jueves, 26 de septiembre de 2019

Is sharing killing your blogging creativity? Here are 3 things you can do about it:

While I started my “30-minutes brain break", I realized that usually it is not a problem for me to find the time to write. What really kills my mood is the whole process that follows. You know… that process that someone working with digital communications considers important in order to get the content “out there” and read by someone else (which should be the ultimate goal, right?). 

Knowledge can be a double-sided weapon (un arma de doble filo, we say in Spanish). Becaus I know how blogging works, how SEO works, how social media works; and because I work with these each and every week for a minimum of 7-8 hours-a-day, thinking of it makes me anxious before I even start typing. 

I wrote this post while I was waiting in the mall, so I took this photo to remind myself that I can make time to write anywhere, anytime. 

That process is the following:

1. Finding a topic and writing about it
This is the easy-piecy part for me. I get writing ideas flowing every day. I find inspiration in many things. My favorite sources of inspiration are books, because the lack of image leads me to various trains of thoughts that can turn into different topics. My second favorite source of inspiration are good conversations. Do yourself a favor and get friends or a SO you can have serious, deep conversations with. Listen to other people’s life stories; meet people with different cultural backgrounds, etc. I find a lot of art in others. Last but not least, traveling is my third favorite source of inspiration. I don’t mean only going too far. Just commuting in the silent wagon from home to work, or having a walk through a new park, can spark some content ideas. But of course, the further you can get, the more you discover. 

2. Proofreading 
Then it comes proofreading. Which I hate, but I know how extremely necessary it is, especially as I am writing in a language that differs from my mother tongue. I wish I had a permanent editor to do it for me, but I can’t afford it, yet…

3. Sourcing
I’m a journalist. I like to read articles with credibility, and I like to write articles with credibility. Therefore, I like to know the sources of what I read and I like to include my references when I write. For that reason, I tend to include links to what I mention in my articles. Not only this is good for SEO purposes, but it’s the right thing to do.   

4. Finding a suitable image
In today’s day and age, the competition for getting a reader’s attention is fierce. I myself tend to scan articles with images that tell a little more than the headline, and I bet you do it too. After all, we are the generation of Instagram, right? So finding a suitable image for my blog posts or social content is important to me, at least until I reach Gary Vaynerchuck’s level of influence. He is the only one who shares LinkedIn content without pictures that I constantly read. 

5. Sharing it!
And then, after all that I’ve just described, comes the moment of actually publishing the blog post. I use Blogger, which I personally consider very easy and user friendly. But publishing your blog also takes time: adding a title, making sure the format is right, making sure the links and photos look right and in the right place, thinking of the byline or short description, etc… 

And even after that, comes the process of sharing it on social media. Which, as told by the real experts, supposes a totally new process in which you should adapt your message to the corresponding social audience, be it your family on Facebook, your friends and acquaintances on Instagram, your professional network on LinkedIn, and so on…

See, my job is not that easy, and if you are thinking of blogging, or vloging or podcasting, the process is similar only in a different format.

Now let’s get to what I’m currently doing to take things easier for myself and not to kill my inspiration with the thought of “all I have to do”. 

1. Write first, share later
Through my 30-min writing challenge my main concern is to find time to write. My priority is to exercise my creative writing; to give my brain “a walk”, and ultimately to do something that I enjoy a lot. Therefore, sharing shouldn’t keep me awake, and I’m not forcing myself to share things right away or to figure out how to put it across all my social networks in an hour. 

Instead, I give myself a window of two weeks to do so. Within two weeks after writing the post, I must find the time to upload it to Blogger one day. Then in the days following that, I find the time to share it on social media, and sometimes by the time I get to publish it, I can already tease my readers on what the next topic will be. 

Spreading out the process takes the pressure out of me, and actually gives me more liberty to create fresh approaches to share my blog on social. While having an actual deadline still keeps me focused on the goal. 

2. Do I really need a picture?
Again, I know I’m not Gary Vaynerchuck, but honestly who cares? Having a picture is very important for the reasons I explained above. But if I can’t have one that’s original or not burned by Pexels users across the world, then I don’t sweat it anymore. Again, my goal is to write and I want to stay focused on that purpose. 

3. Remember this is your hobby, it’s supposed to be fun
Finally, I repeat myself that this is my hobby. For my work, I can and I must follow the whole process, but for this, it’s more important for me to have fun and stay engaged in the task. Authenticity matters, and forcing things to look perfect doesn’t help my cause neither helps my potential readers. 

In simple words: Take it easy, start somewhere, focus on creating, and keep working towards your main goal. 

Is the process killing your creativity? What are you doing to avoid it?

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