At first the problem was that I didn’t have Internet set up in my apartment. Then it was traveling on the weekends without my computer. Then it was having social engagements after long days of work.
Eventually it was just that I spent too much of my day writing to come home and do more… writing.
Then there was a hurricane.
You guys, I have spent months and months making excuses for why I haven’t been updating my blog regularly. I’m so good at it by now that I’m able to squash my great post ideas with a simple, “I just don’t have time.” The Lazy Procrastination Monster in me had fully taken over.
Sometime over the weekend though, I shook my head out of the fog and snapped back to reality. What was I doing, exactly? I love my blog! I love writing creatively and talking about fashion and sharing my style advice with people all over the world. I needed to get back on track, and re-commit myself. Like a married couple renewing their vows, I wanted to renew my commitment to my blog. However, if you’re anything like me, that’s easier said than done. Here’s how I’m getting started.
Assess the damage.
Have I lost some followers on Twitter? Has my traffic tanked? Is there something I’ve been doing that isn’t working for me? The first thing I did before revving up my blogging engines again was to stop, breathe, and take stock of what I was dealing with. First of all, my ad revenue had plummeted. Not good. Second, my readership had dropped off drastically. Even worse. I dried my tears over my depressing analytics (not really, but it was pretty sad), and then had a long think. How am I actually going to make a come-back? What will actually work?
Establish a new routine.
The weekend jaunts to the beach are long since over. I’m not going to that many events. The power is back on. and those excuses are out. Too much time in front of the computer? That’s still true, so what can I do? First, Sunday nights are now for brainstorming. Because I am of age, I pour myself a glass of wine and order some take-out. I set up shop at my kitchen table and dive head-first into my Google reader. I jot down ideas and inspirations on an actual piece of paper. I put that little list on my cork-board where I can see it all week.
During the week, I walk home from work, lace up my sneaks and head back out for a jog or a “power walk” around the neighborhood. Just about 20 minutes – which is long enough to clear my head and short enough not to keep me up all hours. I cook myself dinner while listening to music, then eat and catch up with my roommate. Just like in high school with my homework, I then retreat to my room, set up an office on my bed and get to blogging.
Routine can get mundane, but it’s how good habits are formed. Is this going to work everyday? No, probably not. but that’s the goal, and I’m going to have to make a real effort to make it happen.
Commit, commit, commit.
The funny thing about all of this for me is that I shouldn’t really be surprised. I have never been able to stick to a diet, a fitness plan even a certain train of thought before I’m off the wagon and knee-deep in pepperoni pizzas and YouTube videos of cats. It’s not so much a fear of commitment as it is a natural aversion to it and apparently, a rather short attention span. Accomplishing goals and staying focused takes work. Everyday, I have to actively try to stay on track and get things done – even fun things like fashion blogging.
Personally, I can’t forget for even a minute why I’m working on my blog and what I want to get done. I remind myself constantly that even though this is a fun side project in my life and an outlet for my creativity, I also have a responsibility to the brands I work with, my network and my readers. I have to (and want to) keep up with it and make it good.
Maybe it works for you, but the “Just do it” attitude never sticks with me. I play games with myself, I reward myself for finishing projects and make elaborate to-do lists and playlists that aid my time-management and concentration issues. For some of us commitment takes work, but the feeling of satisfaction and pride in a job well done (and completed) makes all the struggles worthwhile.How do you get back in the groove after a blogging break? What tricks and techniques work for you?
[image credit: Shutterstock]