Do you struggle with writing consistently? Does the thought of content creation make you feel heavy and overwhelmed? Creating content is a lot like eating healthy or exercising. It works best when it’s a way of life and not a sudden push to fit into a smaller dress size for your twentieth reunion.
If creating content is something you dread as much as I used to dread exercising, I feel for you. It was right up there with having a root canal. Then, something shifted that led me to loving exercise today. I believe what I learned through my experience with exercising could be helpful for you in consistently creating content.
Twenty years of sitting at a computer most of the day had taken its toll. I had quite the computer spread and my energy level was abysmal. By August of 2011, my weight was right up there with my highest 9-month pregnancy weights. Not fun.
I was riding back from a family vacation to the beach in August of 2011, when I started assessing my life, setting goals for the relationships I wanted, and the passionate lifestyle I envisioned. In the process, I realized that I didn’t have the energy to pursue it. Nor did I have the passion for life that would attract the people I needed to make it happen.
Keep the End in Mind
That’s when I got a clear picture of who I’d need to BE and how I’d need to FEEL to attract the life I wanted. The first thing I realized is that I needed to be in better shape. So right there, during that drive home from Florida, I committed to get in shape.
How does this relate to content creation? Start with the end in mind! Do you eventually want to write a book? I’ve written books, one article at a time. My first print title was a compilation of a series of weekly study lessons I wrote over the course of a year. I gathered them up, sorted them into chapters, plugged them in where they belonged and filled in the gaps.
The blog you write today could be a section of your next book!
Another aspect to keeping the end in mind is getting a vision for the type of person you’d have to BE and how you would FEEL as a successful content creator. What kind of person gets excited about documenting epiphanies on a regular basis?
I find myself stretching outside my comfort zone more, just so I have something to Facebook or blog about. Envision the person you want to be someday. Do you want to be a speaker? Imagine your book selling out at the back of the room. Doesn’t that feel fantastic?
Every time you sit down to write, keep that vision in mind, and you’ll find the motivation to act consistently.
When I came back from the beach, I didn’t suddenly start working out at the gym every day. First, I started taking vitamins to boost my energy, and then walking three days a week. After a few weeks of that, I started going to the gym a couple days a week. Now I work out five days each week.
I didn’t push myself until I was miserably sore and aching. I know a lot of personal trainers will have you do that. But slow and steady is simpler and long-lasting. If you’re not aching all over, you’re much more likely to get up the next morning and do it again. By not expecting myself to become Mrs. Bodybuilder overnight, but working consistently in small increments, I’ve lost 25 pounds without dieting. I feel 15 years younger and have more energy than I’ve had in years. Small consistent steps yield big results.
The same works for writing. Pick a focus and start writing. Even if it’s only a thousand words a day, it all adds up over time.
Tie Writing to Another Regular Habit You Have
I’ve tied exercise to my morning routine of getting the kids off to school. I drive them to the bus stop and just keep on going to the gym. On the way, I take time to ponder on my day and clear my thinking. While on the elliptical, I read something uplifting on my Kindle. I’ve finished several novels and some great self-help books this way. Exercise has become a part of my “me time.”
Tie your writing routine to a daily habit. Dovetail it with your morning ritual. Make it something enjoyable that you look forward to.
Let Other People’s Successes Motivate You
When I’m at the gym, I like to notice the people who are twenty years older than me who are in great shape. I look at them and think: now THAT’s how I want to look when I’m 65. It gives me hope that I can still feel young and energetic when I’m older, and it keeps me motivated to “keep on keeping on.”
Every time you read a book, think about your own future book. Notice how people structure their chapters. For example, have you ever observed that the best books start each chapter with a story to draw in the reader? Let every book you read inspire you and give you ideas for your own book.
Creating content, like exercise is a lifestyle shift. It works best when it’s a habit and when you keep the end in mind. Remember, small consistent steps yield big results. Another similarity between exercise and writing is that the more you do it, the easier it gets! I’d love to know your thoughts on how you think you can use this strategy in your own writing. Please share in the comments below…