Ok, so here we are. You know why you need to blog and then what . . . ? What on earth are you going to write about? Let’s just face it, many of us have no clue how to write effectively, let alone what to write about. I know that when I started out, I would often just sit in front of a blank screen and wait – wait for an idea, wait for inspiration – just wait. It took a while for me to “get it”, but with practice, it happens a lot faster now and it is a lot easier.
I have collected stacks of material over the last few years and still diligently do. I read an article that perhaps will spark something in me or light a fire under my rear end – that’s usually what happens. I have an opinion or it sparks an entirely different idea. I usually sit with the article in front of me, read it through, think about what the impact that that particular article has/might have/ should have on my life and then a thread starts to form in my mind. In the beginning, the only way that I could describe what happens in my mind is that it starts off as a little leaf blowing around in the breeze. The breeze becomes a twister and the little leaf becomes a vast quantity of leaves all going round and round in my mind until I have to “get it out” (by writing it down) and so quell the storm. In the beginning, this could take days – with a lot of practice, nowadays once I have read through the article it takes me about 15 minutes to write the article – an amazing thing that – practice.
Don’t commit yourself to more than you can manage in the beginning. Even if it means that you write only one article a month or once every two weeks, don’t stress it. I started off with my Networking Tips on a Wednesday, months later I increased that to include the HR tip on a Friday. Again, months later I started my Monday Inspiration (although it’s usually presented in the form of a challenge) and then the Thursdays (or perhaps it was the Tuesday’s – I forget which now) articles and opportunities presented themselves and it has been just over several years now that I am submitting 5 articles a week. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when it is incredibly hard to write and to get what I am trying to say in some sort of articulate way. Other days my fingers fly across the keyboard, barely able to keep up with my thoughts.
I do try and write the articles in advance, so that if there is some sort of problem or if I have an early morning meeting that I do have an article ready for posting. It’s not always possible though and then I find myself under pressure – not pleasant at all. So try and not get yourself into a situation where you are running against a clock. Apart from my commitment to my own blog of an article a day, I also have other writing commitments – I have a bi-monthly column in the Your Business magazine. These articles obviously take a lot more time as they involve a lot more research and also sometimes have me “interviewing” people – but they are great fun to do.
What I have come to realize though is that I do love to write, it has become a passion and my only regret is that I discovered it very late in my 40’s. Can you imagine the number of articles that I could have written had I started in my 20’s or even 30’s? I love ”finding” out about the things that I write. I love that I am making a difference, not only in my life but also in the lives of others. I love how the words on the pages transform themselves into pictures in my mind.