Blaugust is not quite over yet but we’re getting there. It’s time for the “Staying Motivated” week where we talk about why and how we stay motivated and how you can stay motivated, so… I decided to write a post on that specific prompt and I hope that it helps out some of my fellow bloggers who may need exactly that!
First up, why do you blog?
It’s a big question to ask but in essence, I don’t want you to answer that question but rather just think about it. Sure, you can still use that as a writing prompt and feel free to do exactly that but what’s important is to hold on to the idea that made you want to start writing about a topic in your blog, newsletter or whatever you’ve got that you’re writing in. Personally, I wanted to get my voice out. I wanted to write these thoughts and opinions in my head down and basically create something that lasts for a long time. I also wanted to recommend great Indie Gems to people that may not have heard of them yet, which is why I enjoy writing reviews so much. Once you know how you felt when you first started blogging and once you realise what exactly drove you to the decision of starting to write, hold on to that thought: Do you still feel that way? Do you still want to do exactly that? Has your goal changed? Did you just wanna try it out and if so, how are you liking it? – Again, I wanted to give it a shot and I’m liking it and it gives me closure at the end of the day to have written a post that may bring a smile to someone else’s face. It’s something that I’m proud of. I’m enjoying myself. I’m having fun. Since I’m having fun or since I’m proud of my work, I should continue it, right? What’s important is to remind yourself why exactly you’re doing what you’re doing. When I’m losing motivation to keep up with my studies for university, I ask myself “Why am I doing this again?” – The answer to that is “I want to be a teacher that’s even better than the best teacher I had. I want to create opportunities for the next generations to come. I want to make a difference.” That usually motivates me and I keep on going. Blogging is similar in a way. My blog’s doing well and I feel like more people are reading my reviews and because of that more people may have fun playing good games out there!
Second up, brainstorm ideas!
It sounds trivial but sometimes you struggle with ideas and it helps to have a draft or two sitting in your backlog of posts that you once wanted to write but never did. I have 40 drafts sitting there with ideas that may be interesting to write about. Since I blog daily, I often end up “scrapping” a prompt or two and I end up with these drafts there that I don’t trash completely… I just don’t write about them immediately. For starters, if you’re struggling with coming up with an idea, write about that process of coming up with an idea or how you start a post or why you like this feature more than the other. Suddenly, you have three prompts. You’ll choose one and take notes, write it out… BOOM! It’s a post. The other two prompts? Save them as drafts and write about them another time. What’s important is to maybe take notes as well in the post… I have this draft here called “PCPP – PC Part Panic” and I think it’s about a cable issue I had but I’m not entirely sure what I wanted to write about exactly there because I didn’t take notes at all. Sure, there are times where a post is no longer relevant… but at the same time, it could very much still come up later as an idea that is relevant in the future, just like with pleated pants: They probably will return someday. I hope, at least. Having a stockpile of ideas to pick a random one from is very helpful. And because the blogosphere isn’t as toxic as other content creation spaces, you can get inspired from people’s posts and link back to theirs as well. If you see a post that I wrote about, go ahead and copy the idea. Write about it and share your take on the same thing. Write about why you agree or disagree and create your own version of the same prompt. I’d recommend giving credit. :P Another thing is that you may also wanna take a look at comments you wrote or videos, movies, shows, games, books, or other media that you consumed: Why do you like it? Why do you dislike it? What is something you really like? A prompt that I want to write about for ages now is that “fishing” makes every game better. I don’t know why I feel about it like that but for whatever reason it’s true? Kinda? Even if it isn’t true, it’s certainly a writing prompt you may want to comment on, discuss or write about in general!
Thirdly, go for micro-posts!
Micro-posts are posts that are on the shorter side of things. They have low word counts and I guess take less effort to write up. “But Magi, you always write so much in yours!”, you may shout right now… Well, I’m a goofball. Do as I say, don’t do as I do, or something like that. I write a lot. A teacher of mine used to say that I write the same way that I speak, which is probably a bad thing in essays but good enough in blog posts. I can ramble on forever without any issues here and since I’m very fast at typing, I can create these huge posts in no time at all… but you don’t have to do that. You can create shorter posts without any issues and in fact, that’s what most people do and nobody hates the idea. In fact, creating shorter posts is better than creating longer ones. My oldest reviews on here have 3k to 4k words and nobody reads them as nobody has the time to. Hence, my “normal” posts with at most 1.3k words do better because they don’t take too long to read. Obviously, shorter posts take even less time to read and more people may be able to check them out because we live in a super hectic world. You can ask a question, explain why you ask it, give more context, make your three or four points, then ask for other people’s opinions, and end the post… or you just ask a question, maybe give context and answer it… The choice is yours. Here in Germany, we say “In der Kürze liegt die Würze” which translates to “Brevity is the soul of wit”. Writing more shorter posts is better than writing a few longer posts because you can chuck them out without having to stress yourself out. If you end up burning out from Blaugust or blogging/writing in general, that’d be sad, right? So maybe take a step back and write shorter posts instead of creating these massive pieces of work that nobody has time for and that take way too long to read, right? At least that’s a very reasonable approach to posting a lot.
Either way, that’s about it for this post. I may follow this up with another post on writing prompts and a lot of different ideas that you may or may not take for yourself in case you ever struggle with “writer’s block” or finding a topic to talk about. These “tips” here aren’t universal truths or anything, btw, they’re just some things I learned from the last few years of Blaugust. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t post 31 days in a row but that rainbow badge looks quite cool, doesn’t it? :D So, yeah, just some advice. Take it or leave it. Feel free to use any of the prompts that this post sparked!
This post is part of the Blaugust 2021 event. For more information on that, check out this post!