One of my favourite marketing professionals, Seth Godin, wrote his 7,000th post on Nov. 14, 2017. That’s quite something. The essence of his approach to producing his prolific blog is the same as mine:
“I write every word…The secret to writing a daily blog is to write every day. And to queue it up and blog it…It’s true that I’d write this blog even if no one read it, but I want to thank you for reading it, for being here day after day.” (Seth Godin)
1. Get into the habit
The work (and work it is!) of producing a subject-specific blog every day is made easier by developing a habit of doing it and maintaining momentum. To do that you need to be passionate about it, you need to love doing it, otherwise it becomes and slog and a pain, and not something you do without being forced. (Like Godin says, writing it even if no-one reads it.) Leaving it for a while and then getting back to it is difficult and worrying, as another blogging expert, artist Mitchell Albala, wrote in a recent post.
Due to his valuable insights, I am sharing his post in its entirety – thank you Mr. Albala!
2. Maintain momentum
“For my final post of 2017, I thought I would offer additional musings under the heading of “The Art Life.” After a busy late summer and autumn, including a workshop in Italy and several here in Seattle, I was finally able to get back into the studio and do some more painting. Whenever I start to paint after being away from my practice for a while, I am always unpleasantly surprised. I look at what I’m doing and say, I’ve forgotten how to do this! I review the work I did just a few months earlier and wonder, How did I do that? Then I am reminded of the importance of momentum.
Painting [like writing blog posts or reviews] is a process of moving energy, in the form of ideas, from one place (our creative vision) to another (our painting). The more regularly I work, the more my mind stays involved in the creative process, and the more those ideas keep flowing. Painting is like an endless question-and-answer session. Each stroke is followed by a question; the next stroke is the answer. And on a larger scale, each painting is like a conclusion that poses another question, What’s next? There’s an expression, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” Momentum is like that. Through momentum, I remain engaged in my own process long enough to hear the answers. If my efforts are intermittent, I lose momentum and I am less likely to hear the questions and answers that are so much a part of my process.
We hear a similar refrain from artists in other disciplines, like writers and musicians. Renowned violinist Jascha Heifetz, said, “The discipline of practice every day is essential. When I skip a day, I notice a difference in my playing. After two days, the critics notice, and after three days, so does the audience.”
Creativity and problem solving can also spring from inspiration — but inspiration is a more elusive than momentum. Sometimes the inspiration is there; sometimes it’s not. I have more control over my own momentum. I like what Chuck Close said: “Inspiration is for amateurs.” Painting is hard work, and if we wait for inspiration before we pick up our brushes, we may be waiting a long time.
As long as I keep going forward, as long as I maintain my momentum, then I’ve got a chance to keep the creative dialogue going. And if inspiration comes about as the result of that momentum, so much the better. I’ll hope for inspiration, but keep up the momentum.” (Mitchell Albala)
Keep on making
He absolutely hit the nail on the head. Whether I am writing a review after a lull in the process, or making a painting after having left it for a while, “I am always unpleasantly surprised. I look at what I’m doing and say, I’ve forgotten how to do this!”. So to avoid the letdown, I try to maintain momentum in my creative output.