When I started this blog back in June, I'd intended for it to become my main outlet for writing. I'd noticed a lot of my articles on my software development blog were leaning towards personal development, productivity and all kinds of self improvement topics.
I still wanted to write about games and software, but productivity and videogames are two very different audiences, so it was a good idea to split the blog into two. Originally I was going to pick some generic name for this blog, but I decided to use my own name which was very out of character. It seemed like it would be a good growth experience.
So Why Did The Writing Dry Up?
I didn't follow a schedule
I've tried blogging with and without schedules, and I've found that using a schedule improves the quality and frequency of my work. Being able to see what articles will be published in the next few weeks allows me to prepare and research, and I find myself sometimes drafting posts weeks before they're scheduled to be posted. It's a nice feeling to know that you've taken care of a week's worth of work.
"Not an expert" syndrome
I often feel that I can't write about something unless I'm an expert on it, and I don't really consider myself an expert at anything. Clearly, that has an effect on how much I write.
A Cold Writing Style
I didn't really let my personality show through in any of my earlier work, and it made writing something of a chore. There can sometimes be a feeling that you should distance your personality from your blog, which probably comes from a need to protect the ego. People will criticise your blog no matter how good it is, so it's only natural to try and separate it from yourself as much as possible.
Another point that's related to not being an expert. I'd often write lengthy articles, and then bin them because they were full of perceived imperfections. Perfectionism is a huge barrier to personal productivity, and it's even more problematic because it can be justified as "trying to maintain a level of quality".
How I'm Solving These Problems
Making a schedule
Looking ahead, I can see how my blogs are going to shape up over the next few weeks. This is a big help for scheduling work, and means I know a big article won't sneak up on me. It could be argued that keeping a schedule removes some of the spontaneity and passion from a blog, but it suits my working style so I'm inclined to disagree.
Sharing my Experiences
Instead of trying to write from an expert's point of view, I should write from my own point of view and discuss my experiences, the problems I've encountered and anything else that might help other people. If I'm struggling with something, the chances are that other people are struggling too.
Letting Go Of Fear
Being criticised is part of life, and is definitely part of the internet. Letting my personality show is an important part of making the blog readable, and more importantly they make it more interesting to write for.
The Tough One
Dropping the perfectionist part of my personality is going to be difficult. I think this is something that will have to solved by experiencing life from a non-perfectionist point of view. For example, trying to live as a non-perfectionist for 30 days, and then seeing what happens.
Now It's Your Turn
So how did you find your blogging feet? What's bugging you and what do you think is holding you back?
I can certainly identify with the problems here. Part of the recent dip in my blogging quality was due to the fact that, for some reason, I started to view it more as journalism than blogging for fun. I started worrying about "angles" and so on, when really what I want to communicate is my ideas, personality and passion for what I'm writing. Good style is obviously a necessity, but it's not top of the pile. Not for me, anyway.
I hope you don't forget these important ideas, and keep blogging!