Ok, so it’s day 2 of Blogging for Hippo, my team’s 30 day blogging challenge, and now I’m realising what I’ve got myself into, I need to find a way to make sure I come up with the goods!
Sure, 250 words per day isn’t a huge amount (unless you’re George R R Martin)*, but I don’t want to publish 30 mindless posts about nothing, so it will also require quite a bit of thinking and planning time.
My strategy for completing this challenge is to make blogging the first thing I do every morning, for at least half an hour.
This is also part of a longer plan to try and make sure the first task of my day is something creative, rather than reactive.
It’s so easy to slip into the habit of waking up and reaching for your phone while still lying in bed, checking and responding to emails, scanning facebook, twitter etc. – all of these are reactive activities, where your actions are a response to what others have written.
I find that starting my day this way can leave me feeling unproductive and with less motivation than I would like.
Earlier this year, I spent several weeks getting up at 6am to paint. The feeling of accomplishment I got from having completed something creative by 7am, was always enough to put me in a productive mood for the rest of the day, and that’s what I want to get back to.
My wife loves baking, and recently sent me this article, which sums it up nicely (replace ‘baking’ with your chosen creative pastime):
We spend almost all of our time nowadays replying, responding and repeating, and almost none of it playing, pretending or creating. Not only does this make us less happy than we might be, but it also poses a danger for our future, because all breakthroughs can only come when we play, rather than when we respond. Baking restores a sense of creativity and of newness.
So this month, I’ll be getting up early again, ignoring my inbox, and settling down to write for 30 minutes. Even if I don’t finish a post in that time, it’ll be much easier to come back to it and finish it off later that day. Getting started is always the hardest part.
I encourage you to try it – get up in the morning and paint a picture, write a story, bake some bread, whatever you want to do, as long as it’s creative, not reactive. Let me know how you get on!
* I’ve just finished reading A Dance with Dragons, and now the cold hard reality is setting in that it will be years before the series is completed 🙁