My 5 rules for posting regularly

The road to hell is paved with blogging about blogging but what the hell, I'll do it. I post a blog entry every other day (at least after January 1st, 2010), which is fairly constant and frequent. Here is how I do it.

1. Devote the best hours of a day to blogging

My brain works best right after I wake up in the morning. So that is when I face my laptop. I spend about two hours for researching and writing before I head to work. Sadly, many days the "research" part takes too much time because it is easier and writing is hard.

To recoup some of the lost opportunities, I try not to indulge in stuff that are not related to blogging (such as watching a re-run of Racing with the Moon with young Sean Penn and Nicholas Cage: I watched bits of it in no less than 4 times but still haven't gotten the whole story)

2. Do it every day

Many people say brain is like muscle: in order to be better, you need to use it every day. Making writing a habit is the best strategy. I find it also helpful for keeping me concentrated on my work during the day. If I do not spend writing time in the morning, I feel the urge to compensate for it during office hours. Needless to say, it's risky.

3. Take notes and put them in a single location is my favorite online note-taking tool. When away from a computer, I send an email to myself, or if the idea is good enough to stand on its feet, tweet it. Twitter is a wonderful tool not only for broadcasting micro-messages and interacting with people but also for keeping online memo.

Having all memos in a single location matters, because the most interesting aspect of writing (or blogging) is forming a new combination/idea from old, seemingly unrelated materials. More about this topic can be read here.

4. Locate a large chunk of time once a week to write in bulk

On Sunday morning I allocate several hours to assembling all the drafts I wrote during the week (yes they do not have to be published immediately) for the upcoming week. During this stage, I complete unfinished drafts and correct goofy errors. Also, taking another look at the initial draft often generates another idea or leads to previously unnoticed mistakes.

Having more than a couple of hours is important because for some reason my brain needs idling time when it comes to writing, even when it is most active…. The two-hour writing hour during weekdays usually gets shortened to a one hour of concentration, which is not long enough for completing an entry.

5. Schedule posts beforehand

Typepad, my blog service, allows scheduling. I make sure there are always at least two stocks of unpublished posts. That way, there is no pressure in rushing and posting something I would later regret or starts the day with a bad mood. The workplace pressure is already giving us enough headaches. We should be spared from that at least while writing for the sake of writing.