There’s an old show business anecdote – variously attributed to Peter O’Toole, Jack Lemmon, and a few others – about the last words of a revered character actor on his deathbed. Nearing the end, the dying actor was visited by an old friend, who said “This must be terribly difficult for you.” The actor replied, “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.”
Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch, but I know where he’s coming from. I feel the same way about blogging.
It doesn’t make sense that I should so often find blogging (which is supposed to be spontaneous and easy and a labor of love) a slow and painful process. As a writer, I can create compelling sales copy, persuasive letters, even book chapters. Working within a structure with formal guidelines actually feels more comfortable to me.
In fact, it may be that the spontaneity of blogging is what I find most challenging. My innate perfectionism wants every word to be just the right one, and I have to make the effort to loosen up enough to actually finish the piece – not keep tweaking it endlessly until it achieves some standard of perfection that I will never consider quite good enough.
This is obviously not compatible with blogging consistently. And for a blogger, consistency is just as important as content.
The other thing that challenges me as a blogger is requiring fresh inspiration on a regular schedule. Many times I’ve drawn a blank on a topic to blog about, and I end up staring intensely at the blank screen until tiny beads of blood appear on my forehead. That’s when I wonder if it’s not too late to go to taxidermy school.
So though blogging is a more informal and less demanding medium, I still find it quite a struggle sometimes. Nevertheless, I’m determined to get back to blogging regularly again, and I recommend the same for all my clients. It’s great practice for anyone who wants to write for a living. The writing muscle has to be exercised frequently and consistently in order to develop your style and stay sharp.
Though I’m the only member of my immediate family who DOESN’T have ADHD, it has been difficult lately to stay focused on business. My natural style is to float around and go where the muse takes me. Unfortunately, I’ve found out that this is not a very effective way to make a living.
So lately I’ve been trying to learn new personal productivity and focus techniques. My husband is somewhat of an expert in that field, and I don’t know why I didn’t turn to him for help sooner. Too close to home, I suppose. Ever heard the old saying, “the shoemaker’s children go barefoot?” The shoemaker is so busy making shoes for others that he doesn’t get around to making them for his own family.
As I learn more about what practices help me the most, I’ll be sure to share them with you!