Some weeks I cannot stand looking at my calendar and seeing that there is some content that needs to be produced and scheduled to be published later in the week. In weeks like these it is all about putting my head down and grinding away in the writing fields of WordPress.
Some weeks on the other hand I have my productive spells and cannot seem to stop riding the inspirational wave. I am so far ahead with content production that I am thinking weeks in advance and have enough inspiration and time to think of bigger thoughts and ideas on where to take my projects to in the future. See a bit more of a detailed post on how a day in my blogging life looks like.
Writing can feel a lot like hard work. It really isn’t that easy to create a good post in one sitting and keep up with the flow of regular quality content for your visitors. Being able to just write is a great habit. This habits makes me have less of the weeks where I fear looking at the calendar and more weeks where I focus on the future and improvements of my projects.
The more of the details of my daily writing that I can hand over to effortless automation, the more of my mind and energy can be set free to think of better ideas and ways in not only creating content, but also promoting and monetization. You can of course outsource your writing to other people and guest bloggers and save yourself time in that way but in this post I am specifically talking about making it easier, faster and more effortless to produce the content yourself.
Where things just happen by themselves
I have found from my experience that to have more of the productive spells the best state to be in is the state where things just happen by themselves. I open an empty document, or a draft post of ideas I have and begin writing without thinking about what I am writing. In other words the best way to begin writing a post is to write something. It doesn’t necessary have to follow a structure either, I can write the end first or the beginning first or just a bunch of steps that I recommend people take towards achieving a goal.
As I am writing I think about how to organize the idea I am working on. Will it be a top list post? Or maybe a how-to guide? Most of the times I have a good headline in mind as well. For this it is always good to be aware of types of posts that you can be publishing on your site. In few good minutes of writing like this you will find yourself with some 300 words or more which is more than enough to base a post on.
The important is just to write ideas and thoughts down and to get started. Keep an open mind in terms of my ability and knowledge, and don’t distract myself by doing other things or by doing further research. The reason this process is so effective relates to the way your brain operates. All of your decisions are generated sub-consciously.
In the 1920s an economics professor by the name of George Wallas, created a four-part theory of subconscious decision-making, and problem solving that has since become the cornerstone of all research in this particular field.
- In the first stage you focus on the problem at hand. In terms of a post you start to write about your core subject using the thoughts and feelings you have in your mind.
- In the second stage you let go all of all conscious effort. This means leaving your piece of work to mature whilst you go about your everyday duties. Wallas maintains that it is during this period of time that your brain will be working on the first stage sub-consciously.
- In the third stage it’s a case of Eureka! Your answers seemingly arrive in your conscious thought like a fully formed Rubik Cube. You think it is a miracle but in reality it is the hard work of your sub-conscious. You can now adapt your work and fine-tune it to get a much more thorough and professional piece of work.
- Finally, your conscious thought mode analyses the output to make sure the sub-conscious has done its job properly. You are scanning for errors or indifferences – editing if you will.
Steps towards publishing an “automatic” post
This is how the whole process looks like from sitting down to write to publishing the post:
- Take some time without any distractions
- Open a document and start writing
- Write with an open mind
- Organize your thoughts by figuring out type of post you’d like to post
- Rearrange by cutting and pasting your written words
- Write more content for each of your points
- Edit, refine and check spelling until it is ready to be released to the public
- Figure out a headline that makes people click
- Spend time carefully selecting the appropriate visual stimuli
- Schedule and publish
These are the other ways you can boost your creative output and keep delivering:
1. Don’t plan, just do
Many people spend too much time on planning, researching and/or thinking, instead of on taking action. ‘Just do it’ usually works better. The more time you spend on the planning phase, the more fears and doubts you start having, the more you need to change and the less time you have to build something great.
2. Stop waiting for your Mona Lisa
Don’t wait for a masterpiece before you publish something. Some people have a phobia of clicking on the “Publish” button. They always seem to have something to add, something to change, something to polish, some more research to do… thinking like this usually never stops and you drag the process on and on.
3. Be a producer, not a consumer
Lack of time is something I often hear when talking about boosting someone’s creative output. Upon digging deeper into what the person spends his time on, there is regularly a trend of consumerism. Consumerism of news, sports news, of TV, celebrity gossip, of games and much else. To gain some time for writing you have to get into the mindset of a producer. Stop consuming other people’s material and start producing your own material.
4. Don’t trust your mom
Your mom (or the rest of your family and friends) are being nice to you when you ask them what they think about your material. Unless they are very direct and honest (and want to be mean) they will always give you positive feedback and support you in whatever you do. This is all fine but you need your work out in the real world to get ahead.
5. Grow thick skin
Writers in general, and even more so writers in the online world, have to grow thick skin. Their work is constantly judged and doubted in the comment areas, in social media, in forums and via email. You have to learn to stay confident in yourself and what you believe in, despite being doubted by others.
6. Be open to feedback from the real world
By publishing your work you share your ideas and you get feedback from people in the real world. You will learn if people engage with your work, if there are readers interested in your work. This feedback will help you improve, learn, and refine your work and give you ideas for projects you didn’t even think about.
7. Practice and practice some more
Best way to get better at writing is to practice. Your first post may suck but you will become better. By practicing and by writing in public you get feedback and that improves your work. Write something, get feedback, write something more, get more feedback and round and round it goes.
8. Don’t make assumptions
Don’t make assumptions about your audience. They don’t have the same level of knowledge and same level of experience as you do. There are many people who would love to read and even pay to get access to, something that is so simple and so obvious to yourself. Always think about your topic with a beginner perspective.
9. Learn from the unpredictability
Many things are not in control of a writer and this makes writing very unpredictable. You may think you have a great viral article but it may flop, but sometimes the article you almost didn’t publish because it was too basic becomes your most read piece of work. You must embrace this unpredictability, keep your mind open and learn.