July is my one-year blogging anniversary. My goal was to publish a new blog post each week. While I did not achieve this goal, I am proud of my first twelve posts and ambitious to write even more in the second year.
Looking at the dates of my posts, I noticed there were several gaps where I took long breaks from writing. In those gaps, I wasn’t short of ideas. There may have been other things I was short on – time, courage, energy. But I attribute the main reason to my pattern of putting things off. I’ll start again next week. The perils of a procrastinator.
Bad habits aside, I can celebrate my writing consistency as a new contributing-author of Two Writing Teachers. In hopes of establishing a more routine writing schedule on Small Steps, I reflected on my experience writing for TWT to determine factors that led to a consistent writing habit.
1. Establishing an official routine. While I may be a procrastinator, I do not miss deadlines. On TWT, my posting dates are scheduled every other week in a Google calendar for months at a time.
2. Being held accountable. Not only is my team depending on me to meet deadlines, readers are. Once you set the expectation that you will be posting on a certain day or frequency, readers will begin wonder what’s going on if you break that routine.
3. Making lists. Endless to-do’s are a procrastinator’s kryptonite. What’s helped me be successful is writing lists. When I see a physical list, I cannot stand to see boxes un-checked. I keep lists of when to write and lists of ideas to write.
4. Keeping a bank of ideas. In addition to lists, I have several spaces dedicated to jotting down ideas. Most frequently used is the Notes app on my phone. Ideas often come to my on my train-ride to work, from a quote a kid said during the school day, or right before bed. For better or worse, my phone is always with me and I can quickly add to a compiled list. Because I would have to open the app to see the list, I like to keep an additional physical list of ideas in my writing journal, as pictured above..
5. Letting go of perfection. This one’s tough for me, but my new mantra is It’s more important than to write imperfectly than to not write at all. I hope in the process of this, I begin to write more efficiently, and consequently, more frequently.
So, I’m giving Small Steps a much needed dusting and excited to thread together the narrative that made the 2017-18 school year a special one.
In the process, I’ve given Small Steps a new look. Posts are now organized by category in the menu bar (if you’re viewing from a phone) or at the top of the home page (if you’re viewing from a computer).
For more information on the Slice of Life Challenge, check out https://twowritingteachers.org/challenges/.