Today I’m tackling a writing question that affects so many — including myself.
It’s tough enough to make motivation and creativity happen simultaneously at work, but what if you do paid client work in addition to blogging for fun? That’s a lot of writing.
Question: “How do you get motivation to work on your personal projects after spending hours writing obligatory client work? I’m usually too pooped once 5pm rolls around and can’t stand to look at a computer!” ~ Kelsey from DanceTeacherConnect
Answer: Hi Kelsey! First off, you’re not alone. I focus on paid client work and growing my business for 40 to 50 hours a week. Then, silly me, I also maintain a personal lifestyle blog because I love writing and sharing.
So, how I do find the motivation and time to keep it all afloat?
Honestly, I’ve become less rigid and started to go with the flow more often. I used to schedule time to work on blog posts for Cupcakes and Yoga Pants. At first it was my last writing project of the day. But, like you, I was too pooped to really do it justice. Then, I started scheduling time to blog after making dinner and walking the dogs. It seemed like I was going back to work, and made for some long days.
So now, I approach my personal blogging with much less structure than my client work. How? I write when I feel inspired — not when it’s on my To Do list.
Here are a few examples:
- Write down an idea if it pops into your head during lunch or as you’re getting ready for work. Sometimes a sentence turns into a paragraph, or even a list of bullet points. I keep a small notepad in my purse and use a note app on my cellphone.
- Always think about your personal blog when you’re simply living life. I often wonder, “Would what I’m doing now be a good topic for my readers?” and I jot down the idea so I don’t have a blank screen when I need to get a post done. Since you’re a dancer, think of questions you hear during practices, teaching and performances. Some may seem trivial to you, but if it’s being asked, others may be wondering the same thing! After all, we all know how popular “How to Tie a Tie” is on Google!
- Let yourself write a post when it comes to you. We all have those days where we’re kind of spinning our wheels because we’re waiting to hear back from someone before we can move ahead with a project. Sometimes my mind wanders, I get an idea, and before I know it, I’ve spent the last half hour working on my personal blog, when I really should have been doing something for work. Well, since I’m my own boss, I’m OK with that and just stay at my desk a little late to get the day’s work done.
- Write on weekends. Sometimes I do schedule time on a Saturday afternoon to work on my personal blog. Why? Because I actually like doing it and don’t really see it as work. It’s no different than planning to tackle a craft project or go for a walk. It’s another activity that makes me happy. If you find you’re not enjoying it anymore, it’s time to revamp your blog’s focus, or give it a whole new makeover. My last lifestyle blog lasted five years, then in August I gave it a new name, new URL and broader focus. I’m in love with it all over again!
- Use questions from readers and friends to fuel your next post. I find it’s tough to get motivated to write when I have no idea what to write. So, whenever a friend asks me something that seems random, I evaluate if that might make a good blog post. For example, a friend asked how I make homemade toothpaste. Hmmm…easy blog post!
Kelsey, I hope these ideas give you some inspiration and direction as you tackle your next blog post for DanceTeacherConnect.
By the way, I’m addicted to an Australian sitcom on Netflix called Dance Academy. You have to check it out! Maybe your next post could be about the top dance shows and movies to inspire young dancers? Or, maybe that’s just an excuse to watch Dirty Dancing again?
Would you like to ask a question on Web Writing Advice? Send me a note! ~Angela