STARTING A BLOG #2: STRUGGLING WITH CONSISTENCY & TIPS

It’s time to raise my hand and admit to something:

Onto The Next Page has been live now for just under two months.  Granted that’s not a long time, but I can already see where my biggest blogging flaw lies: consistency! In the initial rush of inspiration, I didn’t quite register to the fact that my old-as-time procrastination habits would come back to bite me in the arse, but oh boy did they! 

Since April I’ve published 10 posts, which is about 1 post per week.  It doesn’t sound that bad but I don’t consider it a good thing considering it doesn’t match up to the intentions, let alone the weeks of planning, that I had set up for myself.  On some weeks I’ve only published 1 post, other weeks I’ve gotten up to a comfortable 2 posts, and then on one frenzied week, I ploughed out 3 posts! Though I felt like a Girlboss having reached 3 posts a week, it isn’t sustainable for me in the immediate future.

Today I’m going to share my path and the tips I’ve found for a new way forward with my own productivity to help improve my content consistency.

My intentions were simple enough!

When I first started planning Onto The Next Page, I was determined to post twice a week with a diverse range of content.  The plan was to oscillate between history, literature, beauty and travel content with a few of my old poems thrown in every now and then as a “treat” for my readers.  I aimed to have a bank of ideas well developed, or even already written up, ready for publishing whenever I saw fit so that I would never have a week of stressing about where my next bout of creativity was going to come from. I wanted to work SMART and budget my creativity like I would my money, have pots of ideas for various fixed things and then some set aside ready for the rainy days.  

Despite my intentions, however, I have relied too much on my old poetry, as well as creating more beauty reviews than I had intended, so as to pad out my content quantity. My poetry has become my fluff, filler content! I’ve been falling back into the pattern that I had maintained with my previous, now deactivated blog, The Pagemaster. I hadn’t intended for that blog to be so poetry focussed either, and yet here I am again with poetry prevalent again.

Don’t worry, I have plenty of excuses:

  1. Lack of funds to finance the improvement of my skills, to collect more resources, to spend on books, travel, beauty, and food etc.
  2. 35 hours of job hunting per week.  Although, I do now have a full-time job that I’m due to start on Monday… so yay!
  3. Taking trips away from home for longish weekends, to both Nottinghamshire and Vienna.
  4. Overwhelming myself with overly complicating planning and organisation.

To be fair, some of these excuses have had to take priority! I need a job.  However, these excuses still aren’t the real reasons…  

But the truth of it?

The true reasons are actually pretty simple, though they do drag up some personal failings:

  1. Sheer sluggishness.
  2. Spending too much time waiting for “inspiration to come”.
  3. Not holding myself accountable to my own tasks and goals because I’m the only person that they matter to or depends on them.  I recently found out more about myself through the Gretchen Rubin personality test.  According to the test I am “An Obliger”, and Obligers are apparently prone to being able to “meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves.” #truth!


I know I’m not alone in this!

Almost every blogger or creative I’ve come across struggles with consistency! While on the hunt for tips and tricks to smash my procrastination into the dirt I found that maintaining consistency was perhaps the biggest struggle facing creatives relatively early on in their projects; though luckily, there is no end to helpful tips!  

Over the past few weeks I’ve been away on a couple of trips and in the time that I was away, I only uploaded poetry to keep the weekly presence going.  This time, however, I took the step back intentionally.  I’d absorbed so much help and advice from YouTube and other bloggers that I was full to the brim with ideas on how to become more consistent and build personal working systems to your mindset and working style.  I had dabbled with some of these ideas but I found that trying to employ too many of them what definitely becoming a “too many cooks” kind of a situation.  I was overcomplicating my way of working all over again.  I wanted to be able to try out all the good ideas, despite the fact that there were simply too many to try!

Time for a system reboot?

My whole ideas/content system very quickly became a mess.  I ended up with multiple Google Drive Spreadsheets for ideas, schedules and analytics, a rotation of different notebooks, a stupid number of saved notes on my iPod and random slips of paper with ideas on shoved everywhere!  It got to a point where I was struggling to know if I’d already jotted an idea down because I had no idea which spreadsheet or notebook it would be in!

A big part of changing the way I plan my work has been narrowing down who or what I sought advice from! I decided to pick 3 main sources of advice to listen to and ignore the rest unless otherwise suggested by these main sources.  I sought to find those whose mindsets more closely reflected my own and tailor their advice based on my own intuition.

My current productivity inspirations are:

MuchelleB, an Aussie YouTuber who focusses on productivity and goal setting. MuchelleB also has a second channel, Channel Notes, to offer advice specifically to those who want to create on YouTube, although I’ve found some of the advice on Channel Notes works really well for bloggers too.


Lavendaire, an American YouTuber who, similarly to MuchelleB, focusses on creative productivity, goal visualisation and becoming an “Artist of Life”.

Forever Amber, a Scottish fashion blogger who also has posts dedicated to the world of blogging.  Amber also has a book published called My Blogging Secrets: A Guide to Becoming a Pro-Blogger.

Live the dream… . . . #shoefie #shoes👠 #stripes #fromwhereistand #fromabove #motivation

A post shared by Amber McNaught (@foreveramberblog) on


I chose these three for their mindsets, goals and simplistic methods of organisation.  They’re all different in many ways, but they all preach the same message: simplicity is key! Simplicity with goal setting and planning is the way to, as MuchelleB wonderfully puts it, “cater to your slug brain”.  I am naturally prone to the laziness that comes hand-in-hand with creative overwhelm, so their collective tactics of keeping everything stripped back to the basics should suit me perfectly!  I will be talking about my Blogger/YouTuber inspirations in a later post, so do keep your eyes peeled!

A new way forward…

With a more concise set of advice to work with, I can create a more streamlined and uncomplicated system for myself to try out solidly for the next three months.  It may not all work for me in the way that I would hope but I believe that giving it a set amount of time to trial it and then review it or alter it should help me in the long-run to stay consistent and on target.

So, what is my brand spanking new and refined method of working going to look like? I’ve broken it down into the three-pronged approach of INSPIRATION, PLANNING, and ACTION.


My ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY (AB) is Jenn. You should go right now and check out the absolutely stunning photography on her blog, as well as on her Instagram Profile!

Blog: FreeArchetype.Wordpress.com
Instagram: @FreeArchetype

 

// #Vienna – #Hochstrahlbrunnen #Fountain . #夢 .

A post shared by Jennifer Lin (@freearchetype) on


I’ll be checking in with the goals I’ve set for myself there in about three months time, so around September! I can’t wait to see if adopting this much more simple but thorough method will benefit me and Onto The Next Page!  

Do you guys struggle with creative consistency? How do you manage your schedules?? If you have any tips or want to try the ones I’ve listed above please do let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time! xxx


OTHER POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:


STARTING A BLOG #1: Finding My Niche
26 THINGS I’VE LEARNED IN 26 YEARS
MAY TBR ’17: Re-reads and Reader’s Overwhelm

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