Blogging for Writing Discipline

Black and white illustration. Image courtesy of stock.xchng®It would be impossible for me to deny that I found myself facing a strong desire to quit blogging. Having almost two weeks worth of guest posts was such a treat—and a relief. I loved knowing that smart writers, who were not me, were keeping a.k.a writer going while I focused on a completely different writing project.

I found myself wondering what I could accomplish if I channeled my blog writing into my personal project. How much more time would I have?

The answer: probably none. While I’d like to think that I’d fill any spare moment with writing, it’s far more likely that I’d end up eroding the time by fitting in one more new client project or doing something else related to copywriting. (It both helps and hurts that I enjoy my “day job” as a freelance copywriter.)

How does blogging help me with writing discipline?

  • In the (almost) two years since started this site, I’ve developed a regular habit of writing three posts each week. I deliberately write the blog over the course of the week, instead of writing all the entries at once.
  • It’s a constant reminder that there’s more to my writing than copywriting (a.k.a, writing for others). At least three times a week, I have to think about what I want to say and put it into words here.
  • If I can build and maintain a blog, I can finish other writing projects, even if I do it 300 words at a time.
  • It keeps me comfortable with getting my writing in front of people. While I’ve been fortunate to have mostly positive comments from readers, I know that any post could elicit that response from the one person who just can’t stand something he or she reads here.
  • Blogging has connected me to other writers, several of whom I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and helped me build a community and network. Maybe that’s not exactly discipline, but many of these writers have shared their own techniques—and struggles—with making time to write. I’m learning from them.

While my personal writing projects (and one in particular) have a new, high priority for me for the rest of this year and into 2011, I am going to stick with writing the blog. The key is to apply that same commitment to my other projects.

Your turn. What’s your experience with blogging? Do you find it helps you with your writing? Or do you feel it detracts? What (good or bad) has blogging taught you? Share your experience in the comments below.

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9 thoughts on “Blogging for Writing Discipline

  1. I’m late to the game on this one, but have to agree. Blogging is a way that I can use my writing muscle. If I do nothing else but at least post, I’m a happier person. I also find that some other writing ideas come out of the posts, so it’s productive in that way, too.
    Glad you are keeping yours in 2011!

  2. Jennifer ~ Love your comparison of blogging to working out. That’s such a great comparison. As for a memoir group, I’m sending you an email!

  3. Majorie ~ You make an excellent argument for blogging with “Blogging has also helped me to feel more comfortable in my own voice.” I second that! The busier I am with copywriting, the more I appreciate “forcing” myself to write a blog post and use my voice. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. I find blogging to be like working out: I’m better in the rest of my life if I do it. Occasionally I convince myself that I’ll have more time to finish other writing projects if I skip the the blogging, but I lose touch with myself if I let it go for any long period of time.

    This is a great blog, and since I’ve only just discovered it, I’m relieved to hear that you are going to continue!

    Now – let’s talk about a memoir writing group. I love me a deadline.

  5. Great points, Jesaka. Although I haven’t developed the discipline of posting multiple times each week (yet!), blogging definitely helps me be more confident putting my writing “out there”. Blogging has also helped me to feel more comfortable in my own voice. Unlike client projects, I can use whatever vernacular I want when I’m blogging, and I know that getting a handle on my own style has made me a better writer.

    Thanks for the great post!

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