During my first year of blogging I was a big slug and kind of posted whenever I felt like it.
Since then I’ve researched blogging quite a bit and found that most sources suggest blogging every day if possible but at LEAST once a week. That’s why after my first year of willy nilly posting I’ve made a real effort to begin posting regularly. At the moment I’m posting three-four times a week but I do miss the good ‘ol days when I didn’t have to worry about scheduling. Now I know that constant content creation is pretty dang tough!
That’s why I’d like to take a moment to give a little shout to my Muse.
Huh? Your what?
Let me explain or rather let Elizabeth Gilbert explain via this fascinating TED talk. In it she suggests that all of us have a personal “Muse” who is responsible for granting us ideas. This Muse keeps us humble because if our work is amazing we have to give It the credit but if our work is awful then our Muse is to blame and we are safe from critics.
That might sound a little bit silly but I think it makes sense and at the very least it’s a great allegory for how the creative process works. If you agree then here are three methods you might find helpful when dealing with your own fickle Muse. She’ll thank you for it, I promise!
Sometimes I sit down at my computer thinking I’m about to post about quilled headbands but instead I end up writing about retro RVs. Right now I’m supposed to be writing a post for the Developing a Concept for your Lifestyle Blog series but instead this is what’s coming out.
The most important lesson blogging has taught me is that my Muse isn’t an employee I can assign tasks to. I can only take what She gives me and run with it. Later on I’ll try coming back to what “needs” to be written and check if I’m inspired yet. If not I’ll relax and go with the flow again. I know that eventually my Muse will meet me in the middle but only if I remember that She is the one in charge, not me!
Occasionally I’ll pull out a notebook and write down every idea I can think of. I come up with plenty of blogs posts this way but I’d say 70-80% of my posts are based on ideas I’ve gathered just by paying attention to my Muse through out the day.
Previously I’d read a book, catch a mind blowing quote, write it down in my journal and then forget all about it. Now I know to be aware when this happens and develop the content a step further, maybe by adding a review of the book or adding some some graphics to the quote. Suddenly a fabulous post falls into my lap! Acknowledge your Muse and she will hand you loads of diamonds in the rough.
Last but not least, if all else fails and I’m totally in a funk then I don’t try to come up with anything.
I don’t stare at my screen trying to write.
I don’t go clicking around on other people’s blogs.
I do go watch a movie.
I do read a book.
I do listen to music.
I do hang out with friends.
Your muse has to be fed or it stops working. If you work out for hours a day while starving your body you’d be silly to expect positive results. The same goes here. Be good to your Muse and she will be good to you.
Now go make something awesome!