If you write several blogs either by design or for business you know how much it takes to keep on track of all the publications. It isn’t always easy to come up with appropriate ideas to keep posting on time. The longer we wait, the harder it normally gets. Kevin recently blogged how much he hates writers block in his post pen & paper.
Writers block sucks at the best of times. But instead of making life hard for yourself you can use the following ways to plan your weekly schedule, without falling prey to the dreaded writers block.
It all starts with an idea. The trouble is, when we rush things ideas usually fail to flow. To counteract this potential show stopper we have to find an easy to implement technique to capture those ideas. I’m using dedicated pages in my Moleskine notebook to jot down blogging ideas.
Some bloggers use spreadsheets. A spreadsheet has one benefit. It keeps all the clips in one place. On the negative side, a spreadsheet gets more overwhelming the larger it gets. Once the file is too long we simply get too frazzled to even bother looking.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Moleskine’s, go check them out. If you have only a fraction of affection for pen and paper you will fall in love with these timeless notebooks, guaranteed. After all, Moleskine is a way of life, a religion if you must know.
On the other hand a simple pocket size notebook will do too. The whole process from idea to a finished post is a continuous work flow. Here is what you do.
1.) Set aside 15 minutes every day to brain storm ideas. If you have enough ideas already, use this time slot to work existing ideas into blog post outlines.
Even the busiest of person could manage this.
2.) Take any page in your notebook and name it idea/topic. This your brainstorm central. You will use this page to write down any and all ideas that come to mind throughout your day. Naturally you want to get into the habit of carrying your notebook everywhere you go. Leave extra space to continue once the page is full.
3.) Dedicate another portion of your notebook and map it to a week, using weekday names on a double page. You can also substitute this by using a simple diary if you want to save the time.
4.) Mark each weekday with the names of the blog you write for. Use abbreviations to save space. As long as you remember which abbreviation corresponds to which blog of course.
5.) Now break up your posting schedule according to your workload. You might need to post on alternate days, leaving you space in between to write them. You could also set aside a full day every week and write all your blog posts on the same day. Whatever works best for you according to your time schedule.
6.) Once you have outlined your weekly schedule (which by the way could be similar every week), you can move to the next step.
7.) Now it’s time to do some serious brainstorming. Use your daily 15 minutes to come up with as many blog ideas as possible. Don’t analyze your thoughts, just keep writing. After a while you will find this becomes a lot easier. Plus you might only need the one day per week to jot down ideas, while you can use the other days to write your posts. This is a guaranteed solution against writers block.
8.) In the allocated writing time slots peruse your ideas page and craft them into blog outlines, drafts and finally posts using a step by step work flow. You could use different folders on your computer for each one, moving them from one to the next (like a car in a car factory). Every time your files move they grow and eventually you will have a range of fully crafted, masterful blog posts.
The hardest part is always the first step, going from idea to draft. Once your draft is in the proverbial box, you will find it easier to work and modify your piece until completion.
Alternatively you can also use index cards for the first steps in conjunction with a diary. By the way, you can get Moleskine diaries as well. I just find it easier to use a Moleskine, since I have it all in one convenient place, plus it is pocket size convenience, portable to go everywhere I do.