5 Secrets to Developing the Blogging (and Writing) Habit: How to Beat Writers Block Forever | Rebecca Livermore | Skillshare

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5 Secrets to Developing the Blogging (and Writing) Habit: How to Beat Writers Block Forever

teacher avatar Rebecca Livermore, Microsoft Office for Creatives

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. 5 Secrets Intro

      1:13
    • 2. Secret #1

      2:52
    • 3. Freewriting Tips

      2:21
    • 4. Advanced Freewriting Tip

      1:12
    • 5. Secret #2

      2:01
    • 6. Secret #3

      3:02
    • 7. Applying Pomodoro to Writing

      3:01
    • 8. Applying Secrets 1 3

      1:51
    • 9. Secret #4

      1:21
    • 10. Templates

      2:41
    • 11. Going Deeper

      1:49
    • 12. Secret #5

      2:20
    • 13. Class Project

      1:22
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About This Class

In the 5 Secrets to Developing the Blogging (and Writing) Habit, you'll learn how to beat writer's block forever. 

This class is useful for all levels of writers and bloggers, whether you're brand new and don't know much about writing, or a seasoned writer that at times struggles with consistency. 

Among other things, here's what you'll learn:

  • The secret to breaking writer's block forever
  • Why "writing crap" is at times the best kind of writing you can do
  • How to find diamonds in even your worst writing
  • How to boost your focus so you can get more writing done in less time
  • How to remove blogging overwhelm
  • And more!

You'll have an opportunity to share your work and get feedback from me. 

I look forward to having you join me on the writing journey!

Meet Your Teacher

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Rebecca Livermore

Microsoft Office for Creatives

Teacher

Hi, I'm Rebecca Livermore, also known as The Office Creative. I'm a bestselling author, blogger, and the owner of Professional Content Creation. I've been a freelance writer since 1993 and have served as a content manager for top bloggers such as Michael Hyatt, Amy Porterfield, and Marcus Sheridan.

I've always loved PowerPoint, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I began to discover the many ways to use PowerPoint to create content. I use it for everything from blog and social media images, lead magnets, low content books, printables, videos, digital planners, and more. The more I use PowerPoint, the more amazed I am by the many types of content you can create with this one powerful tool.

I'm constantly learning new ways to use PowerPoint and other Micro... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. 5 Secrets Intro: Hello and welcome to the Five Secrets to developing the blogging and or writing habit. My name's Rebecca Livermore, and I am a full time blogger and author at the time of this recording. I've already written 12 books and have more in the words, but I haven't always found it easy to write consistently. I actually in the past started and quit more than one block, with the biggest problem being that I just wasn't consistent. And for very many reasons with my perfection isn't being one of, um, it took me a very, very long time to write my first book, and I, myself can relate to that dog that is distracted by that ever popular squirrel. So if you struggle with writing consistently, don't feel like I can't relate to you because I've been exactly where you are. The good news is now I can write anywhere at any time without any problems. So in this course, I get into the five secrets that have helped me and many other writers to develop the writing habit. So what are you waiting for? Go onto video number one so you can learn the first of the five secrets to developing the writing habit 2. Secret #1 : Hello. Thanks so much for joining me on this journey of learning the five secrets to developing the blogging habit. Let's get into secret number one Secret number one. Write crap. Okay. So I can imagine what you might be thinking right about now. Write crap, right? Crap. The secret number one. Are you kidding me? Okay, so here's the deal. Maybe you don't want to intentionally write crap, but the idea here is not to worry about whether or not what you write is good. Another thing to keep in mind is notice that I didn't say that you should publish crap just that you should write it. Here's the deal. A lot of times people get so hung up on trying to get the words right there so focused on trying to write a masterpiece that they end up writing nothing. Or they end up taking 1/2 a Knauer to write two sentences. Then they end up wanting to give up on blogging because it's just too much work. They simply just don't have time for that. When you loosen up your writing expectations, you'll break the long jam so that words can flow without hindrance. Free riding is one of the best ways that I've found to loosen up my creativity. The concept of free riding has been around for a long time, but I was probably first exposed to it in the book The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. In this book, the author encourages people to spend 15 minutes a day doing what she calls morning pages. Now. In her book, she is very emphatic about the fact that you should handwrite your morning pages. Now I personally prefer to use my computer, and when I first started morning pages, I always typed them out. I now actually have a Microsoft Surface book, which has a touch dreen and a detachable monitor that's like a tablet, and now I hand write them, but I still do them on my computer. The bottom line is, you should do whatever works best for you. If you like to handwrite, go for it. If you like to type and do it on your computer, go for it. If you have a tablet and you want a hand right that way, go for it. The main thing is to find what works for you. The bottom line is that free riding is like a magic key that unlocks all of your amazing ideas that are buried beneath the surface. When you release the expectations of brilliance and you simply write than those brilliant thoughts are released, and before you know it, you've unearthed all kinds of gems that you never even knew existed. In the next video, I get into how free riding works. 3. Freewriting Tips: So now we're going to talk about what free writing is and how it works. As you could probably tell from my last video, where I encouraged you to do whatever works when it comes right down to it. There's not a whole lot of rules with free riding, however, there are a few basic guidelines that I'm going to lay out for you. Not so much is rules, but guidelines toe follow simply because they work. Okay, so the first thing that you're going to do is you're gonna sit down with a spiral notebook and a pen or at your computer, and you're going to set a timer for 15 minutes. During that 15 minutes, you're going to write like mad. Don't worry at all about whether or not what you write sounds good, whether it makes sense or whether or not it has any purpose. The key is to keep writing without pausing, even for a second. Now, if your mind goes blank and you can't think of something to write, just write something like I can't think of anything to right. This is stupid. I can't believe this is supposed to help me. Are you kidding? me. It simply doesn't matter whether or not you can think of anything brilliant to say. You know, you can even go ahead and express your hatred of free riding. Go ahead. It won't offend me. Remember, this is not the time to judge. So don't stop and think about what might be good and what you've written. Trying to analyze what you've written on whether or not the ideas or any good Just keep going. Okay, so now when the timer goes off, I want you to stop. Even if it's going great and you love it, I want you to stop. The reason for that is that in order for this to be the most effective, you need to do it consistently. And if you spend too much time on it, you're gonna a lot of times for like, I don't have time for this. So it's best to keep it short and stop as soon as the timer goes off. The bottom line is that tomorrow's a new day and you'll be able to do this again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. So no worries. If you still feel like you had things you wanted to say today. Okay, So your assignment for this particular secret is to set your timer and free right every day for 15 minutes. So what are you waiting for? Set your timer and write crap. In the next video, I get into Secret Number two, which will help you know what to do with all that crap that you've written. Hope to see you there. 4. Advanced Freewriting Tip: before we go on to Secret Number two, I want to give you an advanced free writing tip. When you free write, you can write about anything that's on your mind. But if you want to lay the foundation for future blood post or books, try free writing about things related to your industry or about experiences that your readers will likely find interesting. There are a couple of ways that you could do this. First you can write reactions to block post that you read. Now keep in mind that your free writing is itself not meant to be shared. So when you write reactions to Blonde Post, don't hold that, For example, something that you read might make you feel like this woman looks. And while you may not want to actually publish something with you venting to such a strong degree, that's one great thing about free writing is that you can let it all out just like this Ladies doing One example is that once the words on a website really bothered me, and I use that to motivate myself, Teoh, first of all free write about it and then also to write a block post about it, and that leads into our next secret, which is how to use the content that you free, right? 5. Secret #2: OK, now let's get into Secret Number two. Secret Number two is to pick out the good stuff. Now, you may have thought that you wrote nothing but crap, but my guess is that's not true. And that hidden within the drugs are, no doubt some gems gems that were unearthed while you did your free writing. The way that this works is that you sit down with your free riding and you highlight the gyms, even if they're not perfect. Now, remember that even diamonds have no beauty when they're in the rough. So don't set too high of a standard when it comes to picking out the good stuff. So the basic process here is that you want to find the diamonds even if they aren't shining right now. You could do this in whatever way that makes the most sense to you. You can highlight. Put an Esther by it, underline you could even jot some little notes off to the side. Here's an example from one of my free riding sessions. Now you can see that I highlighted different things and then over to the side, I jotted down some key notes that stood out to me from that free writing session. Now let's get into your assignment for Secret Number two. First of all, I want you to keep free riding. This is something that you should make a daily or at least a few times a week. Habit. Secondly, mine the gems. Now remember to use whatever method works for you. There's not one right way to do this. So if you don't have highlighters, don't worry about it. Just grab a pen and circle or underline or put an asterisk by something. Or maybe just take a separate note pad and jot down a good idea. Finally, I want to encourage you to upload an image of one of your free riding sessions where you mind the gems now? If it's something personal, you can't just do a portion of it like you don't see the entire thing that I've written here. So feel free to take just a small snapshot of it and uploaded to the project area. Now let's get into Secret Number three, where you don't learn how to boost your focus 6. Secret #3: OK, now let's get into Secret Number three. If you tracked with me up to this point so far, you free written for a couple of days and you've gone through some of your free riding to pick out the gems. Now we're going to work on polishing those jams and making them shine, So Sacred number three is boosting your focus. Have you ever noticed how one it's time to sit down and write? You think about all kinds of other things you should be doing. Does your mind wander and do you get distracted with all kinds of other things? Perhaps you even get up and do some of those things, like put in a load of clothes to wash. If you've done that, you're certainly not alone. I've done that myself, and everyone that I know does that from time to time. Unfortunately, if you allow that to happen too often, you'll never get into the blogging or writing habit. The good news is I found a secret weapon that helps me boost my focus. It's called, appropriately enough, focus Booster Focus Booster is based on a technique called the Pomodoro Technique, and in case you're wondering why there's a picture of tomato Pomodoro is tomato in Italian , and the guy that created this technique used a tomato shaped timer for this technique, and he also happens to be Italian and Pomodoro is Italian for tomato, thus the name of the technique. And just so you know, you absolutely do not need a tomato shaped timer for this technique. And in fact there are tons of APS, many of them free to use, and I'll include those in a pdf in the project section. Okay, so now that we've got the tomato thing out of the way, let's get into the Pomodoro basics. So the first thing that you do is you set a timer for 25 minutes and you write like mad. When the timer goes off, you take a 3 to 5 minute break during your break. I recommend that you get up away from your computer and do something else. So, for example, you could do some stretching exercises, or you could get up and unload the dishwasher, or put a load of clothes in to wash at the end of your 3 to 5 minute break. You again set the timer for 25 minutes and again right, like mad for that 25 minutes and again, you take a 3 to 5 minute break stretch, move around, do anything but stay on your computer. You do this four times, so four Pomodoro owes, and four breaks, which takes a total of two hours. At this point, you take a 15 to 30 minute break. During this break, I recommend that you do something that will help you relax or refuel. So, for example, you might want to take a quick shower or eat a snack or have a quick lunch. So those are the basics of how the Pomodoro technique works, and the next video I get into how to apply the Pomodoro technique to your writing. 7. Applying Pomodoro to Writing: Okay, Now we're going to get into how to apply the Pomodoro technique to your writing and how you can use it to polish up the gems that you've created during your free writing process. Okay, the first thing that you're going to do is pick one thing that you highlighted during your free riding. So, for example, you go back to your notebook or your computer, wherever it is that you did your free writing and when you went back through new highlighted or circled or start something, pick one of those things to work on. During these Pomodoro sessions, you should be focused on writing something for your Blaga blood post or a book so is taught in the previous video. You're going to set a timer, and you're going to write like mad. But this time you're going to do it on the specific topic that you selected until the timer goes off and again has instructed you're going to take a short break, get a cup of coffee stretch, what have you. Then again, you're going to go back to writing. And by the way, even though this icon shows someone handwriting during this process, I generally used my computer, but you can do whatever you want. I also recommend setting a goal for your Pomodoro is that could be for one Pomodoro Or it can be for the Four Pomodoro is that you're going to complete during that two hour period. And during these Pomodoro sessions, you can focus on writing and or polishing what you write. So let's say if you're writing a blonde post you might use the 1st 2 Pomodoro is to write a first draft of the Post and the third and Fourth Pomodoro to edit it, upload toe WordPress at an image format schedule, and so on. If you're using your Pomodoro is to write a book, it will obviously take much longer to complete the project. So let's say during one of your two hour four Pomodoro sessions, you might spend that whole time outlining your book. You might want to devote several days, maybe a month, maybe even Mawr, for working on your first draft of your book during your Pomodoro sessions. You can also use your Pomodoro sessions to self edit your book, even if you're going to later, have an editor work on your book. The main thing is to use this technique consistently every day, if at all possible to help you move forward with your writing goals, whether you're working on block post or working on a book now, depending on whether or not you write full time or if it's something that you do on the side, you may or may not have time to do multiple to our segments during a day. I personally find it rather challenging to do more than four or at the most six hours of writing a day. So be sure to be realistic and take some breaks along the way. In the next video, I'm going to get into your assignment for Secret Number three. 8. Applying Secrets 1 3: Okay, so at this point, I've already covered quite a bit of information with you. So I want to do a quick recap and talk with you about your next steps. All right. The first thing that I want to encourage you to do is to keep free writing. As you continue to free right, you'll continue to build more and more material that you can draw from in the future at least once a week. Pick out the good stuff from the free running that you did the previous week. Next, I want you to pick content that you've highlighted that you want to specifically work on to shine up. For example, let's say that you're using your free writing to write blonde post. What you would do is you would pick on appropriate number of items to work on. Let's say that you write three block post a week and you look at your free writing that you've done once a week. What you would want to do is select three of your best ideas to develop into blood post. If you haven't already done so, be sure to select an app that you would like to use for your Pa Maduro's. You can use a phone app or a kitchen timer, whatever works for you, and check the project area for a list of APS that I recommend. One of the most important things that you can do to have success as a writer is to schedule your Pomodoro times, so determine when it will work for you, too. Do your Pomodoro and put those on your calendar. All right, Coming up next is Secret Number four, where I'm going to teach you another trick for riding block post and books with minimal effort. Stay tuned. 9. Secret #4: welcome to Secret Number four of the Five Secrets to developing the blogging or riding habit. So far, we've covered the following three secrets to developing the blogging or writing habit. Number one Write crap, also known as free writing number to pick out the good stuff. This is where you go through your free riding and highlight things that you might want to develop further and number three Boost your focus. This is where we use the Pomodoro technique to help us stay focused on our writing task. In this video, I get into Secret Number four, which is templates, even if you free right regularly. There are going to be some days when you simply can't think of anything to write. Or maybe you have some good ideas. But you're not really sure how to develop those ideas into blonde post or into a chapter for your book. Templates are a great way to start with something vague and develop the idea into a good, solid block post or a chapter in a book with minimal effort. In the next video, I'm going to share with you some very basic templates that you can use for creating blonde content, and then I'm also going to give you some ideas for ways to tweak the template so you can use it in a number of ways. 10. Templates: the first template is the tips template. So, for example, five tips for Blank. You start this block post off with an introduction. Write a few sentences about the problem that you want to help people solve. Then you write tip number one, number two, number three, number four, number five and so on until you've written all of the tips for that specific article. Next, you write a conclusion where you sum up the five tips. You can adapt this basic template and use it in a number of ways. For example, you can substitute words such a secret advice and so on for the words tips. You can't, of course, adapt the number of tips you generally want at least three and not more than 10. The next type of template that you can create is one for list Post list Post are a great way to focus on something other than a problem. For example, the top five beaches in Hawaii, the 10 best digital cameras, my three favorite bloggers and so on you use the same basic structure is the tips or secrets articles. But use your list templates for things you want to recommend to people. The next type of templates are life lessons. We all learn things for both good and bad life experiences. The good news is that those experiences, including the bad ones, often make excellent block poster illustrations in books. Here's how you structure life lessons, templates. Your title of your article or chapter could be what I learned from, and as an example from being a single mom, start off with a short introductory paragraph that is 2 to 5 sentences in length. You'll then have lesson number one Lesson number two Lesson number three and so on. Now, instead of using words such as Lesson number one. Lesson number two. Lesson number three. You would use words such as patients, for example, what I learned from being a single mom. One of those lessons is patience. Now, at this point, you might want to add a conclusion, but sometimes a conclusion is needed, and sometimes it's not. So. Feel free to be flexible with this. In the next video, I'm going to go into how to go even deeper with these types of post 11. Going Deeper: Since life lessons can be rather lengthy, you might want to make them more specific. So, for example, instead of writing an article about what I learned from being a single mom, you could write one about what I learned from sit being a single mom to an 80 HD son. Going deeper into a subject like this accomplishes a couple of things. First of all, a post that is more specific is generally a lot more interesting than one that is more general. These more specific Post also often are more easily found in searches such as Google searches. And by the way, going deeper applies to all different types of articles that you may right. I do want to leave you with one word of caution regarding these life lessons. Post. You never know who might end up reading the post. So if you're writing post about other people, such as your a d H D son, do them in such a way that won't embarrass them. Perhaps you've seen in books or on TV shows or movies that some details have been changed to protect the innocent. You can do that by changing sometimes name, gender, age and so on. Now you may feel like that's lying, and in a sense it is. And I'm really big on honesty. So I struggled with that one a little bit. So while I generally don't recommend writing things that are not true, do keep in mind that you can slightly change some facts just to protect people. And in that case, I think it's an honorable thing to Dio. All right, Coming up next in the next video is Secret number five, which will pull all the rest of them together. Look forward to seeing you there. 12. Secret #5: All right, so now let's get into Secret Number five. If you come with me this far, you're already getting into the habit of blogging or at least free riding regularly. Congratulations on your success. You've already taken the first steps, and now Secret Number five is to keep going. Now the deal is keep going is easier said than done. But I found that there are two primary keys that will help you to be consistent. Number one set a realistic goal. If you're like me, you may have a tendency to overcome it. You know, like you might say something like, You're going to lose £20 in a week. Or maybe that you're going to climb Mount Everest and you've never even gone hiking before . When you make these types of unrealistic goals, you're doomed to fill, so it's better not to make them. So Instead, said a realistic writing goals, such as writing one article a week or writing for 30 minutes a day. The second key when it comes to keep going is to make up your mind. Now this may seem like a no brainer, but we often say we're going to do something but the reality is that we haven't made up our mind to do it. One hint that you haven't really made up your mind is when you say I'm going to try to write one block post a week, I'm going to try to write 30 minutes a day. Don't try. Do Here's a brief recap of the five secrets to developing the blogging and writing habit that you can implement going forward first free right daily, also known as writing crap number to pick out the good stuff. Number three. Boost your focus using the Pomodoro technique Number four used templates and I've included some in the project area, so be sure to check them out. And number five make a commitment coming up next in the next video. I'm going to share with you your project for this class, so be sure to check it out because that's your opportunity to share with me what you're doing and to give me a chance to interact with you. 13. Class Project: Okay, so now it's time for your class project. I want to really encourage you to complete the class project because it's one thing to take in information, and it's a completely different thing to apply it. Plus, it gives me a chance to interact with you and give you feedback, which I'm really looking forward to and which I think will really benefit you as well. You basically have four options for completing your class project. You can do one. Some are all of them. The first thing that you can do is take a screenshot or a photo of your timer that you're using for your pa Maduro's and upload that. Another thing that you could do is take a picture of some of you free writing, particularly some that you have maybe highlighted or jotted some notes on. Since rewriting is a little messy and can be a little bit on the personal side, feel free to take a picture of just a small portion of it. You may also choose to share a piece of your content that you created that came from your free writing from the exercises in this course. Finally, if you created a writing template and you would like to share it with others. Please feel free to upload that as well. I can't wait to see what you've come up with. Really looking forward to it. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Take care.