Since I started publishing my writing through Lovescrewed last year, people have asked me how I stay motivated to write. I’m no writing expert, and I certainly don’t post as regularly as I’d like to–this almost seems like a joke post, since the last time I published an article on this blog was over a month ago.
In any case, I have a few pointers for starting long-term blogs. Here are some tips for anyone interested in the process of how I started Lovescrewed:
- Choose a general theme/topic you’re interested in. Before I started Lovescrewed, I had a few other small blogs I’d started in the past, often because my dad encouraged me to write. None of them really stuck though, because they lacked purpose. In high school, I’d write superficial posts like, “10 things you didn’t know about me” or “why Jake Gyllenhaal was hot in Prince of Persia,” then I’d lose interest. But when I began writing for Lovescrewed, I had a wide breadth of topics I was eager to explore, and I had chosen an area that I knew a lot about. Choosing a general theme or mission is an important first step to starting a long-term blog.
- Brainstorm. When Franceska and I first came up with the idea for Lovescrewed, we got serious and went into a brainstorming frenzy. First, we started a collaborative Google Doc (I highly recommend Google Docs for saving all your writing and working with others online, by the way) and listed about a hundred different topics we wanted to write about that dealt with heartbreak, self-love, and relationships. Brainstorming article topics or general subject areas gives you a resource to fall back on when you run out of ideas to write about. Whenever I was in the mood to write, I’d turn to the list and pick whatever topic was the most interesting or most relevant to my life at the moment. And I’d add to the list later when I thought of new topics I wanted to write about in the future.
- Identify your blog’s mission and focus. After brainstorming topic ideas, we asked ourselves the important main questions: 1. what do we want to write about? (our original focus was “girl power/women empowerment/punket power stuff”) and 2. who is our target audience? Looking through the topic list, we figured out that we generally wanted to write about love in its many different forms (relationships, self-love, loving life, positivity) and decided that would be our focus. After identifying the blog’s mission and focus, the blog title ideas came more easily, which is how we came up with Lovescrewed. Figuring out who exactly we wanted to write for was important too, because it’s important to set the tone of your writing with the audience in mind, especially when writing an advice/self-help blog like ours.
- Figure out your optimal writing conditions. I’ve discovered that I write best in the morning soon after I wake up, so I try to take advantage of that burst of creative energy as much as possible. It helps to try writing at different times of the day in different environments (at home, in a coffee shop, etc.) to see what works best for you.
- Stay motivated: create deals for accountability, punishment/reward system.
The next step was the hardest: staying motivated. Writing consistently for your own blog is a struggle, and in order to create a habit of writing daily, it helped me to make a deal with my dad to keep me accountable. We agreed that for every day I didn’t write for my blog, I had to go three days without watching TV (which is nearly impossible for me to do, especially because this happened during Breaking Bad‘s final season). This accountability deal worked well for me, and I ended up writing daily for a few months before I got too busy with school.
- Extra resource: My dad’s article on what he’s learned as a writer really helps with starting a blog.