Blog Writing Tips – How To Tap Into Your Creativity and Stay Motivated
Post on 14-May-2015
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DESCRIPTIONDuring Virtual Blog Writing Day, Writing Coach Debra Marrs shared her blog writing tips and how to tap into your creativity. In her 30 minute presentation, Debra outlined numerous ways to record ideas, keep yourself motivated and create a wealth of content to draw from when you feel less than creative. To get the mp3 of presentation, go here: http://denisewakeman.com/dmarrs
- 1.Virtual Blog Writing DayDenise Wakeman, Founder of The Blog Squad A Special PresentationByDebra Mars, Writing Coach http://DeniseWakeman.com
2. Virtual Blog Writing DaySpecial Presentationby Debra MarrsDenise: Hi, this is Denise Wakeman, your online visibility mentor. The followingis a special presentation by writing coach Debra Marrs.This 30-minute presentation was done as a bonus for participants of thefirst virtual blog writing day I hosted. Grab a pen, paper, and get readyto take some notes as Debra shares her excellent advice for bloggers onstaying on track and motivated to consistently create content.Enjoy!I am very, very honored to introduce you to Debra Marrs. Debra and Ihave been connected, she reminded me, since 2006. I know there aresome long time people on this call. Connie Green is another person Iveknown for a very long time.We met in 2006. Of course, virtually. Ive never met Debra in person,but I feel like I know her very well. If I ever get to Florida, Ill be seeingher.Debra Marrs helps busy writers define, organize, and refine writingprojects for publication through her popular online writing courses and 2 Copyright 2012. Denise Wakeman. The Blog Squad, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 3. coaching programs. She teaches a unique approach to writing, one thathonors both the masculine left brain and strategic energy, and feminineright brain creative energy as the quickest way of getting unstuck andbeing really clear about your message. Writers leave her program hyper-focused with a strategic formula to write more and write often to getwords on the page, ready for publication.Debra believes in the power of the authentic voice and teaches themechanics of creative, non-fiction for business owners, as well asmemoir, short story writing, essays, personal journaling, and blogging.Debra shares her writing and creativity tips at www.yourwritelife.com.Thats a link to her website and she is also giving you a gift today.Debra, are you on the line with me?Debra:Im here Denise.Denise: Thank you for being here with me today.Debra:Thank you for inviting me. You did such a great job at setting things upin the first session. I hope most of the people on the call are herebecause I think when I look at today and as I thought about what todayrepresents, Ive participated in these virtual writing days myself andactually host some of them for me and my clients.Actually all of us on this call today, because Im also participating withyou, its all about moving your writing forward. I think if we can alwaysapproach our writing that way, it helps us not to be stuck. It helps us toprevent being blocked if we can approach it with, Im moving mywriting forward today in any manner possible.Over at www.yourwritelife.com we say everything counts. I really meanthat. Sometimes it means taking a nap. In naptime we dream andgenerate other ideas. Were not napping today. Were focused. Werehyper-focused. 3 Copyright 2012. Denise Wakeman. The Blog Squad, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 4. It all starts with setting an intention, which Denise invited us to do insession 1. By the sounds of the check-ins, this idea has really resonatedwith everyone.I loved hearing all the success stories. Some of you may be feeling still alittle bit stuck. Maybe youre thinking that you came to this because itwas all about getting things done and being strategic and organized andpublishing those blog posts.Thats great. In fact, what that is, youre using your masculine energywhen youre in that mindset. The masculine is the part of you that lovesorder, loves strategy, and loves being committed to getting things done.On the other hand, we all have this creative side to ourselves. As awriter, you have these two components whether youre a male or female.We both have this kind of energy. I want you to just go with me today alittle bit and shift your brain into what part of you are you approachingyour writing with today.The creative part of us is the part thats really juicy, needs time forthings to gestate, its more about birthing, its a feminine energy, andcreating.Im going to share with you, some broad categories today about ideageneration and then approach your writing with some other ideas aroundcomplete awareness for your drafts and editing your drafts to get themready for publishing.Then if there is time Id like to share some tips on writing from yourauthentic voice.When I work with people I find there is an early question that comes upfor people. Do I sound like myself? I want to share some tips on that too.How does that sound Denise? Are you still there to?Denise: I am. That sounds fantastic. 4 Copyright 2012. Denise Wakeman. The Blog Squad, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 5. Debra: Okay. A little bit more about the masculine and feminine energy. Sometimes when we stall its because these two energies are in combat and struggle with one another. What happens is one shuts down the other. As I said, the masculine wants order and organization and wants things to be done and published. The masculine in you is the person who loves to outline and see everything in a row. The bullet points, and know that one idea follows another. Its logical. Its that left brain part of ourselves working if youre familiar with that terminology. The feminine, on the other hand, she hasnt finished. She likes the creative part. She really dwells very well in the area of discovery. Discovery comes to us through reading, research, and synthesizing. Ill be speaking a little more about synthesizing later when we talk about idea generation. Sit with that just for a minute yourself. Can you recognize in yourself those two energies that drive you? Theres this part of you that needs order and then theres this part of you that wants to be creative and fluid and even messy. Lets look at idea generation through that lens of the masculine and the feminine. I always ask people first when they are saying, I need to write more. I want to write more. Were all here today because were focusing on getting more blog posts out, right? Were doing that because its important to attract more clients for our business and to increase our profitability. What inspires you? In literary terms, we talk about this idea of stimuli and response. What that really means is when you read something or see something, how do you react to it? Most of us immediately come with some ideas. Right away, there is some inspiration right there. Thats a way to generate some ideas is to read and react to it. 5 Copyright 2012. Denise Wakeman. The Blog Squad, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 6. I encourage you to start and keep an inspiration file that is both aphysical file, paper file from print documents, articles you read from thenewspaper, even TV shows you watch and can jot down a few notes.Also keep an electronic file where you can save urls, blog posts, articlesas well as eBooks that may, I think almost all of us, at least I do, when Iread something I go, I could write about that.I have a reaction to that. I love her tips. I could to add to that and Idlike to give her credit for those 7 tips too. Ask yourself this, What canyou teach? Our readers, when they come to our pages, want to not onlybe inspired, thats the other thing to ask ourselves, how can you inspireothers or motivate them, what can you teach them?People come on the Internet and read blogs because they want one oftwo things usually. Really, its one of two things.They want to be entertained or they want to be educated.I think we all can do both. When I get to the part on authentic voice, Imgoing to talk about and share some ideas about where you can comethrough with that with some personal stories.Besides the two parts of what can I teach, how can I inspire or motivatemy audience? you may simply want to be a sharer, a person who is anaggregator, a content curator. Theres nothing wrong with that. In fact,we should mix it up.Right there I just gave you some ideas, I hope. Help people get whatthey want when they arrive there. Show them how you solve theirproblems when they get to your blog post.A great way to get started with that is you fill in the blank, headlinesthat ask a question that you can answer. Stimuli-the question is thestimuli. Your response is the answer.6 Copyright 2012. Denise Wakeman. The Blog Squad, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 7. Some great ones are:Are you afraid of _____?orHow to deal with _____?To get that generated again the masculine likes order. Hes going toreally like lists and focusing in on the content for that. The feminine isgoing to still be out there looking for more ideas.One of the things that I highly recommend is coming up with a system topark your ideas. For those of us using WordPress, we love WordPress (atleast I do) because I can park ideas in there and save them as a draft. Ican just go to my draft column and look at all the posts I have started.As a matter of fact, today as part of this accountability program I wentin and went, Boy, I have plenty to write and finish up. It was thefeminine part of me that did the juju and got it down, got somethingdown. Now I need to go in and give it some more juice.That may mean I need to do a little bit more research. I may need tosynthesize.7 Copyright 2012. Denise Wakeman. The Blog Squad, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 8. The two great tools that I teach folks is (1) the working table of contents.Besides perhaps going ahead and parking your ideas in your WordPresssite, I dont think theres anything better than having a menu that youcan go off of.It can be a simple template. If later you dont want to do it now-go tomy website right there on the first page is a post about the workingtable of contents. Its basically where we park our ideas or our startedarticles and thats any kind of writing that were doing.If were writing articles, chapters for a book or a Kindle eBook, nomatter what youre writing you would park this on your working table ofcontents. This becomes a menu then that you can come back to to selectideas on your writing days.Denise shared earlier about batching and doing things all in one day. Imso on board with that. A lot of people I know who are really successfulbloggers, set aside a whole day and thats what were doing today,thats what we do.Denise shared during segment one that she will only probably get 4 blogposts done and thats a stretch. Yet, were looking at 8 hours today.Thats typical. Thats common. Setting aside one day and if youre on aschedule to post 2 blog posts a week, youll have that just by settingaside a whole day from your business to do that.The second tool I really like for parking ideas is actually a plug-in. Manyof you may know this. For those who dont, its called WordPressEditorial Calendar. Thats a free plugin that you can get atwww.WordPress.org/extend/plugins. What this does is adds a calendar.Why I love that tool is it does something else that I teach my writers andthat is we must, must, must tie our to dos to a time to do them. If wejust have a lot of drafts out there like Im sure that I do, theyre notgoing anywhere. I need to use my own best medicine and tie them to atime to finish them.8 Copyright 2012. Denise Wakeman. The Blog Squad, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 9. Those are some tips about idea generation and parking those ideas andhelping keep them organized. I bet youve already intuited theres someof that feminine energy working because feminine energy is the onethats thrown up the blog posts. The masculine is saying, When are wegoing to finish these things? When are we going to get focused? Werehonoring those.My point about the masculine/feminine is again honor and know whichone youre in, which phase, how youre feeling today if you will, orduring the hour or two that you commit to work on your writing in anyregard, what kind of energy do you see for you right now?Is there a strong need to organize? Is there a strong need to synthesizeand do more research and reading? Those will always be at play.Sometimes you have to reign in the one thats causing you to drag offinto a far corner and not get it done.Does that make sense Denise?Denise: Yes it does. Absolutely.Debra:Good, good. I hope it does for everyone listening too.Lets move into, this is going to be more about being efficient when wewrite. I have a model that has 6 phases of writing. Again, its all aboutknowing which phase youre in as you approach your writing. Its soimportant to recognize that.I notice so many writers fail when they fail to really name it, namewhere they are in the 6 phases of writing. For the purposes of today andbecause this is about posting to our blogs Im going to cover just 3 ofthese really. Actually, 4. Ill give you 4 of the 6 phases today.The first phase is prewriting. That includes any kind of research and ideageneration. It may mean creating a series. I want to tell you-Ill sharethat in a second. Idea generation, sometimes what prewriting alsoincludes is de-cluttering. Im a really, really big fan of de-cluttering. 9 Copyright 2012. Denise Wakeman. The Blog Squad, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 10. That can mean de-cluttering your desk. It can be de-cluttering and organizing little snippets of paper that youve written, post-its for these ideas of blog posts. It may be organizing some of that content into these inspiration folders. Again, we are all about moving our writing forward. Whatever you need to help with that, thats what were doing today. It doesnt necessarily always mean youre going to be in, I dont want you to feel guilty and beating yourself up if youre not inside actually writing words. Sometimes this prewriting phase needs to be taken care of in order to honor the energies. The second phase of writing are down drafts. Down drafts are just like it sounds: get it all down. A lot of times this is about just writing to your audience. I recommend you find your authentic voice; were going to get into that now. Gather together 3 to 5 people who are your intended audience. Make them really friendly people that have smiles. You can go on Facebook, go on their websites, copy and print their pictures. Make a little collage or montage to put above your computer or writing desk. Then when you sit down to write, write a down draft. Get it down as if youre talking to them. Part of your authentic voice is going to be write like you speak. Dont try to sound like an authority. Write like you speak. Share personal segments in there, it doesnt have to be that you dump out your whole world. It could be something like, On my walk today I saw something that reminded me of the 5 tips of how to do x, y, z, and what youre going to talk about. So, people understand that you have a life outside of the business life. This helps them connect to us too. I want to tell you a really quick tip about down drafting. Youre writing down things, a lot of times we stop. We have our ideas flowing, were10 Copyright 2012. Denise Wakeman. The Blog Squad, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 11. typing or handwriting. Then we get stuck or we want mo...