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.
A big part of creativity is being vulnerable.
When the work you’re producing is not at the level you’re content with it may be because of one of 2 reasons.
The first is that you’re working in a medium that you’re so used to that you need to dig deeper in order to produce something with an element of vulnerability.
The second is that you’re working in a new, less familiar medium and you haven’t reached that level of comfort where you’re able to be vulnerable with what you create.
As someone who writes a daily blog, has journalled for over a decade, has had various lifestyle blogs over the past 8 years and also writes poetry, I’m quite familiar with expressing vulnerability through my words.
However, I’ve recently been working on taking and styling photos which is something new for me.
I’m still finding my way with taking photots which is why it often feels difficult. But instead of pushing myself to create something interesting, I find myself holding back.
It’s easier just to do something simple instead of putting myself into my work. That takes vulnerability.
There are levels to creativity.
I beleive that I’m able to convey vulnerability through my writing. But as I work with other mediums I find that I’m much less free-flowing. My work is rigid and sometimes uninteresting.
It’s not neccisarily bad but in the creative process I don’t feel like I’m experimenting or pushing the boundary
I’ve been writing a little different lately and trying to figure out the best kind of things to share during this time.
My aim is to be relevant but whilst still maintaining my usual style and core themes.
I’ve been thinking a lot about science, history, people and fear. From that I’ve had so many ideas for things to write about and once piece in particular (that is currently just a few words and phrases) has brought me joy.
There’s a thing I do when I write where I put little thoughts and ideas together then try and make some sense out of them. It’s so fun, it’s almost like a game, trying to see how I can fit things together.
Right now I’m having a lot of new thoughts and thinking about things in ways I never have before.
And so even though things are very unexpected and a little challenging, I guess right now I’m just enjoying my writing process.
Now, is the perfect time to find joy in doing the things you love.
The sound of the music,
The touch of your skin,
Yet I still feel hesitant,
To just let you in.
I originally planned to share a full poem today. The above is part of a poem I started just under a week ago. I have 3 other verses but none of them feel quite done yet.
I need to remove words, change words and say it out loud to ensure it flows in the way that I like.
I love writing poetry. It might be simple and incredibly amateur but it’s also a true labour of love.
Like a lot of the writing I do, my poems capture moments, experiences and thoughts. I look back on old poems like photographs.
I don’t write poems very often but it’s refreshing to sometimes do something a little different.
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.
Or at least trying to be.
I remember being around 16 or 17 telling a classmate about my writing hobby and that I had thought of doing it as a career. At the time I was pretty lost with regard to career plans and my civil engineering dream was becoming less and less likely.
My classmate on the other hand was an excellent academic – who went on to study medicine.
He told me (in a roundabout way) that sometimes when you try to turn your hobby into your career it ruins it.
At the time I think I said something like yeah you’re right. But in my head I thought but I wanna be a writer and over half a decade later I still think that.
However, despite wanting to be a writer, I’m now 2 years into a career in transport. For the most part, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at and that has made me realise that more than wanting to be a writer what I really want is to write.
And I do write.
It turns out I’ve been hiding.
I’ve been hiding from the kind of writing that challenges me. I used to think that that meant being more personal and baring my soul.
But I was wrong.
I think there is beauty in being able to write something that not only moves the reader but also the writer.
Not the painful, tortured writer but instead the kind of writing with feeling behind it instead of just words.
It’s hard to find the time to push myself with what I share on The Daily Gemm in-between everything I have going on (and everything I distract myself with). And sometimes I allow myself to be bare minimum because I know I can get away with it.
But I read something beautiful this morning and it moved me. It made me remember just what I love about writing. It got me thinking about how I used to write and how I haven’t pushed myself to explore my writing enough.
I don’t even remember the last time I just sat and wrote without thinking about what I would do with it once it was finished.
I haven’t written a poem in months.
I daydreamed about writing these personal essays about my life yet I rarely write more than a couple hundred words at a time and never get round to even planning the essays.
I’ve been hiding and I didn’t even know it.