling with wanting to express every part of myself into my blog when in reality it’s perfectly okay for your blog to only show a small slice of who you are.
I’m learning that it’s okay to just write about a select few topics that interest me rather than trying to pour out and express every single bit of who I am. It’s okay to write about small businesses, personal style, my career journey and a bit of personal development.
I don’t also need to post poetry, life musings, feelings, book reviews, TV shows, podcasts, travel etc. It all becomes to much.
I created this blog as a writing space to pour out thoughts and ideas and for it to be my own personal writing practice that isn’t about working with brands, or sharing products or talking about stuff. In some ways this is more daunting because it’s just me showing up and sharing words each day but on the other hand 10+ years of keeping a journal has taught me how to express my thoughts and ideas consistently every single day.