One of the more popular questions I get is “How do you write a blog post everyday?” I think the “why” question is more interesting, but the “how” comes up more often. Here’s my routine:
- Keep a list of possible topics on my iPhone (I usually add 1-2 topics per day)
- Major news or announcements immediately become top priority (like Salesforce.com buying ExactTarget/Pardot)
- Review the list of potential topics and take the one that is most interesting (weekends are toughest since professional conversations are where most of my ideas come from)
- Time box the writing of the post to 25 minutes — crank it all out and let it marinate a bit
- If traveling, write a few posts in advance, otherwise write each post on the day it’s published
- Find a rhythm and stick to it (my original goal was to write one post a week and I found it easier to do it daily)
After writing daily for a month, things become much easier and it felt like I was developing a muscle. With a few years under my belt, I don’t think too much of it anymore.
What else? What are your thoughts on writing as another muscle you develop?
6 thoughts on “Writing as Another Muscle You Develop – An Example Routine”
Reblogged this on single-minded proposition and commented:
Good post from David Cummings on how to consitently write a blog. He does a new post every single day. I like the suggestion about “time boxing”. That’s something I need to do a better job at. My blogs usually take about 2 hours of writing and editing time.
i made a rule with myself that if i find that i’m having the same conversation two or three times (or more), then it means i’m pretty interested in the topic and that i should post about it. I’m only at about once a week in frequency, but you’re right, it does get easier the more you do it. It is like a muscle.
They say it takes 30 days to form a habit 🙂
Stephen King also says that writing is like a muscle. (so you’re in good company).
I’m sure many of us would like you to answer the question you said more interesting (and I agree), “Why do you write a blog post everyday?”
One the best pieces of business advice I received this year was the following: play to your modality/communication method-strengths. Writing isn’t the only form of content generation. As an example, getting daily blog posts out was a CHORE. But speaking? Wow, some people can do that all day long (or get on video). So instead of producing txt/html/.doc content you can produce mp3 or flv/mp4 content. What often holds alot of entrepreneurs back (hands raised until recently), was the daily commitment to writing. But what about people who prefer videos or audio? In the space of 5 mins, one can produce the amount of content that might otherwise take you 30 mins (if you are a speaker not a writer) – if it leverages your strenghts. For instance there are 400,000,000 blogs – but only 215,000 podcasts. So, if like me you find that writing can be time consuming and sometimes a chore:
step 1 – go to a site like marketingdnatest.com or personaldna.com to learn more about yourself namely your optimal modality/communication method. Alternatively ask those close to you when are you at your most effective communication wise.
step 2 – if you find it’s not writing but video or audio – perfect. There are plenty of people you can reach who actually prefer that modality. Some people may never read this blog. But a video or audio? You’ll catch them there
step 3 – take a small daily (kaizen) action and get to it. If you have never written or spoken, don’t start off at 100 miles per hour. Maybe use a service like soundcloud or screencast-o-matic.com to record your audio or video. Once you’ve built up the neuro-habit of producing content each day (walking), then one can “run”.
God knows I wish someone had told me this years ago – I figure there may be people reading your stuff David who also have valuable insights to share with the world but they just hadn’t realized that if they pick a modality/communication method that plays to their strengths (vs. forcing themselves to choose a modality that doesn’t) – things would be come far more effortless.
Kaizen Daily Habit/Routine + Playing to one’s modality-strengths = epic win 😉
Just some thoughts! Thanks for the good content, btw
I just gave a presentation on blogging for job seekers and received stunned looks when I said that I blog 5-6 times per week. I agree that it actually opens your mind to the possibility everywhere.