My Little Writing Experiment
So I’m always writing every day.
But still have some odd aversion to hitting publish, and there is always an internal debate about what to post first.
Then I massage my work and wonder if it is for this person or that person.
Then I’ll go and read a book about that type of blog, and then I read a blog about that type of book.
After that, I’ll check the SEO for the main keyword my article was written about.
Finally, I watch yet another Backlinko video to verify that I’ve got the right tactics for when my blog goes big.
It is driving me mad.
At the end of last year, I decided to get my shit together with my website once and for all. Very quickly it came together.
My coworking industry buddy and WordPress Jedi master Hector helped me get set up 100% on WP Engine.
But I was still struggling with getting into a publishing schedule, which is a little awkward because I could teach you to do it in a single morning.
If that is not bad enough, I had just run a session on building an editorial calendar with our London Bloggers Meet Up.
Also, I run a podcast on writing with Trevor and Ann Marie.
It was in that session that my ‘Writing Experiment” came up.
As I explained in pure fluid simplicity about how planning your work and working your plan will save you time, something clicked in me about how I could do this every day.
Well at no point did I think “I can’t do this.”
In fact, I was more worried that people would think I was a dickhead and that is why I would fail.
Whether or not I could write wasn’t an issue.
But what sort of nutter posts every day and what is the point?
Ok, let’s back up a bit so I can explain.
On the day I decided to do this I’d ran the Bloggers Meet Up on editorial calendars in the morning at Workers Leauge. Then in the evening was the Coworking Content Lab call that I’m a member of.
This is a membership group run by my coworking and marketing friend Cat Johnson.
She has built a group of us who have a regular coaching call as well as an online group for peer to peer support.
It has been going for a couple of months, and recently Cat tweaked the format so we’ll run in a 7-week sprint.
We have all committed to a marketing goal for seven weeks and have a check-in every two weeks. Sound simple?
This gives me a seven-week block to win or die, and I am happy to die to while I try.
I’ve been thinking about posting every day for YEARS, and the feeling never goes away.
To write this post you are reading, I had to ring up my mate Steve Trister who I did an intense coaching day the DAY BEFORE my son was born, which will be eight years in May this year.
We did a deep meditation, and at the end, I came out with the words “I have to write.”
Yes it was all a bit Woo Woo and it left a deep impression on me and yes it is funny how I thought about it for nearly eight years and it is only now I’m taking action on it.
Anyway, twelve hours later Steve was driving my wife and me to the hospital for the arrival of our son.
What with the baby being born and all that I was able to put the exercise to the back of my mind.
But it has bothered me ever since, and of course, I’ve posted hundreds of times since then.
The nuts thing is I have support around me.
I’m in a few online groups about websites and marketing. I work as a freelancer and having a peer group to bounce things off is essential.
These peer groups keep up with what is happening in marketing and coworking and save my self a shit load of time Googling.
In the CMA we have a weekly challenge to post every week and get feedback on our work. I stall out EVERY WEEK as I am not sure what to post when I do post it gets good feedback, and then I stop.
In CMA I met Martin and Lyndsy who run Jammy Digital. They started a membership for independents, freelancers, and speakers run their own WordPress website. We have a weekly call about the progress being made on our site.
I’m happy to share this pain because in fifteen years of working in marketing I have never, ever met anyone who has their shit together with their content and website. Even people who get something up every week are struggling.
It is important stuff, and I maintain that the best thing you can do for your business, whether you are a freelancer or huge business, has a website with some words on it that tell people what you do.
One of THE BEST examples of practice what you preach is Jammy Digital. Martin and Lyndsay make websites and tell you exactly how they do it.
What to write about?
My gig is coworking, and every day of every week I am connecting and chatting with people in marketing and coworking.
Whether it is in the groups mentioned above or The London Coworking Assembly who meet every month for breakfast, I welcome you to stop by and say hello.
Every week I’m in London coworking spaces like Bathtub2boardroom and Workers League running Meet Ups.
I’m also at events like our Inclusion and Diversity event in London, as well as Coworking Spain in April, Coworking Europe, Coworking and Coliving life is all one big ‘Co’!
There is no shortage of content, and the Coworking Content Lab seven-week sprint will give me the chance to work out what works for my readers and see what is fun and easy for me to put together.
Back in January, I picked up my running practice after a 10-year lapse. Since then I’ve been running every day. I aim for five miles, but some days I just don’t have the time to do more than 2. Five is the goal though.
I got the chance to enter a 1/2 Marathon in a week and took it, I’ve not run a marathon for over a decade!
So Saturday I set off to see how far I could run, I did 11.5 miles and was still very much alive, I had to run the 11.5 miles to crush my fear of running the half marathon.
I know I can run 26.2 miles, I’ve done it 5 times in the past, I know I can run five miles I now do that nearly every day.
The fear of what would happen was killing me, until I’d gone for the ‘how far can I go?’ And that is what all this is about.
And that came from…
I’d set a 12-week goal of losing two stone, and it just was not happening. I have no interest in losing weight, but I do have a considerable investment in being fit and healthy. The pain of running every day is way less of a bitch than thinking about what I should and should not eat and checking the scales every day.
There is absolutely going to be some pain and failure posting every day. I know what some of that will be, and I know I’m going to have to sacrifice some comfort to get there. Even more painful is that I have to do all of this and maybe it will be a total car crash.
But what if I could post every day for the rest of my life?
Think about what would come out of that!
I got this bravery, as well as my new running practice, from reading David Goggins’ book ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ where David tells his story about keeping on trying no matter what.
But, the final push I needed came in Jessica Abel’s book ‘Growing Gill.’ Last year I did Jessica’s Creative Focus workshop, because I am creative and I want to focus, the book is based on that course.
In the book, she quotes her friend Ira Glass (see the video below), and his main point is that you need to make as much work as you can and once you are on the other side you find out what you are capable of. Your taste will line up with your ability.
Right now my taste about writing and content production is very very high. I’ve read at least a book a year for the last ten years. I’ve met a lot of the authors of marketing and business books during that time. While this is a nice boast, I am stopped as I compare every word to them.
This does no one any kind, and in reality, no one really cares anyway. I need to listen to my mate Alex’s motto and JFDI.