Building Better Writing Habits

Green Question mark kay on keyboard blogging ideasDo you sometimes have trouble sitting down and writing a blog post? I do too – so I thought I’d share some tips on building better writing habits with you. I am currently involved in a free beta test of a one month group coaching program called Habit Builders by Rachel founder of www.pronagger.com (@Pronagger on Twitter). Rachel is testing her program free on 11 of us Guniea pigs, so far – so good – I’m writing and posting!

My new habit is writing 30 minutes 5 days a week, and posting at least once a week. In support of this new habit, I have discovered a few tricks that might help others in their blogging (or any writing).

Replace an old habit with a new one:

I am shifting my habit from reading while eating breakfast, to writing while eating breakfast, and getting to bed a half hour earlier and getting up a half hour earlier and writing in that extra morning time. So I am replacing one old habit (reading) with the new habit of writing, rather than squeezing in a new habit into an already busy schedule. Our head Habit Builder @Pronagger suggests that if you can attach a new habit to an old one you ALWAYS do (like brushing your teeth) you are more likely to do that. But I don’t want toothpaste on my keyboard, so I’m writing in my notebook over cereal, then sitting down at the computer and writing early, most mornings.

Same Time Same Place:

I am also trying to build my writing habit by writing at the same place and time. This is helping, but is still something I am working on implementing. This makes sense though, that over time, the familiarity can make it easier.

Shake Things Up:

One the other hand, I am also training myself that writing isn’t that difficult, and can be one anywhere at any time. So I have a notebook in my handbag, and one in the car. And when I was over at my mom’s house the other day waiting for something, I was pleased that instead of grabbing a book to read, I grabbed my notebook and wrote in stead.

Have your Tools Ready:

I have place a notebook and pen various places in the house, so I don’t have the excuse of no paper/pen/computer when and idea strikes. It can be so easy to be lazy and let an idea (or habit) slide, but if you keep your tools ready at hand, it helps to break the grip of resistance. I got my idea for a recent post just as I was waking up one morning, and if I hadn’t had that notebook and pen by my bedside, I probably would have lost the idea while getting breakfast etc. But I jotted the gist of it down beforeĀ  got out of bed, then went to the computer and typed up a draft. Then I went and made breakfast and got on with my day.

Another trick I use to catch ideas is by creating a “blog ideas” document and putting a shortcut on my desktop. So when I get an idea, I can open it up wit just a click and get started. Then I can go back and edit later. No excuses. I’m working on the theory that like Star Trek’s the Borg, resistance is futile.

Keep it Simple:

I have a tendency to write kinda long, very detailed posts with lots of info. But I realize that these take longer to write, and some people want short posts. So I am working on that as well…How am I doing? At least this one is broken up into short tidbits.

What are your tips on building better blog posts habits?

Cathy Larkin, PR & Social Media Consultant and Coach: http://WebSavvyPR.com @Cathy WebSavvyPR & http://WhyDoWeBlog.com @WhyDoWeBlog

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2 thoughts on “Building Better Writing Habits

  1. Thanks Cathy.
    Great tips on how to increase posting frequency. Interestingly, you didn’t even mention why frequency is the best driver for lifting your search results to have your content found.

    Every time I post and check the analytics with many visibility tools, it never fails to demonstrate, or amaze me, how a post can automatically give you a bump and lift your numbers.

    Thanks for the tips and keep up the great work!

    Also, glad to see that you dropped Thesis for Headway. It’s the best!

    PP

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