Friday, March 23, 2018–YOU might agree that blogging is a business. It requires time, creativity, energy and nurturing. Blogging can generate income and for some, celebrity status. But as with any business, blogging has its share of challenges, disappointments, setbacks and learning curves. Here are just two of the challenges I’m currently struggling with as well as my solution to them.
Failing to make writing and my blog a priority
While I truly enjoy working from home, I am learning that I’m easily distracted by my to-do list. At times, I fool myself into believing that I can do one chore and stop there. But in reality, one chore leads to another and another and the next thing I know, I’m behind in my writing. So lesson number one, setting boundaries is a must when working from home.
One of my friends (a published author), told me that joining a writers group helped her to stay focused when she first left the newsroom.
“It gave me someone to be accountable to. Working from home usually means no structure. But when I joined the writers group I immediately started to create structure and consistency. Joining a group is like taking a class. I didn’t want to show up without my homework. Since doing so, I am now a consistent writer. I’m a better writer, too! I’ve made some friends. I have written my first book and I’m on to my second. I recommend all writers join a group but especially those who work from home!” Pamela.
My solution. I took Pamela’s advice. I’m now in an online writers group. At first, I wasn’t sure if it would be as helpful to me as it might be if I met in-person, but it’s actually better for me. I can pop in whenever I need to from anywhere. We check in multiple times a week. We make and share goals, talk about the setbacks and ask for suggestions.
The perfectionist trap
Despite my strong desire to reject perfection, and my staunch advocacy of embracing Imperfect Living™ I continue to struggle with the perfectionist in me, especially when it comes to my writing. My work is never “good enough” for me. I write. Re-write. Edit. Edit. Edit. And eventually, cut it. I started to feel defeated by my OWN expectations (laugh). Even when I worked for news outlets, I was my worst critic. In a recent conversation with my previous editor she reminded me that in order to get me to complete my articles and hand them over to her, she had to threaten to print them “as is.” Can you imagine the horror of even one reader seeing your unfinished article, published? But, her strategy worked! My articles were turned in on time whether they were “perfect” or not. That was actually the beginning of my freelance career. I was able to work with them by day and sell additional articles to them, too. So she knew what she was doing. I really liked her. Unlike a lot of women in the workplace she was happy with herself and wanted other women to succeed, too.
My Solution. I’ve decided to set my own deadline and to publish articles even when I’m not happy with my work and maybe even when they’re not finished (oh boy). It worked in the newsroom and I think it’ll work here, too.
Let’s see how it goes! I’d really appreciate it if you all shared your strategies for consistent writing with me.