I have a confession to make.
I don’t write everyday and I am horribly unorganized.
That’s two confessions isn’t it?
For a long time I thought that made me a bad writer…or at the least a bad blogger…because blogging is about consistency right? What I found is that lots of writers and bloggers struggle with this.
So back in November, I spoke at a conference called the State of Now conference. While I was there I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow writer/blogger/speaker, Simon Salt. Simon challenged these two confessions and wagered that if I would commit to writing everyday and organizing my posts into series that I would be able to increase the consistency of my posts. I listened skeptically, but came home and put some of his suggestions in play. I also began to do research into how to better plan out my posts and found a marvelous site called productiveflourishing.com that has changed the way I organize and structure my writing.
So how does a writer who works three days a week, has two pre-teen children, is a very active speaker and worship leader and has only a few hours a week to manage two blogs find time to post three times a week on one blog and once a week on another?
Well, first I must admit, I am no expert at this practice, but I want to share with you what has worked for me.
As a writer who does not prolifically churn out words, it is sometimes difficult to “be inspired” to write on the days that I have time. I find most often that my inspiration to write comes in my daily life as I stumble across truths that break over me like a dawning sunrise or something profound and otherworldly stumbles out my friends’ or my own mouth by accident. These are the times that I want to sit and write, but unfortunately, my life didn’t come with a remote control with a pause button. Did yours? I wonder if amazon.com carries those?
However, I am blessed to live in an age of technology where I have the ability to jot down simple ideas and take them wherever I go. I call this my “idea garden.”
I keep my idea garden on Google Drive because I can create documents and eventually turn those into blog posts that I then move to a folder called “Posts written”…it’s like my online back-up of my writing.
The backbone of my idea garden comes from this post from Productive Flourishing (I am a big fan of their blog planner sheets- I’ll write more about those later).
So the logistics look like this:
I have created a folder called “Idea Garden” in my google drive account. Whenever I have a thought about a good blog post- even if it’s just a title- I will create a new document in that folder under that title. If I have thoughts or quotes that sparked the idea, I will jot those down as notes. Each week, I spend an hour “watering the seeds” of my idea garden.
Sometimes, a post just flows out of the initial idea immediately. Sometimes the seed germinates in the garden for a while. Either way, this is a way for me to capture and save inspiration even when it comes at a time when I can’t immediately stop and write. I just take a couple of seconds to jot it down in my idea garden and I don’t have to worry about losing the thought.
This practice alone has really transformed my blogging from inconsistent to mostly consistent. I think if you give it a try, it will help you too!
What about you? Do you use an idea garden?