Some days I look at my blogs and absolutely hate them.
I wonder why anyone would ever hit “Like” or consider commenting. I’ll write half of a new post, then trash it, then repeat 4 more times.
Truth is I’m not confident. I’m an anxious, over-thinking mess of an average writer who works for hours on each post. What you see here was not easy.
But, I do know a few little tricks for finding confidence.
If you start up a blog and struggle to keep writing, this article is for you. Let’s take a look at 7 ways to “get in the zone” in blogging, and stay there.
Confidence: Why we need it
Firstly, a basic question. Why does confidence matter?
We need confidence in life to make difficult decisions. We need it to attract friends, and significant others. We need it to standout in an increasingly competitive world.
Plus, confidence just feels awesome.
Confidence in writing is pretty much the same. Readers can smell it a mile away and flock to it, then comment and hit share like it’s their job.
Confident writers get gigs and enjoy quicker success than the rest of us.
The weird thing though, is confidence is intangible. I can’t just sell you a bag of it, though I wish I could. I guess self-help blogs attempt to do that.
But really, do you know how many articles exist on the things we write about? If you blog about blogging like me, these topics aren’t exactly original. It’s a touch of confidence and style that makes the posts worth reading.
Blah! AlRiGhT, let’s dive in…
The first part of being a confident writer, is knowing what makes you inspired, comfortable, and basically what gets your juices flowing.
I call these things X-factors, because they’re external “things” I use to get in the zone with my writing. Let’s take a closer look.
Here are my X-factors…
Music: I use music blogs like Hypem.com to find new jams for me, usually indie rock and electro house sorts of junk. Can you tell I love blogs yet?
Coffee: A good cup of joe really get’s me excited about well, words. I’m even more likely to talk after coffee ha! My folks said this is the one healthy addiction we’re allowed, and I agree.
Pajamas: Being comfortable is one of those things we forget about. But, how many great blog posts have you written in a stiff suit? My blogging attire always includes warm slippers.
These three things just jive for me and help produce my best writing. So, when I want to write a solid blog post I make sure to seek them out first. Given I blog from my living room, it’s not all that hard.
What are your “X-factors?”
I love my niche. Ya know…blogging answers? The one I created… (ha ha)
And I think if you love your niche too, readers will notice. You’ll have a lot more to say too. I usually have to cut myself off in blog posts, because I have 3-4 more ideas that I’m better off just saving for the next one.
Niche love becomes difficult if you blog about things other than your passions. I know a few of you have review sites that are bent on making money. The problem here is if you don’t love your topic it can be excruciatingly hard to fill a blog with valuable content folks will actually read.
Forced writing has its place, like at your day job when you crank out another useless report. But forced writing doesn’t belong on your blog.
Don’t hurt yourself. If you’ve tried to succeed on your blog for a couple months and you still don’t love it, grab a new blog topic.
Loving your blog could have been the first step but X-Factors seemed cooler.
We’ve all done great things for the blogosphere, and hey, doesn’t hurt to remind yourself.
Remembering past successes and tell folks too can actually be really productive.
I see other bloggers boast about appearing on the local news, selling a blog for large sums, getting quoted by top bloggers, guest posting a banger, etc.
So, what are your biggest blogging achievements?
Keeping them near the front of your mind will help you continue to produce relevant, amazing content when you’re in a productivity lull.
Some bloggers say you’ve got to “force yourself to write”.
Sure, a writing career requires a lot of pushing yourself and time commitment. You can’t just not write because you’re tired, or frustrated, or out of ideas, especially when your dinner depends on it.
But it’s also extremely important to write when you’re inspired. When a random moment on the train, at the grocery, or at the movies inspires you, where is your notepad? How far away is the laptop?
If you take blogging seriously, you should always have the ability to jot down ideas for a new post.
Creative moments can be few and far between, but a good blogger notices them and seizes the potential within.
These natural moments produce inspired writing you look back on and smile at :).
Ahh yes, writer’s block. The strange animal that lurks around our desks.
I almost scoff at myself for mentioning writer’s block here, because I firmly believe it doesn’t exist!
Writer’s block is mainly just a state of negativity. It occurs when you hate all your ideas, and can’t put any of them on the page.
Some situations can produce the block. Stress, from an apartment move, a breakup, or a saddening loss, can make it tough to write. In these cases, try to look at writing/blogging as a way of letting your negative emotions out. It’s more fun than bottling them up, trust me.
The opposite of writer’s block, and perhaps the cure, is positivity. You know, those moments when you feel invincible at the keyboard, flow with ease, and love everything that you get down.
If you actually suffer from writer’s block I’m sorry. Here are my suggestions for getting over it:
a. Write something absurd
b. Write a Haiku
c. Watch a funny video on YouTube
d. Have a tall glass of wine
e. Read what Yeremi Akpan says about writer’s block
What do you think? Does writer’s block exist and how do you escape from it?
Comfort (escape from it)
Your writing can always improve, even if you are Brian Clark himself.
To improve, you may have to admit your writing style is boring, blase, or played out.
Once you admit you’re not all that great, you can willingly leave your comfort zone and learn new and awesome writing strategies.
Good blogging and good copywriting is actually really, really difficult. It can take months even years to master, and you’ll never get there by just continuing to write fluff.
My advice is to try new methods. Try being sassy, edgy, and negative. Try reverse blogging, starting with a conclusion. Try writing on your head or writing naked. It’s these kind of creative exercises (well not that last one) that have helped me really get a better idea of my true writing style.
The final step to get confidence is to get some more YOU. And love it.
The YOU aspect of blogging is extremely important, especially early on in your blog’s journey. And yet when we see this big blogger killing it, we try to copy their style. It seems to good and it must work!
But trust me this never works. What worked for Darren Rowse will not work for you.
Sure it’s great to learn tips from our blogging/writing idols, but you should learn writing tips in a way that supplements your strengths, not replaces them.
Do this, and you’ll get ever-closer to knowing yourself as a writer.
And when you truly know yourself, trust me, then you becomey dangerous anywhere near a pen or keyboard.
Are you confident?
Are you confident? What a question. I know it’s pretty darn hard to admit a lack of confidence but this can be highly productive too.
What about confidence do you love, and what strategies do you have for finding it when you’re down? Post a comment while you’re here.