Blogging and Self-Discipline
Although blogging is great fun and a very rewarding hobby, it is also at times hard work. I don't say that to discourage you, but it is a fact that needs to be considered by all embarking upon their content creation journey. Writing per se requires a degree of self-discipline. Without it, your aspirations will remain just that. Nothing will get done, posting will become irregular and you'll readers will simply lose interest and look for material elsewhere. So, what exactly do you need to be self-disciplined about? Well if you want to write posts regularly that are engaging and of a good standard then consider the following points:
- Set aside a specific time to write, that is free from distractions.
- Find an environment that is conducive to writing.
- Establish a schedule that suits you and is sustainable.
- Strike the right balance with self-criticism and editing.
- Commit to your writing. Don’t do it half-heartedly.
I would also add not rushing or writing in the "heat of the moment". It is often a mistake to go off “half-cocked”. Also ensuring that you are factually correct and have linked to any source material that you may be discussing.
Now adhering to these criteria requires commitment and adds another layer of work to the process of writing. Ignoring them is often very tempting. However, you will not produce your best material by doing so. The writer that knocks out a post at the end of a busy day, while the TV blares in the background is likely to make mistakes. The writer that pens a vitriolic reply to an article they've misread will end up with egg on their face. Plus, there is no shortage of self-appointed internet policemen who will happily write a comment of epic proportions, pointing out how you made a schoolboy error over some minor detail. Poorly conceived posts and bad argument won’t gain you any traction with readers.
It is possible to do all the above and still have immense enjoyment from blogging. None of these suggestions have to be a chore. If you can factor them into your writing process, then they will become a lot easier. Your output will certainly be better as a result. Don't beat yourself up if you deviate from them from time to time. We're all human. I have on numerous occasions done the complete opposite of what I have suggested. In fact, while I was writing this post I wasted several minutes being side tracked by You Tube videos and a Discord thread featuring pet pictures.
Exactly how much of a process you impose upon your writing is ultimately up to you. There is no one size fits all. It may take some trial and error to find a routine that suits your specific needs. But having no process whatsoever is not likely to be beneficial. Therefore, do not see self-discipline as being a burden but more of a practical tool that contributes to your overall blogging experience. Self-discipline leads to a routine and a routine is great way of polishing your writing process. Please feel free to share any ideas you may have on writing routines or how you maintain self-discipline and motivation in the comments section below.