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Remaining Consistent is Key To good Writing

Yesterday in Finding Time to Write in Our Busy Lives at I talked about was to make sure that you have time to write. I know I have mentioned it before in previous posts, but I forgot to mention how important it is that you remain consistent in your writing.

Breaking bad habits
I went to a course in student leadership a couple of years ago, and there they talked about how hard it is to break new habits. I might be a bit off here since it was a while a go, but setting a new habit after breaking an old one takes close to a month. That means that if you want to get something going into your daily routine if must force yourself to go about it for almost 30 days! Can you truly afford to blow off your writing saying, “I’ll get to it later?” (See my guide on Habit Kicking if you would like some ideas on how to do this.)

So what does this have to do with consistency?
Consistency just like everything else is about forming a habit, and sticking to it. If you want to be consistent, then 1st you need to go about forming a habit from this. This could mean writing a certain amount per day, or just getting ready for the day ahead, but make sure that you have a plan as to when you are going to write.

Ok, so what does this have to do with my writing?
Taking a break is always good here and there, but as I said up above about how hard it is to break old habits, and start new ones. Well, writing is no different… If you sit around and do nothing all day, then naturally your blog/work will look like a piece of junk. (Metaphorically speaking of course.) Don’t worry about going crazy, but just make sure that you are sticking to a schedule.

How big of a schedule do I need?
It will differ for what you are writing, but with LoaTW I tend to go with 2-3 times a week. This way I give time in-between posts for readers to comment, and I can get back to all me readers that have questions. In addition it gives me time to myself to help prevent from Burning out.

Common things to look out for, and things to do when you aren’t posting
• Posting once a day is good, but don’t continuously post MORE than once a day as it will cause your readers to leave just as much as a blog that has 1 post a month will. People don’t like too much or too little, you need a balance.
• Sometimes you need to force yourself and that is good, but if you are not having fun with your writing then it is time to take a break. (I mean isn’t this the reason you are writing in the 1st place?)
• If you aren’t getting anyone to read during your off days spend some time commenting on other blogs. This will help you get a fan base (if you do it correctly) and will hopefully get you a few comments for your latest post.
• READ! I stress it a lot, and I know I’m starting to sound repetitive but it is simply the best method out there to help improve your writing. Whether it be in a book, or a blog using a reader (Using Google Reader to Improve Your Writing), it’s important to both get ideas, and to see what works/doesn’t.

So how bout you…What is the schedule that you follow? Do you have it written down or is it just in your head? And what about the list…Is there anything that you would add?

Pic by salvez from Flickr

9 comments:

  1. Snow says

    I have to agree with you on that, in addition, a blogger must not only be a good writer but a good commenter as well to be consistent!

    Cheers,

    Snow ^_^


    Izzy Daniels says

    how true how true. Commenting is a very important part of being consistent... I need to start commenting more lol


    Corey Freeman says

    Very nice write up! I definitely agree with your tip about reading, but I think you should stress the importance of -printed- materials. Books and magazines are meticulously edited for errors, and the writers are genuinely trying to achieve a goal using a variety of techniques. The more you read, the more of this you'll pick up, including word usage, grammar, rhetorical devices, etc.

    Forming good habits comes with time, and so does breaking bad ones. I think the most important thing is just to be aware of what you need to do and get it done as best as possible.


    Izzy Daniels says

    @Corey

    You are right about this. I was really just trying to show that with blog it is very important to keep up with other blogs that are similar to yours. While I agree that books are vital, people don't read blogs like they do books, and if your blog is not written correctly you can actually lose a lot of readers


    Rose Works Jewelry says

    I usually post every day in both my blogs - but I tend to have a lot to say :P I'm working on being more consistent in my just "me" writing right now.


    Jena Isle says

    Hi Izzy,

    Your posts are very informative and helpful to bloggers. I'm amazed that you have ventured also into creative writing.

    Based on these facts, I have nominated and voted for you to be one of the Emerging Influential Blogs. Voting will be up to a year. The blogger who gets most of the votes or nomination wins the title.

    Here's my post about it:

    http://jenaisle-candidthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/05/my-pick-for-top-10-emerging-influential.html

    Good luck.


    Strawberry Girl says

    This is a great reminder to set up good habits with our writing. If writing is important (and it is to many of us) we should treat it as the enjoyable gift that it is. Thank you very much for your informative post. I will be back to read more of your blog later. :D


    Izzy Daniels says

    You are very welcome Strawberry Girl, Hope to see you soon.


    irtiza104 says

    Hi Izzy,
    i think that it is really important to be consistent. publishing posts regularly can not only uplift the standard of writing but also can build a faithful reader community.

    consistent commenting is also important.


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